Screenshot from 'Vestimenta'

“People have needs and I work to satisfy them”. I like to mention the words of Denise Bonapace, the polyhedric creative who was our guest last February and who sees fashion as a ‘service’ to people understood as “togetherness of physicality, thoughts, impulses and desires”. All this to create a constant relationship between clothing and the body that inhabits it, a body that must not have more canons or measures, because beauty is, as Eco wrote, polytheistic.

We also talked about clothing intended as a house that hosts a certain body molding on it according to its needs by reviewing the book ‘Ri-vestire’ by Cristiano Toraldo di Francia and with the today’s post we ideally go back to this theme, talking about the beautiful documentary by Denise Bonapace, which has a symbolic and meaningful title: ‘Vestimenta, inhabited clothing’.

‘Vestimenta, inhabited clothing’ poster

Screened in the official selection of several international Festivals, including the ‘Fashion Film Festival Chigago’ and the ‘Artfools-EcoFashion Film Festival’ of Larissa, in Greece and also presented at the Sarajevo Fashion Film Festival to be held from 1 December next, ‘Vestimenta, inhabited clothing’ is a short film about the cultural and social significance of clothing that, structured as a language, talks about our personality, attitudes and ways of being.

“The dress is the first object that is around the body and as such it is designed” says Denise Bonapace introducing her own documentary “has both a social and cultural meaning, through the dress we talk about ourselves and when a designer chooses a fabric, a yarn, a cut, a volume, staging the social and cultural body, as much as a writer chooses words to write a novel “.

“Clothing is the closest object to the body and, as such, can be designed” says Denise Bonapace introducing her own documentary “Clothing has both a social and cultural meaning, we talk about ourselves through clothing and when a designer chooses a fabric, yarn, cut, or volume, he/she puts the social and cultural body on stagejust as a writer chooses the words to write a novel”.

Screenshot da ‘Vestimenta’

The latest collection by Denise deals with the theme of dialogue, that which is established between a garment and the the person wearing it; it includes six pieces, ‘Dialogues of Love’, which we had already partly illustrated in that article, arose from ‘Hand Dialogue’ image by the Brazilian artist Ligya Clark, an elastic band that two people use to connect their hands in a tactile dialogue. This is how a zipped cardigan has a wristband that can be worn as a cuff or to tie the hand of another person.


In ‘Arms dialogue’ a sleeve is stretched through a contrasting insert going towards the other, while ‘Minds dialogue’ also called ‘Kiss’ are two garments connected by a zip at the neck and can be worn separately or together.

‘Minds dialogue’ by D.Bonapace – screenshot from ‘Vestimenta’

In short, it is about garments that can be modeled on the body and around the body, material envelopes that almost take on an existence of their own when they pass the body-garment system and project outwards, naturally establishing (and culturally) a dialogue and therefore a relationship, not only with the body that inhabits but also with the outside world and other people.

And speaking of dialogues, Denise Bonapace then has an interesting exchange with Benedetta Barzini who, direct and ironic, reflects on today’s fashion, a fashion ‘desperate’ in a certain way, in which the woman’s body is still imprisoned in stereotypes that make her no more than ”an object of beauty”. Hence the consideration of Bonapace on a fashion built for standardized bodies, while we know well that the bodies are many, with different proportions and shapes. What a challenge for a designer to be able to design on real and different bodies, to really experiment and innovate forms and styles!

Denise e B.Barzini – screenshot from ‘Vestimenta’

Another consideration of Barzini on many women designers who design with the male mentality or on ”make sexy” rather than comfortable, at ease. In short, many changes in the costume but certain stereotypes are hard to die!

The speech by Denise Bonapace on the role of the label, the “quintessential waste of the clothing”, is also significant because it can not be recovered; having collaborated for years with Conau, the ‘National Consortium for Used Clothing and Accessories’ and visited several companies where the castoff clothing goes, Denise saw a large cubes of labels placed in a corner. Hence the idea of a dress, ‘Label’, 3 meters high, made today with about 1500 labels; the aim is to expose and reflect around the value of the label, an object so important for what it communicates, as useless seen from a product point of view.

Abito ‘Label’ – screenshot from ‘Vestimenta’

‘Vestimenta, inhabited clothing’ summarises in 12 minutes an important reflection on fashion in its deepest and hidden meanings, meanings that go far beyond aesthetics and touch on social, philosophical, semantic and cultural aspects. Not only; it makes us realize how the female body is still imprisoned in cliches that sacrifice substance in favor of a form far from reality, confined to the diktats of youth, thinness, height.

‘Vestimenta’ is also a challenge, why not, to these stereotypes, a call to the courage to go further, investigating the many physicalities and the many thoughts of mankind.


Short film by Denise Bonapace
Guest-starring Benedetta Barzini
DESIGNinVIDEO production
Direction, photography and editing by Emilio Tremolada
Contents Denise Bonapace

“Dialogues” video by Pierluigi Anselmi
“Label” photos by Lorenza Davvero

Articolo precedenteEven Jean Paul Gaultier says ‘adieu’ to fur
Articolo successivoLa resistenza etica di Clare Press


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