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Italian Fashion

Pearls Of Italian Fashion Presented In Belgrade

IFIB – Italian Fashion in Belgrade, an event dedicated to the promotion of Italian fashion in Serbia and organised by the Italian Embassy in Belgrade, the Italian Cultural Institute and the Fabrika agency, ran from April to June to the delight of all those who appreciate Made in Italy

Italian fashion lovers were treated to a gala concert dedicated to fashion designer Renato Balestra, an exhibition – curated by Stefano Dominella – of 50 legendary dresses and costumes worn by the Hollywood’s greatest divas of the 1950s and 1960s, workshops, seminars, film screenings and exclusive fashion shows.

The first IFIB – Italian Fashion in Belgrade event, dedicated to the promotion of Italian fashion in Serbia and organised by the Italian Embassy in Belgrade, the Italian Cultural Institute in Belgrade and Fabrika Vesna Mandić, was inaugurated at the end of April with a press conference at the residence of the Italian ambassador and will last until June. During the opening it was emphasized that the IFIB intends to present the Italian fashion industry to the Serbian public from a variety of perspectives: theatre and music, workshops and seminars, tradition and handwork, sustainability and innovation, fashion shows, women’s empowerment, design and film.

“The Serbian public is in love with Italian fashion”, said Italian ambassador Luca Gori. “The launch of the first IFIB – Italian Fashion in Belgrade will allow them to know even better the creativity, the quality and the many facets of Made in Italy fashion, a sector that is constantly growing in the world, with over 80 billion euros of export in 2022.”


As part of IFIB, a gala concert dedicated to designer Renato Balestra was held at the National Theatre, featuring the original costumes he created for the Belgrade Opera.

Non-standard costumes and sets and a combination of tradition and modernity in the opera Cinderella and the ballet Swan Lake are Renato Balestra’s contribution to our national theatre.

“Everyone knows that Renato was very sensitive, incredibly sensitive. He told me that he experienced some of the most beautiful emotions here. One of his last works was the ballet Swan Lake at the National Theatre in Belgrade. He was constantly thinking about Belgrade”, said conductor Jacopo Sipari di Pescasseroli.

Thanks to the quality and originality of Made in Italy fashion, it is growing steadily, with exports set to exceed 80 billion euros in 2022

Ballet stars and opera divas from the Belgrade National Theatre performed arias and excerpts from Rossini’s opera Cinderella and the ballet Swan Lake, with Balestra costumes designed especially for these performances.

“He worked with a lot more colours”, said ballerina Tatjana Tatić. “He took a lot of risks for a classical ballet, especially for Swan Lake which is kind of, some themes are mostly Gothic, some costumes are very similar, and he took risks and put all kinds of cheerful colours. At first, when the premiere came out, opinions were divided, but it was something new, something fresh. Jacopo Sipari di Pescasseroli added that Balestra spent a lot of time looking for the right music for his costumes.

“This is a very important aspect. Other designers create fantastic collections, while other take care of the music and its connection to the design. With Balestra, it was the opposite. He would choose the music first, and only then conceive the costumes.”


There was great interest among the audience for the gala concert and the exhibition of original costumes and designs by Renato Balestra. The VII Day of Italian Design at the Museum of Applied Art was also dedicated to fashion, when a seminar dedicated to fashion sustainability by Eugenia Morpurgo and Tamara Jarić was organised thanks to the Italian Cultural Institute in Belgrade. The exhibition of Italian iconic pieces of design will also be re-organised soon at the Italian Embassy, in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency, Confindustria Serbia and the Italian – Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

The Italy in Fashion exhibition, conceived and organised by Stefano Dominella, president of the fashion house Maison Gattinoni Couture and of the Section for Fashion, Design and Furniture of the UnIndustria Lazio association, opened at the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade on 17th May.

The exhibition was opened by Italian Ambassador to Serbia Luca Gori, with an opening speech by the curator of the exhibition, Stefano Dominella, and welcoming words by the director of the Fabrika agency, Vesna Mandić, and the director of the Ethnographic Museum, Marko Krstić.

Italian fashion is presented through theatre and music, workshops and seminars, tradition and handwork, sustainability and innovation, fashion shows, women’s empowerment, design, film…

For the first time in Serbia, visitors could admire pearls of Italian fashion that were previously inaccessible to the public, from the archives of Italy’s greatest fashion houses. After being presented in Seoul, the Belgrade exhibition previews 50 legendary dresses and costumes worn by Hollywood divas, as a cultural symbol of the spirit and sentiment of the 1950s and 1960s.

Among these 50 exclusive exhibits are the little black dress worn by Anna Magnani at the Oscars, costumes worn by Audrey Hepburn and Anita Ekberg, the jersey dress worn by Lana Turner, Kim Novak and many others.


“These 50 iconic dresses that have become part of the collective consciousness have contributed in making the Made in Italy style famous all over the world”, says Stefano Dominella, who recently held a workshop dedicated to students of the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade.

The accompanying programme for the exhibition consisted of a review of films at the Yugoslav Cinematheque (Cactus Flower, La Dolce Vita, Imitation of Life, War and Peace, Europe 51, with a special screening of our classic Love and Fashion) in which the dresses and costumes were worn.

“To present Italian fashion in Serbia”, says Luca Gori, “we decided to emphasize our sartorial tradition and, exclusively for IFIB show in Belgrade, the legendary clothes worn by the greatest stars. We are talking about fabrics and designs signed, among others, by masters such as Gatinoni, Armani, Moschino, Versace, Max Mara, Etro, Missoni, who made the Made in Italy brand famous all over the world.

The IFIB program includes fashion shows by Patrizia Pepe and Dress for Success, as well as workshops dedicated to Italian tradition and craftsmanship. Among others, the Salon of Excellence, on the theme of Italian sartorial art, organised by Aleksandar Đorđević with prominent Italian masters of craftsmanship, such as Franco Puppato, and a seminar dedicated to the role of the Versace and Donà Dalle Rose families in fashion and art.