Audrey Hepburn dressed in Empire style by Fernanda Gattinoni, with delicate drapes and neoclassical cuts, in the film “War and Peace” (1956)

Everyone knows the sartorial partnership between Audrey Hepburn with Hubert de Givenchy, and how Breakfast at Tiffany’s has consecrated the style of the actress thanks to little black dress. Few however know that the Hollywood actress was dressed as Fernanda Gattinoni to shoot the epic War and peace of 1956.

The stylist from Cocquio (Varese) took her first steps at the London atelier Molyneux, the most chic tailor of the time who also had a Parisian office, frequented by divas and queens. And that’s where it becomes Miss, a sort of advisor for tailors and guests – today we would say one stylist – who knew very well how to juggle modeling and taste. In a short time it arrives a proposal from Coco Chanel herself: she declines the offer, heads to Rome, in the Ventura tailor shop. Here, he realizes that the time has come to open his premises, under his own name, and in 1946 he opens his first atelier. The Eternal Capital attracts Italian and international cinema: this is how theHollywood on the Tiber.

Ferananda Gattinoni made headlines for choosing not to parade on the collective catwalk of Palazzo Pitti “there are tailors who do not want to move to Florence because they do not consider it necessary. Fernanda Gattinoni mainly follows her private customers, rarely repeats a model twice because she always gives them exclusively”Explains Irene Brin the absence of the Italian fashion event of the time. Among its customers there are already famous and international names, such as Lucia Bosé, Anna Magnani, Ingrid Bergman is Kim Novak.

After creating tailoring for Bergman, Europe ’51 is I travel to italy, both by Roberto Rossellini, arrives the cinematic experience that consecrates its teacher, the art of clean and flawless drapery: War and peace by King Vidor, with a young Audrey Hepburn who had already made her dream with Roman holidays.

Costume designer Maria De Matteis chooses Fernanda Gattinoni to make those wonderful ones empire style dresses, seemingly simple – perhaps a little too unadorned to parade, as he had commented in 1955 – but an expression of a precise, sober and polite elegance. The wardrobe sewn for Audrey Hepburn pleases the designer, so much so that she proposes a collection inspired by the protagonist of Tolstoy’s novel, Natasha, with classical features with clear echoes of imperial Rome thanks to the use of very light fabrics worked in drapery and peplum.

The success of the collection with corresponds, however, to a long sartorial relationship with Audrey Hepburn, now linked (and well identified) with the designer Givenchy. In any case, this collaboration gives credit to Fernanda Gattinoni for having revived the empire style, exactly six months before Christian Dior.

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