The Golden Dawn of Italian Fashion: A Cross-Cultural Perspective on Maria Monaci Gallenga

This is the first book written about Maria Monaci Gallenga (1880-1944), the enigmatic fashion artist and designer marginalized after decades of fortune and fame. The daughter of Ernesto Monaci, the illustrious philologist and mentor of Luigi Pirandello, Gallenga was the wife of Pietro Gallenga, a medical scientist related to the Gallenga Stuart family.

The text outlines Maria Monaci Gallenga’s impact on the world of fashion, contextualizing her work and that of other forgotten fashion designers in the 1920s and 1930s. It sheds light on her cultural impact and idealism as a business entrepreneur in Europe and America promoting Italian art and culture. It also highlights her engagement in social and educational activities after she retired from the world of fashion, and explains the reasons behind her marginalization and disappearance, and the obstacles and constraints she faced during the years of Fascism.

The book also considers the influence of the British arts and crafts movement and the vision of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood on her aesthetic vision, and, in turn, investigates Maria Gallenga’s influence on late Pre-Raphaelite paintings (Frank Cadogan Cowper) inspired by her designs and fabrics. The discovery of her fabrics and accessories by the Fendi sisters in the collections of the Tirelli House eventually sparked a new interest in her models, now enhanced by digital media.

Rosanna Masiola holds degrees from the University of Venice and the University of Trieste, Italy, where she also taught. She is a retired Full Professor of English and Translation at the Department of Human and Social Sciences at the Università per Stranieri di Perugia, Italy, where she served from 1993 to 2016. She has published 40 books on comparative literature, film, advertising, fashion and translation studies, including Il fascino del tradurre (2009).

Sabrina Cittadini holds an MA in Philosophy and a PhD in Fashion Studies from the Università per Stranieri di Perugia, Italy, where she has also served as Lecturer in Italian Language and Culture for international students for over 30 years. She has organized classes, laboratories and seminars on Italian luxury fashion and Made in Italy, and has co-authored articles on this subject.

“Rosanna Masiola and Sabrina Cittadini deserve to be commended for their painstaking work of digging into the past in order to reconstruct the life of a long-forgotten fashion designer, meaningfully immersed in historical, cultural, social, and geographical contexts, and which allows us to add a long-lost piece to the mosaic of women’s history.”
Wanda Balzano
Wake Forest University, USA; Annali d’italianistica, 39

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ISBN: 1-5275-5061-3

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-5061-2

Release Date: 8th July 2020

Pages: 246

Price: £61.99


ISBN: 1-5275-9937-X

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-9937-6

Release Date: 24th April 2023

Pages: 246

Price: £30.99