How Costume Designer Piero Tosi Dressed Up Cinema

Variety | 12/18/2018 | Andrea Sorrentino
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One of international cinema’s undisputed greats in costume design, Piero Tosi’s work first faced the awards season spotlight 64 years ago with only his third film, Luchino Visconti’s masterwork “Senso,” which competed for the Golden Lion in Venice in 1954.

Nominated for five Oscars for costume design and recipient of an honorary Oscar in 2013, Tosi’s impact on the art of film is immeasurable. Visconti’s films such as “The Damned,” “Ludwig,” “Death in Venice” and the incomparable “The Leopard” garnered international acclaim as stunning period visual masterpieces and were all spectacular showcases for Tosi’s celebrated designs. Other triumphs included “La Cage Aux Folles,” “The Night Porter,” Federico Fellini’s “Toby Dammit” and Oscar foreign language film-winner “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”

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Also noted as mentor and teacher for generations of costume designers, Tosi’s work in this field is on view in “Piero Tosi. Exercises on Beauty. The Years at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia 1988-2016” at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome until Jan. 20.

Tosi was first noted in the pages of Variety in 1962 for his award-winning work on Mauro Bolognini’s “La Viaccia.”

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Did you go to the Cannes Film Festival in 1961 when “La Viaccia” premiered there?

I only went to one festival, the Venice Film Festival in 1949 as a spectator, when my aunt took me to see “La Terra Trema” by Luchino Visconti. It was the first time I left Florence, where I was born and raised. That film was a real shock and in that moment I knew I wanted to make movies. I remember there were many protests in the room at the end of the show and we even got to a fight between critics and spectators who were right and left political supporters. Visconti, a well-known liberal, was a director who split up critics and political opinion. However, my...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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