Venetian fashion has long roots and has been for centuries the mirror of the dominion and
power of the Serenissima Republic. City capable of anticipating trends has been able to express
the excellence of local artisans who have become one of the cornerstones of the economy of
Here were born the guilds of arts and crafts, protected by the government that
guarded the secrets and quality of its manufacture, and from this heritage of knowledge, along
its 1600 years, Venice has always been able to express the best in customs6 in perfumes, shoes,
in the idea of elegance that has dictated for centuries the rules of living in the lagoon.
And if economic and social change and politics are fundamental stages in the history of fashion
and customs, it is the development of trade that makes Venice the center of irradiation of
technical knowledge and skilled workers.
Since the twelfth century Venice has played an
important role in the development of European fashion. The maritime traffic with the East
allows the women and men of the Serenissima to discover fabrics and brocades never seen,
fabrics and soft velvets, which are then processed in Venice and traded in the rest of Europe,
making throat even the richest courts, like the French. The lace, produced at home, becomes a
manufacture required throughout the West to adorn the robes and shirts of kings and nobles.
Venice follows the fashion that are imported mainly from France, but it does not standardize
and remains libertine. Women and men of the Serenissima, despite the prohibitions and
attempts to stem the ephemeral and ostentation of luxury, seize the novelties from distant
worlds and compete to have the most beautiful fabrics, the most skilled hairdressers, the best-
The dresses are sumptuous, accompanied by wigs, 50 cm high shoes,
jewelry and white makeup to look beautiful and young. In Venice comes the modern perfume,
which will be stored in precious bottles and transported to the richest courts of all Europe.
In the sixteenth century, the Venetians, instead of closing themselves in stiff and glued clothes,
as the Spanish trends wanted to show themselves with lowcut dresses and an open bust on the
In the eighteenth century, Paris continued to dictate the rules of fashion, but the only
one Italian city which had its own style was Venice, with its fabrics, its silks and embroidery.
And so, a journey begins from here among perfumes and beauties, fabrics and heels, to tell the
game of seduction and power of a city that was also a pioneer in the fashion industry.