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In 1964, fashion and costume Historian and Designer for the theatre, television and movie world, Rosana Pistolese, founded the Accademia Costume & Moda in Rome, creating an educational establishment that would serve both the fashion industry and the costume needs of entertainment industry; with the patronage of the “Ministero del Lavoro e della Provvidenza Sociale”, the Municipality of Rome, ENALC and the “Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana”.
Her career started in Naples after coming in close contact with several illuminated and famous families. Her fist articles appeared on the “Corriere di Napoli”, “Mezzanotte”, “Voce di Napoli”, “Roma” and “Il Mattino” and were signed simply as Rosana or with her full name Rosana Pistolese. At the beginning of the 1950’s she moves to Capri, and together with Emilio Pucci and Livio De Simone she designs a few models for a small collection, called “Il giro dell’isola” (Tour of the island), presented at the Hotel Quisisana, the most prestigious hotel on the island. This will be the first launch towards Rosana’s career in the fashion and movie world.
In 1953 she signs the costumes for “Lulú”, directed by Fernando Cerchio and interpreted by Paola Borboni, Valentina Cortese, Marcello Mastroianni.
During the Sixties she reaches the peak of her career. We can admire her works for the Teatro Cometa in Rome for “Processo Karamazov” or the “Leggenda del grande inquisitore” by Diego Fabbri and directed by Ottavio Spadaro. In those same years she also cooperates for the most important fashion houses, such as Giovanna Caracciolo (Carosa), Lola Giovannelli, Elisa Volpe de Smaele, Sorelle Fontana, Antonelli, Shubert, Fernanda Gattinoni, Fabiani, Annamode and many more. She also designs textile patterns for Sorelle Fontana. For the 1960/61 fashion season she creates the “placed” print, manufactured by Como Seterie Fraccaroli and presented at the University of Davis (San Francisco, California) in 1962 during an exhibition of Italian fashion and its new and innovative fabrics.
1962 she was appointed to the freshly created teaching post of History of Costume Design and Fashion Design and Textile Art Design at the University of California, Davis Campus, where she remained for five years, and at the Fashion Institute of Technology of New York.
In October 1964, during a short stay back in Italy she decides to found her own school, mainly encouraged by the Roman cultural and social elite, always very supportive towards the latest and trendiest issues of the moment. A Fashion and Costume Academy was just what the city of Rome needed as the ultimate celebration of Italy’s Haute Couture. Together with Ottavio Spadaro (theatre and TV director), Dario Cecchi (painter, scenographer and writer) and Nello Ponente (Art Historian), she sets the seeds of the Accademia di Costume e Moda. Accademia was finally inaugurated in 1964 under the official approval of the Fashion Bureau, supported by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (Ministerial Decree n. 26645/CF/1964), and by the Rome Municipality.
In 1964 she writes her first book on the history of Costume, “Fashion in the history of Costume”, published by Cappelli Editore. The book was translated into English under explicit request of several USA universities and published in 1965 by Wiley&Sons, New York.
The late 70’s see a very fruitful cooperation with the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, opening the road to a future exchange between FITand Accademia, with seminars held by Rosana in New York and by Lilian Kusher, Director of FIT, in Rome.
Thanks to the great talent and passion of its founder, the Academy over time becomes “a laboratory of ideas and research, a meeting point for participation, communication and life”. Cultural reference point for training in fashion and costume.
Today Accademia represents a meeting place and a key destination for businesses and for the world of arts and culture, a key destination in their search for high-level qualified professionals.
Names such as the Gilberto Bernabei (Consigliere di Stato e Presidente dell’Accademia), Giulio Andreotti (Presidente Onorario dell’Accademia), Susanna Agnelli (Presidente Onorario dell’Accademia), Giorgio Napolitano, Giovanni Spadolini, Indira Gandhi, Laura Biagiotti, Pierre Cardin, Gianni Bulgari, Egon Von Furstenberg, Roberto Capucci, Micol Fontana, Roberto Rossellini, Isabella Rossellini, Bruno Piattelli, Lindsay Kemp, Federico Zeri, Marco Tullio Giordana, Achille Bonito Oliva, Renè Gruau, Irene Brin contributed to the life of the Accademia … continuing today with Alessandro Michele, Silvia Venturini Fendi, Frida Giannini, Susy Menkes, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Alber Elbaz, Sara Maino Sozzani and many others