Thursday, August 9, 2012

Anna Piaggi Dead: Karl Lagerfeld's Muse and Bill Cunnigham's Fashion Poet Dies at 81

Vogue Italia's famed fashion writer, Anna Piaggi has passed away Tuesday morning. She died in her Milan home; she was 81. The fashion world mourns the loss of the incredible style icon.

Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, tweeted "23 anni di lavoro insieme, migliaia di D.P. realizzate insieme. Ti ricorderò sempre Anna," which translates to, "23 years of working together, thousands of D.P. carried out together. I will always remember you, Anna." Mr. Mickey of Paper magazine notes that visionaries like Piaggi come around but once a lifetime, "Devastated to hear about the death of fashion legend Anna Piaggi. A genius like that comes along once in a lifetime." He continued, "Thinking about Anna Piaggi's world class fashion looks! Who will pick up the fallen standard??? We all need to kick things up a notch!"

Piaggi was known for her eccentric and colorful double page spreads in Italian Vogue and her bright and outrageous fashion. A front-row staple, Piaggi's inspirations, opinions, and wisdom were crucially influential to fashion insiders and novices alike.

Before becoming a famed journalist, Piaggi worked as a translator for Mondadori, an Italian publishing company. After that brief stint, she went on to become a fashion writer; eventually becoming a top choice writer in the 60s. She wrote for fashion magazines like Vogue Italia, Arianna (one of Italy's first women's magazines), La Settimana Incom, Epoca, Linea Italiana, Annabella, Panorama, and in the 1980s the avante-garde magazine Vanity. The trendsetting Piaggi used a bright red manual Olivetti valentine typewriter to create her work.

Her fashion files are endless. Piaggi reportedly owned 2865 dresses and 265 pairs of shoes. Her taste was excessive, elaborate, and eclectic. If her expression was not illustrated through words they were definitely portrayed through her style. Having such a reputation for also never wearing anything twice, the fashion world regarded her as one of the primary style influencers and icons.

Piaggi served as both friend and muse to many of fashion's greatest leaders including Karl Lagerfeld, whom she has known since the 1970s, Manolo Blahnik, who has dubbed her "The world's last great authority on frocks", and British milliner Stephen Jones.

The late legend will be forever remembered for her massive contributions to fashion journalism and style. New York Times famed sartorial photographer, Bill Cunningham, remembers Piaggi as "a fine poet in clothes." She was definitely something the world lacks of today - an original.

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