Visitor or not, anyone in Milan must see Villa Necchi Campiglio (cinemaphiles not excluded) at least once, and the house museum’s current exhibit, Isabelle de Bochgrave’s Moda di Carta, gave me a reason to return. It had been almost five years (a half a decade?!) since my first time, so I was a bit overdue.
This time, I got an actual tour in English (no headset) so in some ways, it was like touring the museum for the first time. However, Isabelle de Bochgrave’s Moda di Carte (Paper Fashion) exhibit made our little culture fix all the more special. On display through 8 January, Moda di Carta showcases several dozen life-size paper dress recreations of famous looks from the decades: Chanel day dress; Callot sisters day dress; Lanvin evening gown; Delphos by M.Fortuny dresses; Japanese kimono; Christian Dior post-World-War-II look from 1947; C.F. Worth ball gowns and more. You’ll find the works all throughout the house, from around the dining room table to standing in a doorway. It’s spectacular!
When you ascend the regal staircase, an Elizbethan style gown, the only work de Borchgrave created from a painting, greets you while Gigina Necchi and Angelo Campiglio’s bedroom displays a dress de Borchgrave created from literature: Albertine from Proust’s The Remembrance of Things Past, the main character Marcel’s main squeeze. Proust was gay and Albertine was actually the feminized version of a man (Albert) who had held the key to writer’s heart when he penned his masterpiece.
The exhibit has upped the museum entrance price to 12 euro instead of 10 for the time being, but it’s well worth it. Open from 10am – 6pm, Wednesday to Sunday. If you arrive and need to kill some time before your tour starts, you can have a coffee in the outdoor café or roam the grounds.
Villa Necchi Campiglio: Via Mozart, 14; Moda di Carta exhibit website
Here are some pictures below: