By Crash redaction

Honouring its perennial appreciation for Italian craftsmanship, FENDI announces a new, state of the art exhibition celebrating the hand in hand craftsmanship initiative inside the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome. Unveiled in 2020 yet in constant evolution, this grassroots partnership with local artisans across Italy highlights the Baguette handbag, designed by Artistic Director of Accessories and Menswear Silvia Venturini Fendi in 1991, as an icon of the house and an instantly recognisable canvas for perpetual transformation. This unprecedented project showcases the time honoured skills of craftspeople across Italy whose specialities in the applied arts continue FENDI’s long history of reinterpreting this iconic shape.
The ‘hand in hand’ initiative calls upon a diverse group of ateliers and workshops to interpret the Baguette by applying their local craft to transform its traditional handbag construction into a veritable objet d’art. The name ‘hand in hand’ represents the encounter of the local artisans hands with the FENDI artisans hands, giving life to a unique collaboration where ancient hand made techniques of profound value come together in the creation of these one of a kind pieces. Above and beyond the creation of artisanal FENDI products, ‘hand in hand’ establishes a strong network of human relationships and is a crucial step in preserving ans transmitting the rare craft, creativity, and savoir faire of these local artisans across Italy. The results are as diverse as they are opulent, from the extravagance of precious metals and stones to the intricacy of mosaic, the purtiiy of cotton embroidery and the beauty of perfectly moulded leather.
Across the ground floor of the Palazzo della Civilità, FENDI showcases the first twenty ‘hand in hand’ Baguette creations each handmade in a different Italian province in collaboration with the best local artisans. The regions are: Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia Romagna, Fruili Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardia, Marche, Molise, Piemonte, Puglia, Sardegna, Sicilia, Toscana, Trentino Alto Adige, Umbria, Valle d’Aosta, Veneto.
The exhibition scenography invites a monumental collision of digital and physical experience, framing the artisanal processes of the project within a historical and cultural narrative. Floor to ceiling LED screens reflect off Pälazzo della Civiltà Italiana’s marble floors to project visions of extraordinary patience and skill as artisans sketch designs, prepare materials, apply age old techniques and reveal the intergenerational secrets of their ancestral art.
Centred around a 30m long installation of polishes black multimedia craftsmanship tables, the exhibition sets the stage for an immersive atelier simulation where each precious Baguette bag is displayed amongst the materials and tools used to create it. From weaving and e,broidery to silversmithing, leather marquetry, e,bedded into each workstation, taking the viewer on a voyage across Italy and into family owned workshops and craft collectives from around the country.
The exhibition will be open to the public. Specific regulations and reservations are mandatory to access the exhibition space, please visit fendi.com


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