More than twenty-five years ago, thanks to the tailor Francesco Briggi, the history of the Atelier Pietro Longhi began. A story made up of difficult choices in the name of quality, craftsmanship and costume culture. Thanks to this, the atelier is cited by admirers of the unique piece as a reference for handcrafted luxury. From the 2017 is the official supplier for the Venice Carnival and is involved in the most important events held in the city. Distinguished for scientific research collaborates with Italian and European teachers and professors, help students and works with various institutions, including seven permanent exhibitions in Italian museums, offering not only the costume rental service, but also media supports for the complete realization of permanent and temporary exhibitions, for institutions such as the Milan Triennale, the Venice Biennale, as well as temporary exhibitions from South Korea to the United States. Often in the clothes of Atelier Pietro Longhi there are intertwined gold threads, real pearls and for a dress exhibited at Palazzo Pitti made for the Buccellati Foundation as many as 95 rhodium-plated brochures in pure gold. Thanks to the courageous acquisition of an informing machine over 100 years old and the passion for accessories of Anna, Francesco’s wife, after a restoration and updating of the technology to keep it working, the Pietro Longhi Atelier Hat Shop was born. Even today, the only one operating in the Veneto region, for over ten years has been supplying hats to re-enactors and collectors from all over Europe, thanks to the skill of Francesco and Anna.
Atelier Pietro Longhi in little more than 25 years of activity thanks to passion and research, has become an important reference for those who have made a lifestyle of the artisan quality of luxury.
Born by the collaboration of Francesco Briggi who oversaw the reproductions of the costumes and Raffaele Dessì who developed the scientific project, “Stories of Fashion” is an exhibition where history is told through some of the most important characteristics of its material culture: clothing and related materials.
Thanks to different attires, faithfully reproduced by Francesco Briggi from original documents or taken from paintings by the most famous Venetian painters, it is shown how much trade first and then manufacturing art, linked to fashion, were the fundamental force for the development and affirmation of the Venetian myth from Renaissance until today.
From the furnished rooms of Venetian palaces, to museums, to the villas on the mainland, is told a story that shows all the aspects of living in the time of the ruling classes. A story that unravels among the colors of brocades, velvets, silk and gold lampas, fabrics made with manual or mechanical looms sometimes on designs specially made to reproduce forgotten patterns.
Since he was a child, Francesco had a passion for costumes. From Zorro to Hussar the step is short. Even following his course of studies and professional choices far from the world of historical attire, the preparation of his carnival costume took up the whole year! But passions, when they are true, cannot be contained: Francesco, with the support of his wife Anna, begins the adventure in the world of costumes. More than twenty-five years have passed since November 26th, 1994. Years of satisfaction, fears and sharing with the thousands of customers and friends who from all over the world encourages him to continue in this splendid adventure by exporting Francesco’s creations to stages, palaces and mansion, and public and private collections. Years of study and continuous maturation, during which the innate taste was flanked by always superfine tailoring techniques and the rediscovery of a forgotten cut to be recovered not only with patience, but also with the innate ability to adapt the historical cut to the bodies of today. For this reason, for years for various national networks such as ZDF, ORFF, Arte, it has been producing costumes for documentaries and productions, combining historical style and the spirit of the time it reproduces. This is the difficult task that Francesco faces every day: combining his taste and history with the dreams of those who will wear the suit. A task that twenty years of success encourage forward, passing knowledge to future generations thanks to the lessons in the Academies and to the constant presence of students who from all over Europe come to learn historical tailoring in the large country villa where Francesco has decided to move the atelier. Surrounded by greenery, where he can find the relaxing silence necessary to find inspiration, taking care of a garden of which every essence has a meaning for Francesco, his creativity has found the right dimension, away from the chaos of Venetian colors and beauty that inebriate and confuse.
There is no detail, there is no shape or proportion that Anna, when tackling a new creation, has not already imagined finished thanks to her immense creativity, approaching each creation with new solutions.
Anna Zappella is our milliner, although she prefers to be called a hatter. From military hats, which follow precise rules of size and decorations, to the most charming hairstyles for ladies of all eras, up to the most imaginative mise en tete, Anna’s creativity is the perfect complement for each costume created by Francesco.
Nothing is impossible for her. On request she has created gondola fixed on the top of a hat, with lights and inside sofas, or hats of exceptional sizes, with feathers, decorations, out of the ordinary colors that thanks to her innate good taste find perfect harmony!
In years of experience she has learned to manage the whims of the old machine that for over a century has been producing hats thanks to steam and wooden shapes that the hands of skilled carpenters have created following the indications of Anna who, having received the most disparate requests, knows how to approach difficulties and find solutions!
Then there are the creations that are born because she feels them inside himself … sometimes there are unfinished hats that for months wander around the factory. Particular shapes that Anna tried and when she decides that the time has come to finish them, when she feels them ready, she works on them tirelessly creating hats with timeless beauty, aided by pins of all sizes, irons with the most unexpected shapes, an inventiveness that knows no bounds.
If you are passionate about fashion, costume, beauty, you cannot miss having your hat made by Anna, and the experience can only be complete if you develop it together to thus have the opportunity to meet the artist who dresses yours ideas!
The latest to join the ranks of the Pietro Longhi Atelier, Raffaele began studying violin, piano and solfeggio at the age of six. At the age of 17, with studies of Phoenician-Punic epigraphy, he embarks on a path that will lead him to learn about research and reconstruction methods typical of archaeological training. After enrolling in the IUAV, faculty of Architecture, he continues to attend excavation and survey campaigns in international archaeological sites. Thanks to the maestro Mara Bortolato he gets closer to the study of historical music and dance. This brings together his passions, combining historical archive research with music and dance. At the age of nineteen he performed for the first time in St. Mark’s Square, and then continued on international stages from Los Angeles to St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Paris and Barcelona. After completing his university studies with a thesis on the iconography of the Venetian ceremonial of the late 1500s, he initially worked in architecture studios which he left following his passion for dance and entertainment, entering the universe of Atelier Pietro Longhi. Thanks to the support of Francesco and Anna, he produces direction for numerous re-enactment and non-re-enactment events, where culture and entertainment coexist within some of the most important buildings in Europe. Alongside the directing production there are lectures on the philological approach to historical re-enactment and on the evolution of fashion, held for institutions such as the Scuola Grande San Giovani Evangelista in Venice, ARS in Urbino, the Italian Cultural Institute in Helsinki, SLCM in Basel and Lugano, the History of Modern Art course at the IUAV. Thanks to his natural propensity for the development of style, he became a connoisseur of fashion up to the most recent trends, arriving at the writing for Skira of a chapter for the catalog of the permanent exhibition at Palazzo Pitti “The treasures of the Buccellati Foundation”. Many presentations for Venezia da Vivere of many international and Venetians luxury brands alongside the executive production with research from sets to furnishings and furnishings with critical reading texts for documentaries produced by ZDF, Arte, Canale 5, Rai.