Beginning with his name Giorgio Imperratrice di Sant'Angelo di Lombardia e Ratti di Desio lives in a patchwork world. He has taken the amorphous world of accessories and filled it with loops of pink Dynel hair, lucite jewels, chains, ankle length coin necklaces. Ribbons snake up silken leggings. There are tiny silk wisps of bras, big bejeweled bibs, tassels and fringe in random profusion. Opulence overlaps opulence. Pattern poses on pattern, and all the festooned incongruities work. The Sant' Angelo decorated woman emerges in her chaps and gauntlets, trimmed with wooden bobbles and encrusted with embroidery. Giorgio's make-up (shown on these pages) colors girls bronze with white racoon-like masks of palis skin over the eyes and sometimes framing the lips. Together with the Amazonian Veruschka, Giorgio will soon debut his own make-up line. He always designs with the much crawled-over "Blow-Up" model in mind. What might seem clownish on others becomes perfectly plausible when stretched over the long expanse of Veruschka on the thick glossy pages of Vogue. Born in Florence the region where the medieval court pages wore tights with bi-coloured legs, Giorgio was enticed into fashion by the manicured hand of editor Diana Vreeland, who seized on his clear plastic jewelry for Vogue.
The clothes illustrated here by Giorgio himself are the ones presented at the Coty Awards show and will soon be available in Bonwit Teller's. They include suspenders and elongated necklaces perched above evening skirts, vests and tunics worn over radiant tights. Giorgio is award-prone. One award brought him to study ceramics with Picasso. Another brought him to working on animated cartons with Walt Disney. He came to accessories an "ex" of many worlds, including architecture, industrial design and marriage. Sant'Angelo may not go to any of the parties his competitors attend, but his jewelry is omnipresent. Last year it was large painted styrofoam shapes; pearls and stones caught and magnified in solid plastic gold plated cork. This year will be chains entwined into silk ropes, bunches of tassels on golden bracelets and medieval-ish belts. "I don't believe in chic women. I love imagination at work. People in the street are getting to do it quite well. My things have to be expensive at first. But I will find ways to get them mass produced and customers everywhere will be able to intermatch," Giorgio says. He will soon act and design for a movie with Veruschka which Franco Rubartelli, her photographer-boyfriend will film in India, Pakistan, Persia and Red China (if Mao gives him OK). The film will have no name, no ending. Giorgio himself has already avoided that particular fate.
Left to right: Multicolor, multisnapped bolero with knit jeans, Superlong navel knotted wool scarf over tiny silk jersey bra. Low slung black knit pants with colored pockets. Mini knit bra with stitching atop wisp of skirt in multiknit.
Rose suede bib with colored leather swirls, encrusted with with stones. Slink of skirt in black velvet with side slit...Extended necklace of chain mail sprouting rhinestones and metal shapes. Chain mail stomacher belts layers of shaded gray organza.
Inspired by the Sicilian shepherds who wrap cloth around their legs before they take to the mountains, Giorgio draped these ribbon wrapped silk jersey pants on Veruschka,who is not a Sicilian shepherd. Beige suede tunic top is embroidered with wooden beads and right zipped.
All images & original text scanned by Sweet Jane from New York magazine, 30 September 1968. All illustrations by Giorgio di Sant'Angelo.