Benedetta Barzini has no interest in being anyone’s muse

On a cold gray morning in 2017, a few hours before the Milan City Council announced Benedetta Barzini a gold medal for civilian honor, she’s at home with her filmmaker son, Beniamino Barrese, thumbs up her nose about the whole business. “If they honor me for the title of a model, then beauty is not something to be commended for. Not at all,” she said in a heated exchange captured in his 2019 documentary, My Mother’s Disappearance. The purple hat and scarf swallowed her platinum hair, and a pair of thin lace-up glasses hung on her nose. No, she didn’t want to change to something more elegant. “I dress perfectly for 11am!” she said, before riding on her bike.

Barzini, now 78 years old, is a fascinating figure in the arc of modern fashion, spanning the evolution of Vogue juggernaut and Andy Warhol’s Factory setting for current discussions on gender inequality and ethical work practices. Barzini of the Present – a Marxist feminist who spent many years as a professor of fashion and anthropology at the Polytechnic Institute of Milan, analyzing advertising images and Madonna’s paintings in her lectures – a world away from the 1960s, who made an architectural impression on Irving Penn and went on to befriend the Velvet Underground and Salvador Dalí. Born into an upper-class Italian family, Barzini described a frosty childhood, with revolving doors of female tutors for her almost absent mother. Adolescent anorexia — a form of slow-motion autophagy — has given way to treatment programs. Barzini used to told for her niece. At the time Barzini was discovered at the age of 20, by Consuelo Crespi, then the Italian editor Vogue, Aunt Written in 2018. Soon after, her portraits caught the eye of Diana Vreeland, Barzini accepted an invitation to New York and in 1965, became the first Italian woman to appear on the cover of America. . Vogue Magazine.

Barzini in a 1968 fashion collection for Vogue Magazine.

By Henry Clarke / The Condé Nast Publications.

“I’ve always worked under the illusion, but I also think it’s true, that no one takes pictures of me. Because my face is not for sale,” Barzini said in the documentary, flashing a sly grin before lighting a cigarette. That tension — between her working model and hermit ambitions, eternal beauty, and self-described “old lady,” a critic of the system she also constantly works within — makes watching Barzini in one holiday campaign for Gucci Beauty. As the camera pans through perfume bottles and handwritten notes (one of a recurring scenario marked “From B.”), we catch a glimpse of a glowing Benedetta in opera gloves one after another.

Barzini at Gucci’s fall 2020 show.

By Victor Boyko / Getty Images.

“Don’t ask me why Gucci is calling!” Model and writer explained by email. “But I respect how the brand continues to use different people with different looks and expressions in their campaigns, and always with an authentic, sometimes humorous message.” Are from The launch of Gucci Beauty Below Alessandro Michele, back in 2019, the prevailing aesthetic was actually catholic. An early icon advertisement for its lipstick show a close-up photo of the Surfbort . woman Dani MillerThe characteristic smile of a smile: an eccentric cluster of teeth as a cheerful rebuttal to orthodontics. (The gummy smile recalls the scene in the documentary when Lauren Hutton visiting her longtime friend, “Benny,” at home. Barzini asked her if she was still modeling. “However, because it’s like falling in a ruby ​​mine!” Hutton replied.) Benedetta Barzini has no interest in being anyone’s muse

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