27 February 2019

27 February

Franco Moschino - fashion designer 

Made clothes with sense of humour

The fashion designer Franco Moschino, founder of the Moschino fashion label, was born on this day in 1950 in Abbiategrasso, a town about 24km (15 miles) southwest of Milan.  Moschino became famous for his innovative and irreverent designs, which injected humour into high fashion. For example, he created a miniskirt in quilted denim with plastic fried eggs decorating the hemline, a jacket studded with bottle tops and a suit covered with cutlery. He designed a dress that resembled a shopping bag and a ball gown made from black plastic bin bags. Read more...


Simone Di Pasquale – dancer

Ballroom talent has been springboard for business success

Ballroom dancer and television celebrity Simone Di Pasquale was born on this day in 1978. In 2005, he became a household name after he started to appear regularly on Italian television in Ballando con le Stelle - the equivalent of the US show Dancing with the Stars and Britain’s Strictly Come Dancing. The show, presented by Milly Carlucci, is broadcast on Saturday evenings on the tv channel Rai Uno. Pasquale has also appeared in numerous other television programmes, on stage in musical theatre and as an actor in a television drama. Read more…


Italy's appeal for help with Leaning Tower

Fears of collapse prompted summit of engineers

The Italian government finally admitted that it needed help to save the Leaning Tower of Pisa from collapsing on this day in 1964.  There had been numerous attempts to arrest the movement of the tower, which had begun to tilt five years after construction began in 1173. One side of the tower started to sink after engineers added a second floor in 1178, when the mistake of setting a foundation just three metres deep in weak, unstable soil became clear. Despite several interventions, by 1964, the top of the 180ft (55m) tower was a staggering 17 feet out of alignment with the base. Read more…


Mirella Freni – opera singer

Good advice from Gigli helped soprano have long career

Singer Mirella Freni was born Mirella Fregni on this day in 1935 in Modena in Emilia-Romagna.  Freni’s grandmother, Valentina Bartolomasi, had been a leading soprano in Italy from 1910 until 1927. By coincidence, her mother worked alongside the mother of tenor Luciano Pavarotti in a tobacco factory in Modena. After singing in a radio competition when she was just 10 years old, the tenor Beniamino Gigli advised her to give up singing until she was older to protect her voice. Freni took his advice and resumed singing when she was 17, making her operatic debut at the Teatro Municipale in Modena at the age of 20 in Bizet’s Carmen, and did not retire until more than 50 years later. Read more...


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