“I think if you have any sort of intelligence you can’t succumb to adoration because people adore so many things. They also adore things that you think quite worthless so you can’t take it too seriously.”
The Fontana sisters, Micol, Zoe and Giovanna, designed this dress for Ava Gardner to wear in the 1954 film “The Barefoot Contessa.” Gardner was a devoted client of the Fontana Sisters, on and off the screen, and her patronage helped them to gain notoriety and achieve the success they did, particularly in America. The 1950s in particular saw great success for the house, as they designed for many American actresses and luminaries as well as Italian dignitaries and aristocrats. Known for their wasp-waisted, full-skirted evening dresses dripping with style, the sisters used high-quality, beautiful materials and frequently decorated the sumptuous silks and velvets with exquisite embroidery, as evidenced in this example.