Friday, June 12, 2020

MADE IN ITALY by John Crawford

I have just discovered a wonderful TV series on SBS On Demand (Australia only) called 'Made In Italy'. It's set in 1974, in a turbulent period in Milan, the home of Italian fashion, and it's based on the exploits of a young woman trying to break into not just the fashion world, but a paying job.

For an Italophile like me, it's just the perfect entertainment, because the production emulates the slightly 'faded' colouration of films of the period, along with a hectic script based on the workings of 'Appeal', a fictitous fashion magazine. The atmosphere inside the magazine's offices can only be described as chaotic and manic, on an Italian scale. But, the chaos is appropriate to the era and the lifestyle of the characters.


I was in Italy, for my first visit, in 1976 (below), just before a key national election, where the Communist Party was polling strongly. This highlighted the dilemma of most Italians at the time.

They wanted change. The policies and platform of the Communist Party appealed to Italians' demand for more equality, but the trouble was most Italians did not want the Communists to form a government, because Italy is capitalist to the core, actively promoting the 'idea' that every Italian male could be a self-made man - in contemporary terms - every man imagined himself as Silvio Berlusconi with wall-to-wall wealth, glamourous women and parties.

Italy is a wonderful country, with warm-hearted and happy people, great food/wine/music/language/culture and history. It's also a fashion pacesetter, and the birthplace of some of the fastest, most beautiful cars in the history of the automotive industry. What's not to like?

My wife and I have visited many times, and are totally besotted by anything Italian, so 'Made In Italy' is a wonderful escape to Italy.

During my time as a car magazine editor, I spent some time at a women's magazine, trying to put together a 'cars as fashion' feature, and the atmosphere was just as chaotic as depicted in 'Made In Italy'.


Of course there IS a car as part of the cast - a humble FIAT 850 sedan.



John (Giovanni) Crawford


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