Sorelle Fontana: A Perfect Wedding Dress

How three sisters came to dress the brides of the century

By Fondazione Micol Fontana

Linda Christian's wedding gown fitting (1949)Fondazione Micol Fontana

27 January 1949: The Wedding of the Century

The name of the Fontana sisters were on everyone's lips after the news about 'the marriage of the century' between Tyrone Power and Linda Christian. An event that had the young generations, only just recovering from the nightmare of the war, dreaming once more. Every girl wanted a wedding dress by Sorelle Fontana.

Photograph of Audrey Hepburn in wedding dress (1952)Fondazione Micol Fontana

How did a Sorelle Fontana bridal gown come into being?

There were endless fittings in front of the mirror. With great skill, Zoe did the cutting with her golden scissors, Micol was in charge of the design and Giovanna took care of the proportions….that is how their wedding dresses were shaped to fit like a glove.


The Sorelle Fontana wedding dress was built up in stages, a characteristic of haute couture. The fashion illustration is often only the starting point: the embroidery, the satin insert, the layers of gauze lining, the strategic solution to adept the dress to the figure of the person destined to wear it: these are the rules for a perfect wedding dress.

Sketch wedding gown (1949)Fondazione Micol Fontana

1949: LINDA CHRISTIAN- 1949 Rome, Italy – Sketch of Linda Christian’s wedding gown , created by Sorelle Fontana 

The Fontana sisters created a white dress for Linda Christian, the beautiful young bride of the popular actor Tyrone Power. The press reports described it as "...very beautiful in embroidered satin..." The national and international journalists, photgraphers and cameramen stationed themselves outside the atelier to know more about the dress - it's shape, the effect... 

Linda Christian's wedding gown fitting (1949)Fondazione Micol Fontana

1949: Rome, Italy
Linda Christian tries in the roman atelier of the Sorelle Fontana. To the right Micol, on the left Giovanna Fontana

Linda Christian's wedding day (January 27, 1949)Fondazione Micol Fontana

January 27, 1949: Rome, Italy
Linda Christian wearing on the day of his wedding, the wedding dress created for her by the Sorelle Fontana.

Linda Christian's wedding gown (1949)Fondazione Micol Fontana

Today
The Linda Christian wedding dress is exhibited in the roman halls of the Fondazione Micol Fontana.

Audrey Hepburn's wedding gown fitting (1952)Fondazione Micol Fontana

Rome 1952: Audrey
Hepburn 

The young Audrey Hepburn was in Rome to film "Roman Holiday", and between filming found the time to have her trousseau and wedding dress made by Sorelle Fontana. The wedding never took place, however the the dress was given to a lovely young employee who wore it for her wedding. 

Photograph of Audrey Hepburn in wedding dress (1952)Fondazione Micol Fontana

1952 Rome, Italy

Audrey Hepburn wearing the bridal dress in the atelier of the Sorelle Fontana with Zoe Helping her

Ava Gardner in the dress designed for the movie "The barefoot contessa" (1953)Fondazione Micol Fontana

AVA GARDNER

1953 Rome , Italy - Ava Gardner married in the fiction "The barefoot contessa"  with a dress designed for her by Sorelle Fontana for the film by Joseph Mankiewicz.

Figurine of the wedding dress and the wedding photography studios with Ava Gardner and Rossano Brazzi (1953)Fondazione Micol Fontana

1953, Cinecittà, Rome

Figurine of the wedding dress and the wedding photography studios with Ava Gardner and RossanoBrazzi for the film "The Barefoot Contessa" by Joseph Mankiewicz. All Ava's dresses were made by Sorelle Fontana

Ballgown for the Soraya Princess of Persia (1956)Fondazione Micol Fontana

Gioia Marconi

August 15, 1954, Dublin, Ireland  - the sketch of Gioia Marconi wedding gown for his wedding  with George Atkinson Braga.

Gioia Marconi's wedding, August 15, 1954, From the collection of: Fondazione Micol Fontana
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Wedding S.A.R. Maria Pia di Savoia and Prince Alexander of Karageorgevie of Yugoslavia (February 12, 1955)Fondazione Micol Fontana

Maria Pia di Savoia

February 12, 1955, Cascais, Portugal, Villa Italia - Marriage S.A.R. Maria Pia di Savoia and Prince Alexander of Karageorgevie of Yugoslavia. The dress was donated by the Sorelle Fontana at the Civic Museum of Venice



 

Margaret Truman's wedding (April 21, 1956)Fondazione Micol Fontana

Margaret
Truman

April 21, 1956, Independence, Missouri – Margaret Truman’s marriage with Clifton Daniel Junior.

Figurine Wedding Dress Margaret Truman, 1956, From the collection of: Fondazione Micol Fontana
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Skrecth of the wedding dress for Margaret Truman

The Margaret Truman’s wedding dress, 1956, From the collection of: Fondazione Micol Fontana
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The Margaret Truman’s wedding dress is now on permanent display at Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, Indipendence, Missouri, USA.

Janet Auchinclos's wedding dress (July 30, 1966)Fondazione Micol Fontana

Janet
Auchincloss

July 30, 1966, Newport, Rhode Island, USA  - Janet Auchincloss, sister of JacquelineBouvier Kennedy, with the wedding dress created for her by Sorelle Fontana  for her marriage to Lewis Rutherford, descendant of Peter Stuyvesant last Dutch governor of New York.

Janet Auchincloss and Lewis Rutherford, July 30, 1966, From the collection of: Fondazione Micol Fontana
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July 30, 1966, Newport, Rhode Island, USA

Janet Auchincloss and Lewis Rutherford

Credits: Story

Selezione, testi e montaggio a cura di :

Massimo Bevilacqua
Luisida Caligaris Papa
Maria Cristina Giusti
Mario Lami
Roberta Lami
Luisella Rastelli
Monica Rech
Amelie Soffietti

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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