A Simple Story…with a Shocking Ending

I am something that can’t be seen, yet I exist in every dream. I’m what you use to make believe, and all the things that you conceive.

What am I?

In the late 1960’s through the 1970’s there was an Italian fashion house that season after season, year after year, designed meticulously crafted, elegant and sensual luxury fashion that was in a class of its own. Its founder, the gregarious and lordly Giancarlo Davici fueled the house’s meteoric rise at a time when fashion icons, like Louis Vuitton, Oscar de la Renta, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, defined the essence of haute couture and constructed the styles that established made-to-order fashion.  For House Davici, their dramatic rise was marked with one tiny, little caveat. See, unlike “official” Haute-Couture houses which, “…must design made-to-order clothes for private clients, with more than one fitting, using an atelier (workshop) that employs at least fifteen fulltime staff. They must also have twenty fulltime technical workers in one of their workshops”, House Davici had none of that.

That was the allure, the fascination that surrounded Davici. There was no workshop, no head designers, technical designers, pattern designers or makers, tailors or seamstresses. There was just “The Quintessential” Creative Director – Giancarlo Davici. Season after season, year after year, Davici’s creations defined and set the standard for high fashion. The fabrics were always exquisite and fine, the patterns mesmerizing and sacred, the colors blended together with balance and radiance and the designs were fluid, seductive and refined.

And, year after year, season after season the secret behind the location of House Davici’s workshop and staff remained as guarded and secured as some of the greatest secrets could be, like the formula for Coke or who shot Kennedy. 

And, that is what ultimately would lead to the exposure and demise of Davici.  By 1977, the founding Haute-Couture houses had enough of the younger upstart’s stranglehold on the fashion industry and the press had enough of the concealment and secrecy that was Davici. And so, the two institutions partnered to uncover the truth.

Every season, those Haute-Couture Houses that were members of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM), which is the governing body of haute couture as an art form, would present a collection of at least 50 original designs to the public, both day and evening garments, in January and July of each year. This cycle, since the inception of the FHCM in 1868, had become the rhythm for the fashion industry and House Davici. As soon as the first collection of the year was finished in January the next collection was setting-up and revealing itself in February and that was the same for the collection that finished in July.

Giancarlo Davici’s routine during the months of February/March and August/September were set in stone and well thought out. There was no room for deviation and that’s why he was steadfast in his obedience. Every February and August he would take a clandestine trip to the Italian countryside and spend the next 2 months in almost solitude. Since he knew from the onset that people would begin tracking his whereabouts from his home in Milan, his journey took 2 weeks through multiple countries and forms of travel, all to allude would-be followers. And that was the case on August 17, 1977 when he ended up at a property fortified by Italian Cypress trees and a 1 ½ mile long driveway banked on both sides by Cypress and Oak trees that led to a typical, non-descript house in the Italian countryside.  A house where all the windows were covered and a very thick, castle like wooden door guarded the entrance to deter would-be trespassers. 

This home didn’t really feel like a home at all.  First, there was very little furniture. A table here and a seat there, but for all intents and purposes, no real furniture.  Second, and maybe most importantly, the entire house was dark and since the windows had all been covered, not even natural light was offered entry.  Following the faint sound of a sewing machine Giancarlo slowly and cautiously navigated his way and reached a room in the back of the house. Opening the door the blackness that enveloped the room wasn’t devoid of all of its light and revealed the faint outline of a figure in the corner. Giancarlo found the switch on the wall and flipped it on. And there he was, sitting at a sewing machine in the corner, surrounded by an explosion of fabric patterns and colors in every stage of the design process.

Giancarlo Davici’s real name was Agostino Ianuzzi and his brother, who was blinded by a mine in a field by their home during WWII when he was just 5, the same brother who sat at the sewing machine creating masterpiece after masterpiece, was Massimo Ianuzzi. Unbeknown to the rest of the world, Massimo was the creative director, head designer, technical designer, pattern designer, pattern maker, tailor and seamstress of House Davici. It was this way because Agostino, the older brother, made a pact that he would forever care for and protect his younger brother.  But, how life had a way of turning the tables.  

Who would ever pay for and wear Haute-Couture quality clothing from a blind fashion designer? 

It just didn’t make sense.  So, the brothers continued their ruse season after season and year after year.  Until a private investigator, funded by a select group of FHCM members uncovered the 13-year House of Davici secret. Once it was leaked to the press, the House’s fate was decided.  Davici fell into bankruptcy and ruin not long after and the brothers were forever banished for their deception. Who would ever pay for and wear Haute-Couture quality clothing from a blind fashion designer?

Here is the moral of the story.

There is a creative force that, when tapped into, can produce masterworks of art, music and science. 

The same creative force that made it possible for a deaf Beethoven to create works of musical genius, the force that made it possible for a blind Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles to do the same, and the force that worked through Einstein to reveal Relativity. It operates outside of our 5 senses and goes by many different names but you know its most common name, imagination.

Please note: This is a fictional, imagined story.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top