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photo of Maria Callas with Biki
Art, Fashion, History & Politics, Literature, Music, Photography, Theater & Dance

Becoming Biki

Prof. Simona Segre Reinach in conversation with Grazia D'Annunzio

March 17, 2021
5:00 pm

AdDRESSing Style
Becoming Biki
Simona Segre Reinach, University of Bologna
in conversation with
Grazia D’Annunzio, Università Statale di Milano

Broadcast on our Facebook page and website

Her grandfather was Giacomo Puccini. One of her closest friends was Toscanini’s daughter. She belonged to the Milanese upper class, had a cosmopolitan upbringing, and lived a life of privileges. She also loved fashion, and in spite of her high-ranking family’s wishes decided to go work, quickly becoming one of the most famous Italian couturieres. During a career that spanned 50 years, Biki – full name Elvira Leonardi Bouyeure – dressed society ladies, movie stars, and the Divina “par excellence” Maria Callas. The famous soprano got her historic makeover in Biki’s atelier and forged with her Pygmalion a long-lasting friendship.

Simona Segre Reinach is a cultural anthropologist and a Professor of Fashion Studies at the University of Bologna. Author of several books, she recently digged into Biki’s archives and published for Rizzoli Biki: French Vision for Italian Fashion.