Fontana, Giovanna (1915–2004)

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Fontana, Giovanna (1915–2004)

Italian designer. Born Nov 27, 1915, at Traversetolo, southeast of Parma, Italy; died Aug 11, 2004, in Rome; dau. of a dressmaker who owned a dress shop; youngest sister of Zoe (died 1979) and Micol Fontana; children: Giovanni and Roberta.

With sisters, opened 1st dress shop (1943), in Rome; came to prominence designing the wedding dress of Linda Christian for her wedding with Tyrone Power (1949), as well as Margaret Truman's; became associated with celebrities, creating costumes for Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday (1953) and Ava Gardner in The Barefoot Contessa (1954), and the memorable black dress worn by Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita (1959), among others; eventually created a demand for Italian clothes, moving some of the power of the fashion industry out of France; also designed for Jacqueline Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor and Soraya.

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