Fellini often caricatured the Italian obsession with style by placing his female characters in unsuitably elaborate fashions, such as those worn by Giulietta Masina's sisters and friends in Juliet of the Spirits. There are several examples of these overwrought garments in the museum's second-floor galleries, most notably some huge-brimmed hats covered with miles of tulle and impossibly perfect silk roses. Fellini's parodic eye also focused on folk art; two dresses from Voices of the Moon are decorated with the kind of raffia flowers often found on the handbags tourists buy in Palermo. Elsewhere the costumes are more serious and simply elegant. The second-floor's Travel, Death, and Dreams section features a stunning group of women's traveling suits in black and white velvet, silk, and chiffon from And the Ship Sails On, plus a dark nobleman's outfit made of black damask silk and lace, topped with a plumed black-felt tricorn hat.
The craftsmanship of the clothes on display here is exquisite. Even the most fanciful robes or elaborate gowns are ingeniously designed to accommodate the hyperactivity that Fellini often required of his characters. "Fellini: Costumes and Fashion" is a pleasing homage to the great director, and a fitting tribute to the mastery of Italian tailoring.
"I used to think photography was for nerds, people who had no life," says Josh Matos, an eighteen-year-old senior at South Dade High School. "I thought you took pictures, you put them in a scrapbook, and that was it. Now I look at photographs in a different way."
Matos and three other high school students learned to use photography to express themselves during an eight-month Literacy Through Photography project at Planned Parenthood's Teen Center, a clinic and counseling center for teenagers in Homestead. Miami-based photographer Sharon Gurman Socol sent the group out on assignment with point-and-shoot cameras to take photos that they felt represented their families, their communities, or their dreams. They also took self-portraits and documented what they defined as stereotypes in their neighborhoods and in their schools.
In a small conference room at the Planned Parenthood facility, decorated with charts of the reproductive organs and pictures of birth-control products, the teenagers met weekly with Socol to discuss the resulting pictures; they also wrote essays to describe those images that they felt were most significant. "Let me start by saying that I have a very big, proud, and strong family. Mi familia," Matos writes in text that accompanies a photo of a couple dancing in their small living room as their children look on. Two cowboy hats rest on a sofa in the middle of the room. "Even though we're Hispanic and are considered minorities, we never walk with our heads down."
Other photos by Matos, Patrisa Fairclough (sixteen), Demetrius Gholar (eighteen), and Kawanda Woods (eighteen) depict manicured yards spotted with newly planted palm trees, siblings separated by divorce, a Goodwill outlet, a school study hall, a living room decorated with a Christmas tree, and a small African statue.
An exhibition of the photos, "From Our Point of View: Teens Focus on Their Life Through Words and Pictures," will be on display at the center (370 NE 8th St., Homestead) from April 11 to May 8.
Fellini: Costumes and Fashion. Through April 7. Bass Museum of Art, 2121 Park Ave, Miami Beach; 673-7530.