In Praise of the Late Piero Tosi, the “Costume Designer’s Costume Designer”

Aug 28, 2019 450

BY: Hamish Bowles

The revered and influential costume designer Piero Tosi, who died this month at the age of 92, was an alchemical genius whose fetishistic attention to period detail was matched by the perfectionism of the great directors with whom he collaborated—Visconti, Pasolini, Zeffirelli, and De Sica among them.

“A giant has left us,” says Tony Award–winning costume designer William Ivey Long, “and he has left all of us an indelible visual cornucopia of breathtaking, heart-stoppingly beautiful images.” For Arianne Phillips, he was an “icon” whose work represents “a culture and a time in filmmaking where artistry was king.” “No one ever surpassed him,” adds Sandy Powell, for whom he was “the maestro: the costume designer’s costume designer.”

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