The Genteel
February 25, 2021

Claudia Costa

Viennese painter Gustav Klimt is famous for his allegoric portraits of voluptuous women and golden geometric motifs. His more chaste works, however, depict wealthy members of the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy, and provide stunning visual insight into Belle Époque fashion. Claudia Costa unveils the story behind these paintings and explores Klimt's ventures into fashion. 

By Claudia Costa

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Claudia Costa

Maastricht The Netherlands

Claudia Costa contributes to The Genteel from Maastricht, Netherlands. She comes from Milan, Italy's fashion capital. A media student and freelance journalist, she wrote for the European Journalism Center, the Culture Trip, Oh My News International and sees fashion as a key to interpret different societies and times. Claudia is interested in uncovering underground fashion and design trends. 

Can art help troops overcome the trauma of war by creating a parallel dimension? Can it help make sense of reality, as if the world was being observed through a looking glass? To find out, Claudia Costa asked British illustrator Matthew Cook, a war artist during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts for The Times of London. 

Once home to Maastricht's Crutched Friars, a Roman Catholic religious order, Kruisherenhotel Maastricht is a unique example of how old and new architecture can coexist in perfect harmony. Located just a few steps away from Maasticht's main attractions, the refined design hotel is quickly becoming a new highlight for tourists and visitors.

Elizabeth Taylor's legacy lives on through The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor - an exhibition, world tour, and sale hosted by renowned auction house, Christie's. The collection is extraordinary not just for its beauty or market value, but rather, the charming stories attached to each piece, revealing one of the greatest Hollywood romances of all time.

One of the lesser-known centres in the Netherlands is the old city of Maastricht. Thanks to its location at the heart of Europe, the city attracts students, expatriates, artists and designers from many European countries. Claudia Costa speaks to Nawie Kuiper, one of the founders of the FASHIONCLASH foundation, an international platform eager to promote new designers and artists through a network of initiatives.

FASHIONCLASH is a bottom-up fashion and design event that brings together new designers in Maastricht for a three-day burst of creativity. Claudia Costa visited the second day of this unique yearly marriage of art, fashion and design and uncovered a world full of surprises. 

Milan's Teatro alla Scala is known as "the temple of opera," but few are aware of the intensive backstage work that allows the magic to happen. Claudia Costa paid a visit to the theatre's costume workshops to discover what happens behind the red velvet curtain.

Every year, Maastricht welcomes art lovers and collectors from all over the world for TEFAF. Among one of the most renowned trade fairs in the field of art and antiques, the exhibition celebrated its silver jubilee at the end of March. Claudia Costa spent an afternoon at TEFAF to discover the event's charm and luxury.

Italy has endured recent notoriety and scrutiny on the world stage for its poor financial situation. Yet, despite the discouraging climate, local creativity is still flourishing. Claudia Costa spoke with fashion blogger, Alessandra Pepe, about Milan's underground design scene and paid a visit to the Ohmydolls Milano showroom in search of inspiration.

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