Anna Piaggi, the legendary fashion editor known for her bright blue hair and eccentric sense of style, was found dead today at her home in Milan. She was 81 years old.
The Italian iconoclast began her fashion career in the 1960s, and is perhaps best known for her 23-year collaboration with Vogue Italia, where she created her signature and fantastical D.P. Doppie Pagine di Anna Piaggi spreads. Piaggi, who once said “I never wear the same thing twice in public,” was equally known for her magpie wardrobe, which was the subject of a 2006 exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum and a favorite of photographers.
With her penchant for Stephen Jones hats, vintage clothing, colored fur and fearless use of pattern, the Italian iconoclast remained an unmissable presence on the fashion scene to the very end, inspiring designers from longtime friend Karl Lagerfeld to Marc Jacobs, who used her as a muse for his fall 2012 collection.
Jones, companion and collaborator, once described Piaggi’s unique appeal by saying, “It doesn’t have to be Dior with Anna. She’s always worn 1920s shoes with Dolce trousers and a vintage Patou coat and a plastic belt, and a ski pole for a walking stick and crazy blue hair and a funny hat. She’s about the possibility of what fashion can be.”