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Mad. A world of fashion

I discovered Mad at an exhibition of the Triennale of Milan and immediately fell in love... A strange elf of the fashion milieu, truly an atypical figure, she hardly ever drew men, finding them tedious. Her interest was overwhelming focused on women and their changes. Her “signorine” are bewildered creatures in search of an identity...

The film proposes to be - for the most part - her story, narrated by those who knew her well, but filtered through my gaze.

Maddalena grows up in the reality of an Italian provincial setting of the Sixties but already with dreams of becoming a great artist. The city of her youth is terribly oppressive and her first drawings represent depressed women crushed by custom and often wallowing in torpor. She eventually moves to Milan and enters the world of her tender-age dreams, the fantastic world of fashion and Vogue. She lands a job as journalist, but what she truly desires is to express her particular outlook through drawings and sketches. She becomes a regular collaborator for glossy magazines the likes of Vogue, Elle, The New Yorker. And in due time she convinces her employers to publish her drawings.

Mad has a thoroughly original creative style, one that not only captures and depicts fashion and Italian society, but also expresses the desires, fears and fantasies of contemporary women. Her uncanny ability to analyze the realities of the world around her, combined with unfettered imagination and pure flights of fancy, made her a beloved figure for stylists such as Armani, Ferrè, Missoni and Fiorucci. 

The “Signorine di Moda” tells the story of Mad's battle to establish herself as an artist. Her drawings for "Sette" - the supplement pages of Corriere della Sera - gain popularity and Mad is invited by Bulgari, Mont Blanc, Bardelli and other great design brands to represent them. 

Her subjects are the flat and colorless women of her childhood, the free, sensual and alluring 'signorine' of the fashion world, and the mildly neurotic women of the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties.


Italian title






Italian Distribution

International Distribution

Story and screenplay

Direction of photografy

Sound engineering




Co-direction for animated sequences




Mad. A world of fashion

Il mondo di Mad


Stefilm and Nadasdy Film

In collaboration with Mosaique Film.
With the support of AVRO, SVS, YLE, TSR.

With the support of MEDIA (European Program), Piemonte Doc Film Fund 


Accent Films International (Carol Spycher)

Anna Di Francisca

Andrea Treccani

Giuseppe Ceravolo

Ilaria Fraioli

Paolo Perna

Anna Di Francisca

Zoltán Horváth

Maria Luisa Agnese, Benedetta Barzini, Elio Fiorucci, Riccardo Legnani, Flavio Lucchini, Alessandro Mendini,
Rietta Messina, Rosita e Ottavio Missoni, Franca Sozzani

Selected for the ICFF of Toronto 2014, Trinity College of Dublino: Women in film 2014,
chosen by Donna di Repubblica for the celebration of Women's Day March 8, 2014.


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