Highsnobiety

Fashion Obscura is Highsnobiety's series voyaging through the annals of under-appreciated fashion history.

Cannes is coming to a close, signaling the advent of my annual duty: to remind people of the time porn star, politician, and Jeff Koons' soon-to-be-wife Ilona Staller — AKA Cicciolina — attended the swanky film festival nearly naked.

Staller rose to international fame for her doomed relationship with Koons, who depicted the duo having sex in his controversial series "Made in Heaven." But the Hungarian-Italian was destined to make history, with or without the high-profile relationship.

To briefly recap Staller's unconventional career path: in the early '70s, she met pornographer Riccardo Schicchi and, with his help, landed roles in several pornographic films, including the famous Carne Bollente.

While building her pornography career under the stage name Cicciolina, Staller became involved with the nuclear disarmament and animal rights movements in Italy, eventually leading her to join the country's Green Party. In 1979, the party presented her as a parliamentary candidate.

In 1985, though, she turned her attention to the libertarian Radical Party, focused on human rights, disarmament, and abortion. When the Radicals asked her to run for Parliament in the Lazio district, she accepted and in 1987, she was elected to office.

Regarded by some as a feminist icon, Staller wielded her sexuality as a political tool — and used it to poke fun at the institutional, boy's club mentality of politics. Instead of addressing male members of Parliament as "Your Honor," she called them cicciolini, a masculinization of her stage name that loosely translates to "cute little tubby boys."

In 1988, she attended Cannes on behalf of the Italian government, an opportunity she milked to the fullest extend. Clinching herself a spot in red carpet hall of fame, the politician wore a gauzy dress with ample cut-outs that bared her breasts, stomach, and legs. She completed the look with a flower crown, fishnet thigh-highs, and a Popples stuffed animal, a children's toy that would soon become her signature.

The daring ensemble is still ridiculed to this day, but I like to think that Cicciolina was — and still is — way ahead of her time. La vita è radicale, baby!

We Recommend
  • Punk
    Pearls, Pins, and Provocateurs: A Timeline of Punk in Fashion
    • Culture
  • Kim Kardashian & Lala Anthony at Fanatics' 2024 Super Bowl party
    The Super Bowl Was Almost More Fashion Than Fashion Week
    • Style
  • schiaparelli couture spring 2024 show
    Schiaparelli's Robot Baby Is Already a Couture Star
    • Style
  • Zegna Milan Fashion Week FW24.
    James Blake Turned ZEGNA's Milan Show Into a Spectacle (EXCLUSIVE)
    • Style
  • Patrick Dempsey seen during the Venice Film Festival 2023 red carpet for 'Ferrari'
    Breaking: Patrick Dempsey Still Hot
    • Culture
  • Image on Highsnobiety
What To Read Next
  • satisfy our legacy
    Satisfy & Our Legacy Have Mastered Running Gear (Again)
    • Style
  • WSR main Feb week 5
    From Nike to Salomon, Browse This Week’s Best Sneaker Releases
    • Sneakers
  • rassvet Julian Klincewicz
    RASSVET x Julian Klincewicz Turns Poetry Into Clothing
    • Style
  • best-stores-in-berlin
    A Guide to the Best Shopping in Berlin
    • Style
  • New Balance's 550 sneaker in spring 2024 colorways including patent leather & suede
    New Balance's 550 Sneaker Colorways Are Getting Crazy
    • Sneakers
  • Rick Owens' Fall/Winter 2024 womenswear collection at Paris Fashion Week
    Making a Monster at Rick Owens FW24 (EXCLUSIVE)
    • Style
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titel Media GmbH (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titel Media GmbH strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titel Media GmbH tests, remediates and maintains the Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.