Michelle Yeoh, the Oscar-winning actress was once Cittadellarte’s terstimonial for sustainable fashion
The Malaysian actress of Chinese origin has won the world's oldest and most prestigious film award for her performance in the film "Everything Everywhere All At Once". Let us recall, for the occasion, Michelle Yeoh’s contribution to "Made in Forests", a short film shot mainly at Cittadellarte by the crew of UN Live United Nations Web TV and UNECE: the work illustrates the production process of a sustainable garment made with materials coming from forests by casting the spotlight on a dress tailor-made for her by one of B.E.S.T.'s fashion designers, Tiziano Guardini. The actress then wore Guardini's garment at that year's High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, held at the United Nations Building in New York.

Everything Everywhere All at Once, a 2022 film written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert under the pseudonym of The Daniels, has now been trending for a few days. It could not be otherwise: the work won 2 Golden Globes and, most recently, 7 Oscars at the 95th Academy Awards, held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on 12 March 2023. On this occasion, the prize for Best Actress in a Leading Role was awarded to Michelle Yeoh, for the first time in the history of the Oscars to an Asian actor. As Cittadellarte, we symbolically join in the celebrations of the most prestigious and oldest film award in the world: in 2018 the Malaysian actress of Chinese origin was the protagonist of a short film dedicated to sustainable fashion shot in the very spaces of Fondazione Pistoletto. So let’s look back at the project that saw her involved as testimonial: in the April of five years ago, Cittadellarte was the setting for the shooting of the film Made in Forests, produced to cast the spotlight on the development and production processes undergone by a sustainable garment made with materials from forests, i.e. in Tencel™ fibre-cellulose; behind the scenes of the special documentary were UN Live United Nations Web TV and UNECE/FAO (specifically the Forestry and Timber Section of the United Nations European Economic Commission). What better context for shooting a film on the theme of sustainable fashion than the studios of Cittadellarte Fashion B.E.S.T.? Besides this ‘active’ and representative backdrop, the short film made use of the work of fashion designer Tiziano Guardini, who created a special dress for the film’s protagonist, Michelle Yeoh herself. As the name of the project suggests, the film focused on the ‘forest story’ narrated through the supply chain and the creative design and production processes, and concluded detailing the different phases of Guardini’s dress making. The video also shows the actress’s arrival at the Pistoletto Foundation (“My dress and my jacket,” the actress said in the short film, “will be made here, at Cittadellarte, a place where artists come together to explore the connections between their work and broader social issues”) and also features her in conversation with Michelangelo Pistoletto (“Fashion,” said the artist, “is very important, because it brings aesthetics into society. But for me this is not enough, we also have to bring ethics”) and with Tiziano Guardini, who, for Michelle Yeoh, “represents a great awareness of ethics and of production that a young generation of creative artists brings to the fashion industry”.

L’Oscar a Michelle Yeoh.

The film explicits a clear connection to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations: inspired by the 2030 Agenda, one of the objectives of the documentary was in fact to demonstrate the importance of forests in the world of sustainable fashion, making people aware of a conscious and harmonious vision of the relationship between environment, ethics and fashion. In the same year, from 25 to 27 June, fashion designers Flavia La Rocca, Silvia Giovanardi and Silvio Betterelli too created Tencel™ items of clothing in the Fashion B.E.S.T. studios for the project “Forests for Fashion – Fashion for Forests”. These creations came together in New York, where the work of the fashion designers was showcased and the film Made in Forests was screened for the first time at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, focused on the theme of Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing World, which took place from 10 to 19 July at the United Nations Headquarters. For the occasion, Michelle Yeoh wore the dress made by Tiziano Guardini, and the clothes made by Flavia La Rocca, Silvia Giovanardi and Silvio Betterelli were exhibited in a dedicated section for the course of the Forum. In the context of the New York Forum, Cittadellarte also played a leading role with its director Paolo Naldini giving a keynote speech on sustainable fashion. See the full short film below.

“I am particularly happy that Michelle Yeoh has won the Oscar this year,” said Paolo Naldini, director of Cittadellarte, “an Ambassador of the United Nations, she is the living representation of the crucial connection between fashion and the orientations and values underlying the most pressing choices of our time, the prerogative of not only each of us, but specifically of the most relevant political organisation in the world. In this capacity, Michelle Yeoh took part in Cittadellarte Fashion B.E.S.T.’s programmes on sustainable fashion thanks to the vision and commitment of our Rebirth/Third Paradise ambassador Paola Deda, who plays an important role at the United Nations in Geneva, particularly for the protection of forests. When I took part in the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York, where Michelle wore the dress designed by Tiziano Guardini and produced in the studios of Cittadellarte Fashion B.E.S.T.,” he added, “I declared that with respect to the third world war (which has already broken out between humans and nature, and therefore between humans and themselves), sustainability is the antidote. Those who practise preventive peace – like Tiziano, and the designers and companies that make up Cittadellarte’s platform on sustainable fashion – are the bodies of peace which we must not only shield, but become part of. Congratulations to Michelle Yeoh,” Naldini concluded, “for her extraordinary success and for her mission as an ambassador of peace, which we are honoured to share”.