Back in the early years of television commercials were little works of art. They involved the best people in film making: best director, best lighting technician, best costume designer and so on. Many famous italian directors worked on these commercials, usually under a pseudonym. Fellini collaborated for the “Barilla Carousels” starring Mina along with his costume designer Piero Gherardi, who directed a number of them in 1966-1967.
At the time Fellini was considering Mina for Il Viaggio di G. Mastorna, in which she was to play an angelic/ethereal figure. Interesting to notice how these commercials seem to reflect Fellini’s ideas for the project. Metaphysical scenarios and extravagant costumes make it look like a dress rehearsal for the movie that never was.
Gherardi was responsible for Mina’s trademark look. He explained to her that flaws, if emphasized, became qualities. He shaved off her eyebrows to accentuate her big eyes and marked her three beauty spots, which she insisted on covering up with make-up, with a black pencil, also adding a fourth one. This way she was perfect for Il Maestro.