The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014
The V & A
Sponsored by Bulgari
5 April – 27 July 2014
www.vam.ac.uk/italianfashion | #ItalianFashion
The V&A’s spring exhibition, The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014, is the first major show to examine Italy’s rich and influential contribution to fashion from the end of the Second World War to the present. It focuses on the defining factors unique to the Italian fashion industry – the use of luxurious materials; expert textile production; specialist, regional manufacturing; and its strength as a source of both dynamic menswear and glamorous womenswear.
Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Fendi, Gianfranco Ferré, Gucci, Missoni, Prada, Pucci and Versace,through to the next generation of talent including couture by Giambattista Valli, bold ready-to-wear from Fausto Puglisi and work from Valentino’s designer duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo
Piccioli. During this period, stars like Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor became style ambassadors for Italian fashion, fuelling a keen international appetite for luxurious clothing made in Italy.
I wonder what many men really think of ladies fashion. Obviously there is a sexual element to that question however, ask 10 ladies whether they dress for themselves or for the purpose of attracting the opposite sex and you should probably expect 10 different answers, and I do not say that to create any hostility but to make an observation. In fact it would be quite tricky to give an exact answer to that question myself.
However if you are a romantic, like myself, I am sure attraction will have been impacted by the world of entertainment. This is certainly the case for me, growing up on the glamour of Hollywood, their movie stars and the lifestyle they lived. In fact I miss this, it’s a shame that everyone thinks we are all interested in what they buy from Sainsburies or trying to persuade the rest of the world that their lives are just the same. They are not the same, nor would I want it to be. Maybe the world sometimes should remember the phrase “opposites attract” and stop trying to make us all the same.
So back to “The Glamour of Italian Fashion at The V & A”….
Even if you know very little about fashion, its designers and the like, but you love stories, beauty, romance and a good dose of nostalgia I am sure you will genuinely appreciate a visit to this exhibition.
For me it reminds me of my mother and growing up in the London suburbs in the early seventies.
The exhibition charts how post war Italy turned its attention to producing glamorous outfits for the rich and famous which understandably focused on American boutiques and Hollywood stars. Interestingly however two of those stars were British, one being Elizabeth Taylor who’s relationship with actor Richard Burton filled the newsreels and magazines with not only steamy copy but iconic imagery which The Italian PR and Paparazzi machine lapped up.
And think of a quintessential post war movie that summed up The Glamour of Italian Fashion and I am sure “Roman Holiday” would not be far from one’s mind.
Go and surprise your loved one with a stroll through the stories, see some beautiful outfits, watch fantastic selection of black and white films which have been creatively montaged with stills and imagery, then stop off for an Italian coffee or galati and you can pretend you are Gregory Peck and try to recreate that famous scene in the movie where Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn put their hands into the Bocca della Verità or in english The Mouth of Truth.
BULGARI LEAD SPONSOR OF V&A “THE GLAMOUR OF ITALIAN FASHION 1945-2014” Bulgari UK (Ltd) is in partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum, as lead sponsor of The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014, which features heritage jewels from the Bulgari collection once owned by Elizabeth Taylor.