Wednesday, 6 November 2013

London celebrates the glamour of Italian fashion

London’s Victoria & Albert museum has today announced its major fashion exhibition for 2014. Named The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014, the display will illustrate the roles that Italian designers and manufacturers played on the global fashion arena from the end of World War II to the present.

Elizabeth Taylor wears Bulgari jewellery at the masked ball, Hotel Ca'Rezzonico, Venice (1967)

Drawing upon research from the archives of Italian fashion houses, museums and private foundations, the exhibition will investigate the aspects that made Italian menswear and womenswear influential over seven decades, namely the use of luxurious and high-quality materials, expert textile production, and reliance on regional manufacturing traditions and processes.

Silk evening dress by Roberto Capucci (1987-1988)
courtesy Roberto Capucci Foundation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

On display will be around 100 garments and accessories by numerous Italian labels including Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Missoni, Prada, Pucci, Mila Schön, Valentino, Giambattista Valli and Versace that will narrate how the international reputation of Italian style has increased over time, from the early 1950s (the decade when Giovanni Battista Giorgini organised the first ‘Sala Bianca’ runway shows in Florence and Hollywood producers opted to shoot films in Italy featuring glamorous actresses such as Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor) to the second decade of the twenty-first century (with examples of how the Italian fashion industry is addressing current shifts in production, press and retail formats).

The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014 will be open to the public between 5 April and 27 July 2014. For more information, visit

Fashion show in Sala Bianca (1955)
photograph by G.M. Fadigati © Giorgini Archive, Florence

Gianfranco Ferre Autumn/Winter 1991 advert with model Aly Dunne
Photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri

Evening dress of embroidered net and matelasse coat (detail) by Mila Schön (1966)
courtesy Maison Mila Schön © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Valentino posing with models nearby Trevi Fountain, Rome (July 1967)
courtesy of The Art Archive / Mondadori Portfolio / Marisa Rastellini

Ankle boots, black leather stiletto heels with gold, white and pink embroidery by Dolce & Gabbana (2000)
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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