Victoria & Albert Museum’s Glamour of Italian Fashion Exhibition

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Preceded only by “I love you” and “You were right”, “Made in Italy” is my favorite three word phrase.  It never fails to fill me with a warm and fuzzy feeling (neither do the other two).  So amidst the chaos of new flooring being installed in my flat and uncertain weather, once again cursed by every newspaper in the country’s prediction of a “bbq summer”, I threw on one of my favorite vintage Pucci dresses, sprayed myself in 4160 Tuesdays’ Rome 1963, set my hair (bring it on, English weather!), and stepped out to take in The Glamour of Italian Fashion exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum.

Barely escaping the carnage of a massive DIY project

Barely escaping the carnage of a massive DIY project

I managed to sneak a few photos inside the exhibition before getting told off by one of the security guards.

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1951 Vita Noberasco silk and metal thread lace evening gown and Carosa quilted cocktail dress

1951 Vita Noberasco silk and metal thread lace evening gown and Carosa quilted cocktail dress

Alberto Fabiani front buttoning silk gown and a Sorelle Fontana evening gown with metallic embroidery

Alberto Fabiani front buttoning silk gown and a Sorelle Fontana evening gown with metallic embroidery

This Roberto Capucci cocktail dress with stole looks like an absolute dream to wear.

This Roberto Capucci cocktail dress with velvet stole looks like an absolute dream to wear.

Maria Antonelli evening dress with diamanté designed for actress Sandra Milo

Maria Antonelli evening dress with diamanté designed for actress Sandra Milo

Emilio Pucci 1951

Emilio Pucci 1951

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Bulgari necklace and ring.  the necklace of Colombian emeralds, each surrounded by diamonds, supports a large emerald of 23.44 carats. Burton gave the emerald ring to Taylor in Rome, when they were filming Cleopatra and their love affair began.  He once said of Taylor, 'The only word Elizabeth knows in Italian is "Bulgari".'  My love of Elizabeth Taylor warrants a post of its own another time!

Bulgari necklace and ring. the necklace of Colombian emeralds, each surrounded by diamonds, supports a large emerald of 23.44 carats. Burton gave the emerald ring to Taylor in Rome, when they were filming Cleopatra and their love affair began. He once said of Taylor, ‘The only word Elizabeth knows in Italian is “Bulgari”.’ My love of Elizabeth Taylor warrants a post of its own another time!

The exhibition covers Italian fashion’s rise following World Ward II to present day, which, as you can imagine, is quite a gamut of information.  I loved that about the exhibition, but also sort of hated it as well because I felt that this exhibition could almost have served as a springboard for an entire series of other exhibitions featuring Italian fashion.  The subjects touched upon are terribly interesting to me: the early Sala Bianca shows in the 1950’s which brought Italian fashion to the attention of an international audience, Italian fashion’s ongoing relationship with Hollywood (although I find the earlier parts of this romance a bit more interesting),  tailoring and textile design and manufacturing, and of course the modern day powerhouse that is Italian fashion today.

Personally, as someone with a healthy interest in fashion, where the exhibition is a success is that it has really sparked my imagination and inspired me to find out more about what I saw at the V&A.  Probably a few eBay hunts too.

The Glamour of Italian Fashion is available to see at the V&A until 27th July 2014.

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2 thoughts on “Victoria & Albert Museum’s Glamour of Italian Fashion Exhibition

  1. Et voilà!!….. Like chrysalis to a butterfly, a beautifully attired woman in Pucci emerges from the chaos and mayhem of her major renovation project! 😉 …..
    Seriously if it’s not yet finished you know it’ll all be worth it when it is.
    Agree with you on all things ‘Made in Italy’. From the lilting melody of the spoken language to the all-enveloping beauty of the culture, Italy never fails to amaze me.

    Like

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