Very Italian!

I was in London last week and I would highly recommend a visit to the V & A to see the Glamour of Italian Fashion Exhibition. It’s of fashion from post-war through to today and is absolutely beautiful! There are lots of exquisite dresses, (and some fairly dodgy men’s clothes from the ’60’s), which are fantastic to see in the flesh...



Valentino posing with models in Rome, July 1967. Courtesy of The Art Archive Mondadori Portfolio / Marisa Rastellini

Also on show is Elizabeth Taylor’s fabulous emerald jewellery, (well not that surprising as the exhibition IS being sponsored by it’s maker, Bulgari!) Alongside a lot of the exhibits are film and news clips: Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday”, Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in Venice, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor filming and partying (a lot!), Sophia Loren as…Sophia Loren, devastatingly beautiful with THAT smile!
It is hard to imagine the amount of work that went into these dresses, and there’s a film from the 50’s showing just how much work there was involved.
The final room of the show is a bit like last year’s Bowie Exhibition, once in there you know it’s almost over, but you don’t want to leave and the magic to dissolve. It is dark, and the room is like a tent, there are about 20 outfits on white blank mannequins, behind which is an enormous projection of fashion shows and of different outfits, some of which are close ups. On either side of the room are small vitrines, one with an amazing pair of “flame” shoes. But almost my favourite part of the show is on the remaining wall. There are a series of black and white photo shots, (including the one for Gianfranco Ferre which is used for the catalogue), and are absolutely stunning, worthy of the visit to the show alone. Two of them hark back to renaissance portraits in profile of women, and have a dream like quality. I was hoping that there may be a postcard available, but I left empty handed.
It runs until 27th July.