Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014

Here's something to whet the appetite for next year: a forthcoming exhibition at London's Victoria & Albert Museum on The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014, focusing on the clothes, shoes, designs, and the glamorous people who wore them ... here we have a rare photo of Audrey Hepburn in 1954 with shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo, and below, Elizabeth Taylor looking moderately over the top in 1967 at a masked ball in Venice. 

The blurb says: The museum’s crack team of experts has spent three years sourcing pieces from its own archive, designers’ collections and private archives to put together the show. It’s the first exhibition of its kind and will chart the transformation of the Italian fashion industry, beginning with the devastation of the Second World War through its world domination in the 1980s and 1990s until the present day. Which means that you’ll get to see pieces from the labels that are synonymous with Italian catwalks -  Gucci, Versace, Pucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Missoni – alongside names that were once hugely influential but now forgotten, and today’s rising stars.
Between the rooms focusing on couture and craftsmanship, the sporty, ready-to-wear labels that caught the attention of America, and the va-va-voom, more-is-more style that we love about Italian labels, the exhibition will also look at the influence that Hollywood stars had on the rise of Italy in the style stakes thanks to their much photographed shopping trips during film shoots. So there are pieces picked up by Audrey Hepburn in Ferragamo and three incredible pieces of jewellery made for Elizabeth Taylor by the exhibition’s sponsor, Bulgari.
Looking forward, the curator, Sonnet Stanfill, is also keen to address what the future holds for the Italian fashion industry now that it has to compete with Chinese fast fashion and labels around the globe. 
The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 - 2014
There is even a tie-in joint ticket available for the exhibition plus lunch or dinner at The Ritz Restaurant, for a reasonable £74. We are reminded "Please note that Gentlemen are required to wear a jacket and tie to reflect the ambience and style of the restaurant. We thank you for not wearing sports shoes and jeans, as these are not permitted. The Ritz sample menu is subject to change.". Well, if one is going to push the boat out .... 

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