Inside The Glamour of Italian Fashion Exhibition

May 9, 2014

Italy is good at food, architecture, football and most importantly – fashion. Well, it is shaped like a boot after all. The V & A decided to hold an exhibition on how truly glamorous Italy is. The clothes on display date from the end of the Second World War in 1945 to the current day.

Upon arrival, what sticks out to me the most is a Giamanna Marcelli Red Dress that seemed effortlessly timeless. From, that instant impression, I knew I wanted to come back late at night and steal all the dresses.

But what was interesting to learn is that Italy wasn’t doing so well because of the war and needed an economic boost. They began to focus more on their interest in realist cinema and dressmakers like Maria Grimaldi to boost the profile. It was movies, Roman Holiday and Cleopatra that seemed to put the boot-shaped country back on the map.

After that time, stars flocked to wear the latest Italian fashion, and Ava Gardner owned the best in the exhibition by far with her midnight sky coloured evening dress.

Made In Italy

Then began the made in Italy marketing campaign where all the goods from Italy were stylishly branded to fit their protocol. Quickly with this scheme in mind, Italy became the fashion-forward country it is today with a number of designers that even my little brother will have heard the name of.

The exhibition was not all full of ball gowns and evening dresses. Gianni Versace’s 92 cowgirl outfit was fun and practical. The stitching pattern on the leather chaps was elaborate and interesting, which contrasted against a Valentino couture piece. It was a sequin dress circa 87 that you could have contracted epilepsy from by the sparkles.

Italy’s fashion heels are on fire and to prove that, Prada made a pair of flame shoes in 2012. A bold statement that seemingly worked as the flames trailed off behind the shoe. Almost a bit novelty but would look hot with an LBD.

Robert Cavalli mastered my favourite print in 2007, the leopard print dress that could even make scary spice look sweet. It had a touch of elegance and maturity about it that could not suit a young girl.

Young Hollywood

From silver screen stars to today’s young Hollywood, Selena Gomez’ Atelier Versace dress from the MTV movie awards stood proudly in the exhibition. The colour in the dress is so rich and brings a seductive contrast with the plain maxi and peek-a-boo bustier. The dress has a strong character suited the young Disney star for her coming of age.

The exhibition was rammed with beautiful Italian craftsmanship that could be the perfect wardrobe. Italy may be a rich blonde girl, but she sure does have a taste.

 The exhibition is on till the 27th July 2014.

If you’re interested in Italian glamour, check out this list of classic movies set in Rome.