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'The Glamour of Fashion', 70 years of Italian style

On show at London's Victoria & Albert Museum, April through July

17 March, 17:38
'The Glamour of Fashion', 70 years of Italian style (By Erica Firpo) (ANSA) - London, March 16 - Federico Fellini may have pushed Italian style to center stage with his 1960 classic film La Dolce Vita, but more than a decade earlier, Italy was already stepping to the forefront of fashion. Since the 1940s, silver-screen celebrities, major world figures and international It girls have been styled by Italy's most important designers. On April 5, London's Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum celebrates Italian fashion history with the opening of the exhibition The Glamour of Fashion, 1945-2014.

From postwar pioneers such as designers Emilio Pucci and Sorelle Fontana to 1980s startups like Versace, the Glamour of Fashion documents Italy's meteoric rise in fashion in a comprehensive display of more than 100 outfits and accessories, as well as dozens of vintage and modern photos, videos and documented interviews.

The V&A aims to contextualize the evolution of Italian fashion by featuring iconic pieces like Audrey Hepburn's Gattinoni-designed dress for War & Peace and Elizabeth Taylor's legendary engagement diamonds and emeralds by Bulgari. Additionally, the exhibition features a coterie of names that read like a walk along Milan's high-end Via Napoleone, including pieces from historic houses Valentino, Ferragamo, Gattinoni and Pucci, revolutionaries such as Missoni, Versace and Prada, and newcomers Giambattista Valli, Fausto Puglisi and Valentino's designing duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Petioles.

Simultaneously, The Glamour of Fashion examines the impact of Hollywood films and style icons such as Taylor, Hepburn and Ava Gardner whose roles as unofficial 'ambassadors' of fashion brought Italian style around the world.

"I am thrilled to be celebrating Italy's immense contribution to the international fashion world," shared V&A Director Martin Roth.

"This exhibition will chronicle the development of the legendary Italian style, not only focusing on the familiar but, importantly, casting light on the less well-known designers and stories".

With an already enviable permanent collection that covers four centuries of dress, the V&A is the ideal place for a decades-spanning fashion exhibition. The museum holds the largest and most comprehensive collection of vestments in the world, including rare gowns and evening wear. The Bulgari-sponsored exhibition will be right at home. The Glamour of Fashion opens on April 5 and runs through July 27.

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