Italian Style ExhibitionBella Moda
In pretty much every arena, Italy’s distinguished itself as a style standout. Exhibit A: Renzo Piano’s Parca della Musica in Rome. Exhibit B: The Fiat Cinquecento. And we’d be remiss to overlook Exhibit C, the fabulous fashionistas walking the streets of Rome, Florence and Milan to this day. In fashion perhaps more than in any other institution, Italy is a style maestro.
Now the latter is the worthy subject of another kind of exhibit. Through the end of July, The Victoria and Albert Museum’s The Glamour of Italian Fashion, 1945–2014 attempts to educate museum viewers on the style’s allure. The exhibit highlights the designers, businessmen and movie stars who turned Italian style into what it is today. And with glossy photos and original clothing pieces, it explores what makes that style just so seductive.
Educate it does: Displays on ‘50s Florence’s “Sala Bianca” and the ‘70s “Made in Italy” marketing campaign trace the industry’s history, while photos of Liz and Audrey in Italy bring some extra glam. You’ll learn to tell your Mastroianni from your Missoni and a Neopolitan suit from a Roman one. All of it is presented with the scrutiny of a foreign spy analyzing a document for national secrets – and if you stick around long enough, you’ll want to take notes. Because as the exhibit affirms, Italians are supreme in the styleverse. And if you can’t beat them, then you may as well join them.
(Photo courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London)