Want great history? Go to England. Great food? aller en France! But if great fashion is what your heart desires then Italy is the only answer. From Missoni and Armani to Versace, Gucci and Pucci; the list reads like a who’s who of fashion royalty, with some of the most prestigious, forward thinking fashion houses of our generation descending from Italy’s luxurious shores.


Image courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

In celebration of Italy’s influential contribution to the fashion world, the Victoria & Albert Museum is exhibiting around 120 of the most sought after ensembles and accessories by world renowned Italian Fashion houses. ‘The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014’ also showcases Italy’s next generation of sartorial talents including couture by Giambattista, and designs from Valentino’s designer duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli.



Images courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The stunning exhibition takes you on a historical journey through the evolution of Italian fashion, from the end of the second world war and the ‘Sala Bianca’ catwalk shows held in Florence in the early 50s through to present day couture and unforgettable iconic designs. The eclectic exhibition also documents the rise of Hollywood film starlets, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, who shot on location in Italy during the 50s and 60s and fast became style ambassadors for luxurious Italian fashion.


Fashion Show in Sala Blanca. Photo by G.M. Fadigati © Giorgini Archive, Florence

Once again the V&A has managed to capture the essence of an occasion in remarkable style, exhibiting a unique collection of high fashion artefacts. Walking through the familiar rooms of the Victoria and Albert Exhibition space I became immersed in Italian fashion of decades past; transported back to a world where couture was king and luxurious fashion ruled. My heart was stolen by Elizabeth Taylor’s astonishing Bulgari emeralds and Dolce and Gabbana’s intricately embellished leather ankle boots, to name but a few of the stunning designs on display.



Images courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

If you consider yourself a true lover of fashion then this exhibition is imperative to truly understanding the influence that Italian design has had on the advancement of fashion and shaping the industry that we know and love today.

 By Jenna Jones


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