Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting the V&A to see The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 – 2014 exhibition. It has been a while since I went to the V&A (Hollywood Costume exhibition in 2012 to be precise) and I was delighted to find the V&A has lost none of its charm, although this time many of the crowds – it was deserted. Arriving early, I had an opportunity to view the textiles halls and take another glance at the permanent fashion exhibition (it’s been more than a while since I last took a look), I even managed to look up and sneak a veiled glimpse of the wedding dress exhibition which is being created on the mezzanine, before finding time to sample the scrumptious cakes (avoiding the ever tempting chocolate muffins as I’ve given up chocolate for lent) in the cafe, and then moving on to the exhibition.
As fashion and costume is my thing, I’ve seen many exhibitions, good and bad, the world over, and this one is certainly worth a visit. Charting the history of the post-war Italian fashion industry, it takes the observer through its modest, albeit luxuriously modest, beginnings with the individual dressmakers, tailors and “made in Italy” label to the thriving multi-million dollar industry that is the Italian fashion industry today.
Personally I was more enthralled by the earlier designs – forgotten smaller designers, dressmakers and tailors – than the latest creations from the big names. Perhaps it was because these garments were produced in a period of post-war austerity by a few creative individuals who had survived so much, or perhaps because its closer to my current one-woman situation of designing and creating unique garments and outfits for glamorous individuals, but this exhibition gave me lots of inspiration… and a delayed night’s sleep as I started reading the first few chapters of the book (one can’t go to the V&A and not buy a book!)
No pictures to share sadly as neither photos or sketches are allowed, but they have a taster on the V&A website: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-the-glamour-of-italian-fashion-1945-2014/