Fabio de Benedettis, Germana Marucelli dress, 1950, Chromogenic print, Collezione Enrico Quinto e Paolo Tinarelli.


This major exhibition is a glamorous, comprehensive look at Italian fashion from the end of the Second World War to the present day. The story is explored through the key individuals and organizations that have contributed to Italy’s reputation for quality and style. The exhibition will include both women’s fashion and menswear, highlighting the exceptional techniques, materials, and expertise for which Italy has become renowned.

Posted 26 April 2015

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Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945 will examine Italy’s dramatic transition from post-war devastation to a burgeoning industry facilitated by the landmark “Sala Bianca” catwalk shows held in Florence in the 1950s, propelling Italian fashion onto the world stage.

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday, 1953, Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

During the 1950s and ‘60s several high-profile Hollywood films were shot on location in Italy, which had an enormous impact on fashion as stars like Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor became style ambassadors for Italian fashion, fueling a keen international appetite for luxurious clothing made in Italy.

Roberto Capucci, silk evening dress,
1987-88. Courtesy Roberto Capucci Foundation. Photo ©
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

From the early 1970s, the popularity of couture gave way to enthusiasm for manufactured fashion. Milan became Italy’s new fashion capital. Since the mid-1990s, fashion has become a global trade with Italian designers becoming celebrities, solidifying Italy’s reputation as an international tastemaker. The exhibition concludes with a filmed interview with key fashion industry figures discussing Italian fashion’s future.

Prada Shoes with Flame Detail, Spring-Summer 2012, Courtesy of Prada

Gucci, bamboo-handled pigskin
bag, early 1960s. Photo © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Dolce & Gabbana, leather ankle
boots with gold, white and pink
embroidery, 2000. Photo © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Italian Style includes more than 100 ensembles and accessories by leading Italian fashion houses, including Pucci, Valentino, Gucci, Missoni, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Prada, and Versace.

Mila Schon sequinned evening dress and silk coat . Worn and
given by Princess Stanislaus Radziwill. Worn to Truman
Capote’s Black and White Ball, 1966. Photo © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Tom Ford for Gucci, man’s velvet evening suit, Autumn/Winter
2004/5. Photo © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Tom Ford for Gucci, white silk viscose dress with gold dragon brooch, Autumn/Winter 2004/5.
Photo © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

For its presentation in Portland, the only West Coast venue, the Museum will organize a variety of programs and activities exploring Italian culture and fashion, as well as the emerging fashion scene in Portland. Italian Style is the fourth in a series of exhibitions at the Portland Art Museum exploring design.

Sfilata (fashion show) in Sala
Bianca, 1955, Archivio Giorgini.
Photo by: G.M. Fadigati – Copyright:
Giorgini Archive, Florence

Dolce & Gabbana advertisement,
ready-to-wear, Autumn/Winter
2013/14. Photograph by Domenico
Dolce. advertisement,
ready-to-wear, Autumn/Winter
2013/14. Photograph by Domenico
Dolce. Courtesy Dolce & Gabbana

Giorgio Armani Privé gown, Spring/Summer 2010. Courtesy of Giorgio Armani. Photograph by Gian Paolo Barbieri
for Gianfranco Ferre
advertisement, Fall/Winter 1991.
Model: Aly Dunne.

Organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and curated by Sonnet Stanfill, Curator of 20th Century and Contemporary Fashion at the V&A. The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, with collections unrivaled in their scope and diversity. It was established to make works of art available to all and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Today, the V&A’s collections, which span over 2,000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium and from many parts of the world, continue to intrigue, inspire and inform.
Host Curated by Brian Ferriso, The Marilyn H. and Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Director.

See the Agenda>

1219 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR 97205
+1 (503) 226-2811

Simonetta, evening gown of embroidered silk. Published in Harper’s Bazaar, October 1952. Photograph by Genevieve Naylor. Genevieve Naylor/courtesy Staley-Wise Gallery, New York

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