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Simonetta, evening gown of embroidered silk

Simonetta, evening gown of embroidered silk. Published in Harper’s Bazaar, October 1952 [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Feb 7-May 3] Photograph by Genevieve Naylor. Genevieve Naylor/courtesy Staley-Wise Gallery, New York

Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945

Portland Art Museum
Portland OR – Feb 7-May 3, 2015

Dolce & Gabbana, leather ankle boots with gold, white and pink embroidery

Dolce & Gabbana, leather ankle boots with gold, white and pink embroidery (2000), [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Feb 7-May 3] Photo © Victoria and Albert Museum, London


Photograph by Gian Paolo Barbieri for Gianfranco Ferre advertisement
Photograph by Gian Paolo Barbieri for Gianfranco Ferre advertisement, Fall/Winter 1991, Model: Aly Dunne [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Feb 7-May 3] ©Gianpaolobarbieri


Roberto Capucci, silk evening dress
Roberto Capucci, silk evening dress, 1987-88, [Portland Art Museum, Portland OR, Feb 7-May 3] Courtesy Roberto Capucci Foundation. Photo © Victoria and Albert Museum, London


Organized by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, this comprehensive exhibit highlights the major figures in Italian fashion over the last 70 years. Glamour, tailoring and trendsetting are a few of the themes captured by this incredible overview of garments created by some of fashion’s most notable players, including Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Pucci, Prada and Versace.

The exhibit chronicles both women’s fashion and menswear from the end of World War II to the present day, a time when the burgeoning fashion industry became a cornerstone of Italy’s post-war recovery. The luxurious Sala Bianca catwalk shows held in Florence in the 1950s garnered international attention, putting Italian designers on the world stage. The exquisite outfits worn by Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and other Hollywood actresses in films shot on location in Italy also helped popularize Italian style in the ’50s and ’60s. By the 1970s, Milan had grown to be the country’s fashion capital and Italian designers to be central in the world of style, known for their techniques, materials and expertise.

The more than 100 ensembles and accessories in the show trace this evolution of style and design. At the conclusion of this stunning exhibit is a filmed interview with key fashion industry figures who reflect on the future of Italian fashion.

Portland is the only West Coast venue on the show’s American tour.

Allyn Cantor


 Tue, Apr 7, 2015