I had the great opportunity to attend the V&A exhibition of Italian Fashion in Portland, Oregon while I was there. I have always loved fashion and at one point in my life I thought I would become a fashion designer so this was very fun for me. I learned that Italian designers took advantage of the the haute couture trend from Paris and started making well tailored designs for the average woman. It had the effect of reviving the economy of Italy that was desperately needed at that point in time.
What I loved about the show was the variety of items and continuity from 1945 through to present day. They showed woman’s fashion, men’s fashion and trends throughout the period. They included various designers from, Giovanni to Maria Antonelli and beyond.
They discussed the impact of movies on designers. For example Fernanda Gattinoni designed for Ingrid Bergman, Lana Turner and Audrey Hepburn. He also designed several of costumes for the film War and Peace.
The exhibit mentioned an infamous Black and White Ball in 1966 for Truman Capote in which Lee Radziwill (sister of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy) chose an up-and-coming Italian designer and wore a beautiful silver sequined pattern dress with a quilted silver coat which you can see in the exhibition photo’s below.
I loved the Yellow Winged Evening Dress by Federico Forquet for the way it draped and accented a woman’s delicate shoulders and slender neck. I also loved the beautiful red petal dress with red flowers sewn onto a translucent white toile fabric (good photo’s of this dress were difficult to find). There was a bright pink and green silk organza gown that I loved! It reminded me of a modern take on a Japanese Kimono. The bright pink billowed like large waves, it was breath taking in real life. You can see this gown in the video about the event below.
I was not allowed to take any photographs. Fortunately someone was, and I have a Pinterest board below with the items in the show.