V&A The Glamour of Italian Fashion exhibition catalogue

The Glamour of Italian Fashion

Sale price £23.95 Regular price £25.00

'This lavish book (with polished gold jacket) traces the rise of the Italian fashion industry, from its beginnings in post-war austerity to the global powerhouse it is today. Beautiful photographs capture the journey, from the Sala Bianca couture shows of the 1950s and the Hollywood films that put Italian fashion on the map, to the iconic brands that still shape the international fashion landscape today.' - The Lady

A Federico Forquet yellow winged evening dress on display at the Victoria and Albert museum's Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014

Published to accompany the major 2014 V&A exhibition, The Glamour of Italian Fashion brings together striking fashion photography, archival material, and previously unseen objects from private collections to explore Italian style. 

With a wide spanning era of 1945 – 2014, the book tells the fascinating story of the development of the luxury high end fashion we associate from Italy. The second World War had left Italy devastated with only 50% literacy and the majority of the population working as land labourers. Giovanni Battista Giorgini, a canny Florentine buyer's agent organised fashion shows at lavish locations such as the Palazzo Pitti and flew in influential U.S. buyers, correctly predicting that the splendour of the clothes and locale were just what the newly flush American public wanted after its release from wartime austerity. The cause was also helped by films such as Roman Holiday, in which Audrey Hepburn – dressed by Edith Head – personified the American fantasy of carefree-yet-elegant Italian style. 

Well-written essays by Stanfill and nearly two dozen other contributors take a panoramic view of their subject, analyzing the materials, makers and presentation of Italian fashion through marketing and media. Free of academic prose and artspeak, the book makes a great read. Designers and labels featured include Emilio Pucci, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Fendi, Missoni, Valentino, Franco Moschino, Gianni Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Miuccia Prada,  Roberto Capucci and Ermenegildo Zegna. 

Flip through the book here.

  • Author: Sonnet Stanfill, Curator of Twentieth Century and Contemporary Fashion at the V&A
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Date published:  March 2014
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1851778171
  • Product Dimensions: 31.8 x 24.7 x 2.4 cm