As some of you may know if you've been reading my blog for a while, I've previously been lucky enough to get some work experience with the Victoria & Albert Museum. Last time I worked at an event organised by Fashion & Cinema called 'Audrey Hepburn: The Creation of a Style Icon'. All the speakers were fascinating and if you want to read more about the event, you can check out my post on it here.
This time Fashion & Cinema were hosting an event at the same time as the V&A's 'The Glamour of Italian Fashion' exhibition, with speakers discussing the life and legacy of Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo. The speakers (Dr Guiliana Peri of Royal Holloway University and Stefania Ricci, the director of the Ferragamo Museum in Florence) were so interesting, discussing not only Salvatore Ferragamo, but Italy's larger influence on the fashion world. I was lucky enough to just have to check attendees tickets and then I got to sit in on all of the talks! Ferragamo had an amazing life, making his first pair of shoes for his sister when he was just 9 years old, going on to make shoes for stars like Mary Pickford, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, and not to mention inventing the wedge.
As well as getting to work at and go to the Ferragamo event, I was also generously given a complimentary ticket to the Italian Fashion exhibition! Though no one was allowed to take photos inside, I've included press pictures of the main pieces that wowed me as I went through the exhibition, and I honestly cannot recommend going to see it enough. Seeing couture up close was just unreal, and having studied Italian Neorealism I found the historical side of the culture really interesting.
The exhibition is a celebration of all things Italian fashion, displaying tailoring and the rise of ready-to-wear, Italy's relationship with Hollywood, iconic film costumes and finally, outstanding pieces that hit the catwalk a mere 12 months ago. I really can't explain the overwhelming feeling of sheer awe that I felt upon walking into the final room and seeing couture gowns; the detailing was so exquisite and such a pure expression of art. As well as the truly stunning dresses which honestly took my breath away, the V&A had also got hold of various pairs of shoes, bags and jewels; namely the insanely sparkly Bulgari jewels owned by Elizabeth Taylor. I am not really a major diamonds person, but these pieces even made a magpie out of me.
Dolce & Gabbana Ready-To-Wear A/W 2013-14; Giambattista Valli Couture A/W 2013-14;
Versace Couture A/W 2013-14; Valentino Couture A/W 2013-14
Dolce & Gabbana ankle boots, 2000
Elizabeth Taylor's Bulgari Jewels
(Some photographs have been taken from the internet and belong to their rightful owners)
Have any of you been to the exhibition yet? As I said I really recommend it if you haven't been or are umming and ahhing over whether to go or not. It has all been put together beautifully and the pieces on display are amazing. The exhibition is on from April 5th until July 27th, and I just want to say a massive thank you to the V&A for having me once again! It is such an honour to have the chance to work there and to be a very small part of such a quintessentially British institution. I love you V&A!