Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion

Over the next few months the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale, USA, will become host to a stunning exhibition examining a remarkable period in time that gave rise to the iconic world of Italian high fashion. The exhibition, sponsored by Italian fashion giants Bulgari, will examine the creative boom in Italy from 1945- 1968; a time responsible for La Dolce Vita, a period when Italian artists and designers were responsible for incredibly influential contributions in fashion, art, architecture, cinema, theatre and photography.

The exhibition aims to trace the development of Italian high fashion and examine the crucial role that Italian culture played in its international success, recreating the alluring atmosphere of Italian high fashion during a time when designers such as Emilio Schuberth, Sorelle Fontana, Germana Marucelli, Mila Schön, Valentino, Simonetta, Roberto Capucci, Fernanda Gattinoni, Fendi, Renato Balestra, Biki, Irene Galitzine, Emilio Pucci, Fausto Sarli and many others made important contributions to the image of Italy around the world. The exhibition also highlights the fluid relationship of fashion design with art, architecture, filmmaking and theatre, and explores the roles that Rome, Florence, Milan and Venice played in the production and staging of fashion during this extraordinarily creative and productive time.

As Stefano Tonchi, one of the project’s curators, says: “This moment in history laid the foundation for Italy’s future ready-to-wear fashion, and the exhibition traces its beginnings within the social and cultural context. The high fashion of that time was grounded in a strong sense of reality: They were luxury creations, but nonetheless practical; precious, embroidered textiles that had a certain simplicity; short cocktail dresses that allowed for movement; and warm, roomy coats accompanied by oversized handbags. This awareness of reality created an opportunity for a fashion system that truly served its patrons, with garments designed for the life of the modern woman.”

Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion 1945 – 1968 runs until 5th June 2016. All images courtesy of MAXXI.