Bellissima: Italy and High fashion 1945-1968 at NSU Art Museum | ITSLIQUID

Bellissima: Italy and High fashion 1945-1968 at NSU Art Museum

Fashion | May 30, 2016 |

Bellissima: Italy and High fashion 1945-1968 at NSU Art Museum Image courtesy of NSU Art Museum

Bellissima: Italy and High fashion 1945-1968 at NSU Art Museum 

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale will present Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion 1945 – 1968. The exhibition, on view February 7 through June 19, 2016, explores the remarkable period of creativity in Italy that gave rise to Italian high fashion (alta moda) and was notable for extraordinary contributions in art, architecture, cinema, theater and photography. The exhibition traces the development of Italian high fashion and examines the crucial role Italy played in its international success. Bulgari has a longstanding affiliation with the worlds of fashion as well as art and is proud to present the Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion 1945-1968 exhibition.

 

Bellissima: Italy and High fashion 1945-1968 at NSU Art Museum Image courtesy of NSU Art Museum

 

Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion 1945 – 1968, a project by MAXXI: National Museum of the XXI Century Arts in Rome, is curated by Maria Luisa Frisa, critic, fashion curator and professor at IUAV University of Venice, Anna Mattirolo, MAXXI Art Director and Stefano Tonchi, Editor-in-Chief of W magazine. Bellissima recreates 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.

 

Bellissima: Italy and High fashion 1945-1968 at NSU Art Museum Image courtesy of NSU Art Museum

 

The exhibition also highlights the fluid relationship of fashion design with art, architecture, filmmaking and theater, 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. “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,” said Stefano Tonchi. “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 at NSU Art Museum Image courtesy of NSU Art Museum

 

Featured will be more than 90 designer garments, that define the identity of Italian fashion, revealing its themes and distinguishing features — from spectacular creations that lit up grand ballrooms and theaters, to elegant cocktail dresses, from the distinctive black and white graphic look, to the chromatic explosion of the 1960s, from creations made for the actresses of the so-called Hollywood on the Tiber (with outfits specifically designed for Ava Gardner, Anita Ekberg, Ingrid Bergman, Lana Turner, Kim Novak, Anna Magnani), to results of sophisticated formal research of collaborating couturiers and artists, along with suits and coats that depict luxury expressed as day wear. Also featured will be accessories representing the exceptional Italian craftsmanship and innovation for which the “Made in Italy” brand became known, including costume jewelry, shoes, hats and handbags by such names as Coppola e Toppo, Ferragamo, Fragiacomo, Gucci and Roberta da Camerino.

 

Bellissima: Italy and High fashion 1945-1968 at NSU Art Museum Image courtesy of NSU Art Museum

 

One-of-a-kind jewels from the Bulgari Heritage Collections, part of the exhibition since its inception at the MAXXI in Rome, will showcase the brand’s innovation and experimentation during this key period and role in establishing Italy as an international fashion capital. Among the pieces on loan for the exhibition by private collectors are iconic Serpenti creations in gold with diamonds, rubies or enamel, necklaces from the 1960s in gold with emeralds, rubies, sapphires and diamonds. The exhibition highlights the rise of Italian cinema and role of filmmakers such as Luchino Visconti, Michelangelo Antonioni and Federico Fellini, whose La Dolce Vita reinvigorated interest in Rome. It also includes works by artists such as Luciano Fontana, whose slashed canvases inspired fashion designer Mila Schön.

 

American actress Elizabeth Taylor during a party at the "Lido". Paris, FRANC            E - 02/12/1964Image courtesy of NSU Art Museum

 

The years 1945 to 1968 were seminal to defining high fashion in Italy. In an effort to restore and stabilize the Italian post-World War II economy, significant financial investments were made to support and revitalize the Italian fashion industry. Drawing on a rich artistic and cultural history that was part of their everyday life, designers produced luxury creations that were also practical and helped reactivate textiles, silk and leather factories that provided jobs for skilled craftsmen. The factories were key to the revitalization of Italy’s economy after the war. Not only did the factories put skilled labor back in the workforce; the manufacturers were key advertisers in magazines, which promoted the new stylish and creative Italy.

 

NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale
Through June 19, 2016

 

more. nsuartmuseum.org

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