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Friday, 25 July 2014

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014 @ V&A, SW7. Until 27 July. Prices = £8 to £20

Evening dress of silk 
designed by Roberto Capucci 1987-1988

Once, when I was a barista in Shepherd’s Bush Empire, a rock’n roll consumer told me French people created perfume because they didn’t wash. After a small pause, he asked if I were French. One of the Bad Seeds, who had just played with Nick Cave, asked for a Red Stripe and told me we can’t prevent cunts to inhabit the planet. Nevertheless, I discreetly double checked my armpits and concluded they smelt just fine.
Didn’t we French people also create fashion and style? Once, a Freemason in the Covent Garden temple where Film London (LFC at the time) had a party told me “You French people think you have invented everything!

After being invited to the The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014 coffee morning at the V&A (Mea Culpa for the late post), I realised not only that Italy were masters in terms of style but I also admired them for achieving such change after a chaotic WWII and a fascist intern conflict.
My interest in that exhibition is not so much the luxury of the beautiful garments, but the way Italian people managed to emerge quickly after the devastated war and created beauty, style and long term quality on an international level.
Italy stepped out of its fascist label and faced the world with a new glamour image while Rossellini’s Rome, Open City (1945) impacted the world on a new way of film making thanks to or because no studios wereas available... Cinecittà was a refugee camp.

The exhibition is divided in five sections: Return to Luxury; Tailoring; Made In Italy; Cult of the Fashion Designer; Italian Fashion Future.

Sonnet Stanfill, the curator of The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014 explained that it took five year in the making with an extraordinary research team at the V&A and an intensive work to clear rights to use images and film clips related to the exhibition – Liz Taylor and Audrey Hepburn were somehow ambassadors of Italian glam. An advice here: don’t go with your high heels... it is a trek through kilometres of catwalks’ garments.

When Cinecittà re-opened its doors to studio film making, Rossellini again shot in 1954 Journey to Italy opening an international gate via Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders but also exposing places like Capri, Naples and Pompei. From early 50’s to late 60’s, the wave of North American actors and film makers “invaded” Cinecittà for its cheap cost and glamour life (see link below for post on The Years of La Dolce Vita at Estorick).
Italian fashion creators were from all parts of Italy and all regions/places of Italy had/has its specific “trade” as explained in the Made In Italy film: Milan with silk; Florence as the centre for the fashion industry; Tuscany for leather etc.

The exhibition offers an extensive and expansive display of around 100 ensembles and accessories by leading Italian fashion houses including Simonetta, Pucci, Sorelle Fontana, Valentino, Gucci, Missoni, Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Prada and Versace, through to the next generation of fashion talent. There is also a tribute to fashion photographers and a re-invention of fashion photography with Benetton’ Oliviero Toscani.

The last section documents the Italian fashion future where Italian fashion makers explain how they continue the trade of tailor making but poses the problem of its trade being international and yet facing a government that charges a high tax percentage on profit. For people with a hearing deficiency, it is subtitles (in English).

Ankle boots designed by DG

“Can you spell Gabbana?” Asked Andy, an ignorant Miranda Priestly’s assistant in The Devil Wears Prada. Andy aka Anna Hathaway didn’t get a chance to walk around the history of Italy re-fashioned.

More info =

V&A South Kensington, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL, Tel. +44 (0)20 7942 2000; Opening times: 10.00 to 17.45 daily - 10.00 to 22.00 Fridays. Prices: from £8 to £20.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Notebook by Agota Kristoff. A Forced Entertainment play for LIFT 2014 to other dates in UK and Europe

Robin Arthur and Richard Lowdon as the twins in Forced Entertainment 
Reading of The Notebook. 
Photograph: Hugo Glendinning

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Brixton Revolutionary Film Festival FIGHT RACISM! FIGHT IMPERIALISM! Fundraising event. 1 AUGUST - 12PM-9PM - £5-10 – SW9

This post has now been taken down. I don't support film screenings that don't reward the artists or film makers when these people are not even aware their films are being screened
You may want to ask the organisers =