Sunday, February 19, 2006

Going Italian (2)

Spent my afternoon on the second floor at the Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art today. The exhibition "50 Years of Italian Fashion" is well worth it.
You first walk into a huge hall that features pretty much the typical layout of the whole show: picture plates showing one designer alone and with celebrities and family, and models showing off his/her works, and drawings. Each designer has a couple of real, 'live' objects on show, mostly dresses. The first hall features the big names, Armani, Versace, Prada, and famous clothes such as 'that' Versace dress Jennifer Lopez wore, or the Brioni suit made for James Bond Pierce Brosnan. The scariest bit of the show for me was walking across those glass panels in the floor to have a look at the pictures of Prada.
There are so many designers there, many of them I haven't even heard of. Apart from clothes, there is also jewellery on show, and a small number of bags, especially for Gucci - the one with the bamboo handle of course, and one bag symbolizing its present logo style - and Roberta di Camerino's design for Grace Kelly. Speaking about Grace, one constant in the exhibition are the pictures of designers with celebrities. Audrey Hepburn is all around, as are Jacqueline Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Claudia Cardinale, Lauren Bacall, and so on, showing the narrow connection between Hollywood and some of Italian fashion's most famous maestros, such as Salvatore Ferragamo and Armani.
Past the main hall, the same formula is kept up while spread out over different rooms, with drawings of dresses painted on the wall. My wife's favorite, colorful Missoni, is present of course, as are Etro, Krizia, and Valentino, with catchy and fiery red dresses.
The exhibition lasts until June, and for those who understand Chinese, it will also feature weekly lectures and discussions by local fashion specialists. Read my previous post 'Going Italian' for the details about the museum.


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