While postwar style, the exhibition begins in 1939, with two immaculately tailored women's' suits. To demonstrate the evolution of style from Italy, the former Fascist model must be represented. Here's what is shocking: the clothing is not behind glass. The ensembles are beautifully on display, viewable from every angle. Out in the open, you can see the little imperfections, the evidence that these pieces have been worn.
Moving through what feels like a prolonged runway show, you encounter evening gowns arrayed in delicate beading, gorgeous fabrics, and silhouettes that would still be worthy of red-carpet or runway fashion. Also featured are photographs and video of early runway shows. Remarkably intimate compared to today's mega-events like New York Fashion Week, the shows introduced the scheduled change of the fashion industry. It is not only desired, but necessary, for designers to introduce new, reinvent old, and test expectations with annual, and then biannual seasonal runway shows.
That is the beauty of Italian Style. The transformation of fashion over the years does not make style or clothing irrelevant, but instead all the more exquisite.
Tickets are available through the MIA website or at the museum. The exhibition will be here through January 4. Photos via MIA Exhibit Preview.