Somerset House: Masters of Style – Italian Fashion

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to enjoy a special preview of the new exhibition at Somerset House, Masters of Style: Celebrating The Stories Behind Italian Fashion, with the legend that is Colin McDowell who was completely lovely and has done a great job as curator of this fab exhibit.

The photographic exhibition, sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro brings together the archives of six Italian fashion houses, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Missoni and Prada, to celebrate the passion, flair and creativity of Italian style, and I just loved it.

What I loved most about this exhibition were the details. I adored the layout, the white pods and their transparent divides made me feel like I was walking through winding narrow streets in Italy, where if you looked through your eye captured another image. The exhibition is more than just photos, which on its own is amazing as each designer personally chose their favourite images, and there is commentary from Colin, the designer, and the photographers, giving real insight into those defining moments.

I took a few snaps of my favourite shots. But trust me you have to take in the whole exhibition you will love it!! Be quick though as this amazing display of iconic pictures is only on until August 14, book your tickets here.


This advert from 1967, chosen by Frida Giannini, “Made in Italy – always at the heart of Gucci”, just says everything you need to know about Gucci for me. I love the quality of the handbag against the iconic backdrop.


The Prada section was one of my favourites, and I have chosen this shot by Albert Watson from the S/S 1989. What I love about this advert is you are drawn to the bridge of her back, followed by the silk dress, and then the logo embossed purse, I really love the sensual luxury of the story, I bet it would have looked amazing in a magazine.


From the Missoni collection I have gone for this gorgeous illustration by Antonio Lopez from A/W 1983-84, I have to be honest this was the hardest to choose, as every single  one was so lovely and bright. By including Missoni it really does add something different to the exhibition, next to the minimal vibe of Armani, the heritage of Dolce & Gabbana, and the sexy pictures of Gucci, and the colours of Missoni breaks it up a bit.

Dolce & Gabbana

From the A/W 1989-90 campaign shot by Steven Meisel, I love how these images of Isabella Rossellini portray the drama and emotion that I love from Dolce & Gabbana adverts. I chose these pics as to me they really spoke to me about the heritage of what the brand is known for. Also, does it get more Italian than a woman being emotional with her hands?


I find that fashion brands fuse closely with cinema, and this shot captured by Peter Lindbergh for the A/W 1992-93 campaign is perfection.

“I am a huge fan of cinema, and sometimes an outfit suggests drama. This black dress is a case in point. But for me drama is not about excessive styling or decoration, but about the way a piece interacts with its wear – how it hands and moves, what it suggests,” Giorgio Armani.

Salvatore Ferragamo

Whereas the other fashion houses displayed mostly pictures with models, what I loved about Ferragamo is that their campaigns concentrate on the quality and luxury of its accessories. How amazing is this shot from the S/S 1997 campaign taken by Giovanni Gastel, I love how the bag has been wrapped in a scarf, the ultimate gift and I want it!!


1 Comment

  1. Susaneldred
    July 16, 2011 / 12:45 pm

    Oh wow, this exhibition looks fabulous.  Definitely popping by next week.