“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.”
– Miuccia Prada, Spring 2011 Runway Show
One of the best things about spring in Montreal is seeing people shed their heavy winter layers and replace them with carefully styled ensembles to show off those pieces that have been hibernating all winter in their closets. Montrealers love to dress up and take pride in their appearance. So there’s no better city to host the exclusive Canadian exhibit of Eleganza: Italian Fashion From 1945 to Today at the McCord Museum. The exhibition, organized by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and presented by Holt Renfrew, presents a beautifully curated portrait of key moments in the rise and evolution of Italian fashion, including the handmade clothing of the sarta, the neighbourhood dressmaker, luxurious Italian couture and the highest quality ready-to-wear.
The exhibition, organized chronologically in sections, takes you on a journey through time, starting with The Birth of Italian Fashion, taking you through Hollywood and Celebrity, offering a glimpse into Tailoring, making a stop at Made in Italy and ending with a beautiful finale at the Cult of the Designer. The exhibition includes more than 130 objects from designers like Emilio Pucci, Valentino, Walter Albini, Gianni Versace, Giorgio Armani, Fendi, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Marni, as well as new faces to keep an eye on.
This was one of my favourite exhibitions I’ve seen at the McCord Museum. It was beautifully organized and offered a close and personal look at the craftsmanship, technique and skills that go into creating these elegant pieces. I love that the exhibition included pieces straight from the red carpet, but also images, magazines, photographs and film clips that tied into the theme, to create an overall insightful look at the moment fashion becomes art. If you love fashion, you will love Eleganza.
Eleganza: Italian Fashion From 1945 to Today is open from May 26th to September 25th, 2016 at the McCord Museum.