PAM exhibit traces Roman fashion from palazzo to outlet mall

Mar 03, 2015 470

Italian Style is that rare show in Portland, like China Design Now in 2009, that immerses you in a place you might never visit. The subject is high fashion, but the subtext is how Italy reinvented itself after World War II. Don't know your Puccis from your Pradas? Are Dolce & Gabbana a couple? Why are the discount stores stuffed with Tommy Hilfiger but not Armani?

The exhibit, Italian Style, comes from the renowned costume department of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Three decades ago, shows about fashion and design made that fusty museum interesting again. The V&A's pop culture shows, such as one on David Bowie, are frequently blockbusters.

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