The Victoria and Albert Museum’s spring exhibition ‘The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014’ is now open to the public. Exploring the story of Italian fashion through the pivotal individuals and organisations that have contributed to its reputation for quality and style, on display are 120 ensembles and accessories by leading Italian fashion houses including Dolce and Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Versace, Prada and Pucci. proportion>london has produced a range of mannequins for this major exhibition which charts Italy’s most influential designers, from post-World War II until the present day. Telling the story of how Italian fashion has added to the country’s reputation for high quality and style, this show radiates glamour and beauty.

For some of the clothing on display, the Textile Conservation team at the V&A used proportion>london’s female mannequin collection FLUID as a starting point. Using their combined creative skills, the proportion and V&A teams worked closely together on the development of the exhibition display figures. Bespoke adjustments were made to the FLUID mannequin resulting in a piece of cost effective kit that was essential for this project, and will prove useful for future V&A exhibitions.

One mannequin, which in particular required alterations to enable versatility of display, is the figure that wears a Pucci shirt and tights, and stands alongside Italy’s iconic form of transport, the Vespa. Produced with discreet armature wire arms and fibreglass hands, this specialist figure can be placed in the desired pose, with no stress applied to the clothing. For other garments such as a figure-hugging Gucci lycra dress, the FLUID mannequin needed to have re-shaped bust and hip dimensions in order for the outfit to fit precisely.

This major exhibition not only showcases Italy’s famously refined style but looks at what is in store for the future of Italian Fashion.

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