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Tales of Italian Fashion

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A first-of-its-kind exhibition in the region dedicated to the celebration of the evolution of Italian fashion over the years is underway in Bahrain.

Conceived and curated by the internationally acclaimed fashion expert Stefano Dominella, the expo “Racconti di moda Italiana: Tales of Italian Fashion” is being held at the Bin Matar House, Muharraq.

The event is hosted by the Italina Embassy in collaboration with the Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Centre for Culture and Research, with the support of Gulf Air.

Mr Dominella, a veteran in the fashion sector, has brought together a collection from the 1950s that is rich in colours, the quality of the fabrics, the creativity of the design, and the sustainability of the production processes.

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The artist, who continues to spread the prestige of “made in Italy” throughout the world, took time to exclusively speak to Bahrain This Week on the sidelines of the expo, which was attended by prominent guests and invitees.

“Fashion has evolved over the years, which is beautiful and the exhibition is a testament to this,” said Mr Dominella.
“Italy and Bahrain have much in common, as in their rich cultural heritage, traditions, and, of course, fashion. I am more than happy to be hosting this very special exhibition in Bahrain, for the first time in the region,” he said, adding that the exhibition will soon be featured in Riyadh.

He also lauded Bahrain’s patronage of finer arts and aesthetics, specially fashion.

“This is a surprising exhibition itinerary with clothes and materials never shown before, in a creative-artisan excursion suitable for both the professional public and the common visitor,” he explained.
“These creations, unveiled for the first time, come from the important Stefano Dominella and Gattinoni’s historical archives, as well as contemporary ones. These were once history; they have written some of the most important pages in the history of international fashion and are still created today with undisputed mastery, thanks also to new technologies.”

Among the creations exhibited, the public was able to admire a collection of original dresses worn by Hollywood divas, including the dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1956 film “War and Peace” and by Anita Ekberg in the iconic Italian film “La Dolce Vita”, directed by Federico Fellini in 1960.

At the opening, Shaikh Ebrahim Centre for Culture and Research Trustees’ Board chairwoman Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa thanked the Italian Ambassador Paola Amadei, who, she said, ‘has always been keen to promote the beauty of Italy’. She also thanked the Maison Gattinoni for exhibiting at the Shaikh Ebrahim Centre, a Maison that, she said, ‘has always left its mark in the history of international fashion’. She wished the centre’s audience to enjoy this unique exhibition that reflects the beauty and elegance of Italian fashion.

“I am very grateful to Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al Khalifa for having opened the doors of the superb Bin Matar House to Italian fashion and its extraordinary history,” said Ms Amadei.
“The collaboration with the Shaikh Ebrahim Centre, which often hosts numerous Italian cultural events, is excellent and a source of continuous inspiration.”

She also thanked the Gattinoni fashion house and its honorary president, Mr Dominella for presenting the exhibition in Bahrain for the very first time.
“The famous Italian brand Gattinoni, who has left an indelible mark in the history of international fashion, today acts as Ambassador of Italian fashion in the Kingdom of Bahrain, demonstrating how in Italy fashion is not only one of the main production sectors but constitutes a true form of fine and delicate art, recognised and admired throughout the world for elegance, refinement, creativity, and innovation”.

She thanked Gulf Air, which has recently further increased direct connections with Italy “for having contributed to making this beautiful event possible”.

“The exceptional participation of the public this evening confirms the genuine passion of Bahrainis for “made in Italy”, for Italian fashion and its immense and priceless heritage of creativity, skills, refinement, and innovation that it traditionally expresses,” she said.
“It is not surprising, indeed, that the fashion industry is one of the key sectors for Italian exports not only in Bahrain but throughout the world. The artistic creativity, attention to details, quality and sustainability of fabrics and production processes, as well as its history, give “made in Italy” fashion an extraordinary quality of excellence and immense beauty.”

Visitors, not only from Bahrain but also from the neighbouring GCC countries, were also able to admire creations by numerous Italian designers, including Giorgio Armani, Guillermo Mariotto, Dolce and Gabbana, Missoni, Valentino Garavani, Etro, Gianfranco Ferrè, Irene Galitzine, Gianni Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Pino Lancetti, and some of the most important fashion creators of the fifties, such as Emilio Schuberth, Tita Rossi, and Jole Veneziani, at the two-day expo.

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