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Italian Brands Unite for London Show... Bulgari Signs Rachel Weisz...

Some of Italy’s most famous fashion brands are marking the 150th anniversary of the country’s unification with an exhibition at London’s Somerset House.

A Dolce & Gabbana ad visual shot by Steven Klein

ITALIAN STALLIONS: Some of Italy’s most famous fashion brands are marking the 150th anniversary of the country’s unification with an exhibition at London’s Somerset House. “Masters of Italian Style: Celebrating the Stories Behind Italian Fashion,” kicks off today and features a selection of the brands’ favorite ad campaigns from the archives. Curated by Colin McDowell and sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro, the show includes the Mario Testino images of Amber Valletta working her low-slung Gucci trousers; images of Isabella Rossellini and Madonna doing their glamorous Italian Mamma shticks for Dolce & Gabbana, and a virtually ancient image from Prada — 1988 — with a Sophia Loren-ish looking woman ready to have lunch.

“A fashion show is only one part of a designer’s vision for the season. The ad campaign often offers a clearer vision of what they’re thinking,” McDowell said during a walk-through. The show runs until Aug. 14, and features images from Giorgio Armani, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Salvatore Ferragamo and Gucci.

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