How to Dress Like an

How to Dress Like an

Published: 12:46 BST, 5 April 2015 | Updated: 12:58 BST, 5 April 2015

Famous Italian designers like Fendi, Gucci and Prada may be toted by celebrities such as Rihanna, Kate Moss and Katy Perry, but few are probably aware of the history behind the brands they wear.

A new book has now archived the changing face of Italian fashion, from the post-war years to the 21st century.

Italian Glamour: The Essence of Italian Fashion, From the Postwar Years to the Present Day, captures the evolution of Mediterranean style through 300 iconic dresses and archived images.

Model Joan Olsen (left) shows off bold linear prints in an outfit by haute couture designer/artist Livio de Simone in 1954. Co-author Enrico says that Italian glamour is not 'sophisticated or artificial'

The book was compiled by Enrico Quinto and Paolo Tinarelli - the two men who were the first to introduce the concept of vintage style in Italy

The volume has been compiled by Enrico Quinto, 51, and Paolo Tinarelli, 49.

The two men established the first flea market in Rome and were the first to introduce the concept of vintage in Italy.

Enrico revealed that they wanted to honour the Italian designers who have helped to make the country a fashion powerhouse. 

He said: 'The pioneers that have really put Italy on the map of international fashion have been Emilio Pucci in the Fifties, Missoni and Krizia in the Sixties, Giorgio Armani and Gianni Versace in the Seventies and Eighties, and Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Gucci in the Nineties.' 

Fifties cover girl Ivy Nicholson wears Emilio Pucci in Capri, 1953. The book talks about how the start of many Italian fashion powerhouses started out with a real focus on craftsmanship

The book focuses on the humble beginnings of some of the world's biggest Italian brands and how they rose to cultural significance.

It looks at how designers such as Miuccia Prada, Giorgio Armani and Adele Casagrande, founder of Fendi, have created a legacy within their labels.

Many Italian powerhouses started out with a focus on craftsmanship, using work methods and decorative traditions that were passed down through generations.

Post-war economic development in the fifties saw the expansion of the advertising industry into high fashion. Designers such as Alma Maria Lami constructed clothes that were decorated with a patchwork of ideas and activities

The book also explores momentous periods which truly characterised Italian fashion.

For example, post-war economic development in the Fifties saw the expansion of the advertising industry into high fashion. 

Designers like Alma Maria Lami constructed clothes that were decorated with patchworks of cartoon-like ideas and activities, which subtly influenced buyers.

A woman wears a structural suit by Fernandi, at a time when Italian fashion was beginning to break away from Parisian style

In the mid-fifties, Emilio Frederico Schuberth created an outfit which had a removable over-skirt so that the wearer could opt for a straight or flared silhouette

Another poignant moment came in the mid-Fifties, where Italian fashion began to break away from what Parisian style dictated. Creative directors such as Emilio Frederico Schuberth began to create structurally innovative creations.

Italian Glamour also looks at breakthrough moments for Italian fashion, such as one of the first runway showcases in Florence, which saw the artistic city overtake Paris as the global fashion capital.

From that moment on, styles quickly progressed. By the mid-Forties, Italian designers began to take their inspiration from Hollywood femme fatales rather than Parisian fashion. Religion was also an inspiration, which explains the high-necks and dark tones often seen in that period.

The moment Italian fashion made its breakthrough, at the grand hall in Florence's Palazzo Pitti in 1951

A model is pictured in Italy in 1953. In the mid-forties, Italian designers began to take their inspiration from Hollywood femme fatales rather than Parisian fashion. Religion was also an inspiration, which explains the high-necks and dark tones

Model Liliana Mongini wears Germana Marucelli in January 1950. Marucelli was the first Italian post-war designer - her designs were on several occasions interpreted by Christian Dior

In fact, Parisian fashion soon began to follow the lead of Italian innovators.

Germana Marucelli was the first Italian post-war designer, and her designs were, on several occasions, interpreted by Frenchman Christian Dior.  

The book also examines how trends developed over the years and iconic celebrity moments that would cement a designer's fame.  

One in particular came in 1956, when Italian-French film star Sophia Loren wore a sweeping gown by Emilio Schuberth at the Cannes Festival.

Schuberth became known as the 'tailor to the stars', and also catered for the likes of Rita Hayworth and Brigitte Bardot.

His students included Valentino Garavani - who continues to be an Italian powerhouse today. 

Impossibly glamorous: In 1956, Italian-French film star Sophia Loren wore a sweeping gown by Emilio Schuberth at the Cannes Festival

This dress by Emilio Schuberth cemented his position as 'tailor to the stars'

Late sixties and early seventies creations from Fendi, including the bag with the signature interlocking Fs (right)

Examples of humble beginnings are especially surprisingly when looking at labels such as Fendi - who originally came into existence as a leather and fur shop in Rome.

From the mid-Sixties, Karl Lagerfeld was involved in the design of Fendi's logo with the interlocking F letters.

Several designers in the book, such as Federico Forquet, are no longer operational, but were important in influencing and shaping the overall movement and progression of Italian fashion. 

The book also highlights how certain Italian designers, such as Roberto Carpucci, were propelled to fame when clothes were featured in advertorials - eventually appearing in publications such as Vogue. 

A piece from Italian designer Federico Forquet, in his autumn/winter 1965 collection

Renowned Italian designer, Roberto Carpucci's structural designs featured in Vogue Italia in 1982

A defining moment for Italian fashion was circa 1994; Elizabeth Hurley stepped out in a Versace safety pin gown that was to become one of the most iconic dresses of all time. 

From then on, it seemed that Italian fashion was the pinnacle of daring style.

Co-author of the book, Enrico Quinto says that Italian glamour is 'in the DNA of an Italian's lifestyle'.

He adds: 'Italian glamour is not sophisticated or artificial; it keeps conscious of the female's body, and it works in the same way as the idea of 'Dolce Far Niente' - the sweetness of doing nothing. It's an accessible beauty - simple and natural.'  

Elizabeth Hurley in 1994 (left), pictured with then-beau, Hugh Grant (right) wearing the Versace dress that would go down in fashion history

Liz Hurley's dress (pictured) was a creation from Gianni Versace's spring/summer 1994 collection

In fact, Italian style has made a huge contribution to the fashion industry today, with Milan Fashion Week still a crucial part of the circuit, and with young models such as Kendall Jenner flocking to Milan every year.

Popular culture figures such as Rihanna, are also active lovers of the Italian style.

Rihanna recently customised a Fendi Baguette bag for a charity auction, along with Sarah Jessica Parker.

Rihanna toting not one but two of her customised Baguette bags with Fendi at the launch

Successful models such as Kendall Jenner (pictured) flock to Milan Fashion Week every season to walk in shows such as Dolce & Gabbana (left - Autumn/Winter 2015, right - Spring/Summer 2015). Italian style is very much still crucial to the fashion landscape

In terms of the state of Italian glamour now, Enrico argues that it is a changing landscape, but something that maintains its simplicity.

'Italy has become more global and the melting pot of different nationalities has automatically brought new influences into Italy's lifestyle. 

'I believe that the essence of Italian glamour is based on a certain 'minimalism'. Clothing still has to be practical and adapted to an understated lifestyle. 

Italian Glamour: The Essence of Italian Fashion, From the Postwar Years to the Present Day (Skira Editore) is out on 30 March 2015. 

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