MILAN — Bulgari is the main partner of an exhibition celebrating Italy’s haute couture and creativity in the Dolce Vita era. “Bellissima. L’Italia dell’alta moda 1945-1968,” curated by Maria Luisa Frisa, Anna Mattirolo and Stefano Tonchi, will run in Rome at the Maxxi Museum from Dec. 2 to May 3, 2015.

This story first appeared in the November 25, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Bulgari will display a selection of unique items, including iconic gold Serpenti pieces with diamonds; a 70-carat platinum, ruby and diamond necklace from the Fifties; and a gold evening purse.

Jean-Christophe Babin, chief executive officer of the Rome-based jewelry firm, said the event is “not to be missed because the years from 1945 to 1968 represent a key period for the affirmation of the brand at a global level, and for the definition of its unmistakable style.”

The exhibit reflects a peak moment in Italy’s evolution and development of its cinema, art, architecture, theater and photography, with gowns from designers such as Valentino, Fendi, Roberto Capucci, the Fontana sisters, Irene Galitzine, Mila Schön, Emilio Schuberth and Simonetta, in addition to accessories by Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci and Roberta di Camerino. Also on display, for example, is the famed “Pretino” dress, inspired by a Cardinal gown, created for Ava Gardner by the Fontana sisters and then worn by Anita Ekberg in Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita.” The clothes, jewelry and accessories will be juxtaposed with art works from that time, by artists ranging from Lucio Fontana and Alberto Burri to Paolo Scheggi and Massimo Campigli. Electa has published a book on the exhibit in collaboration with Rome’s couture association AltaRoma.

A gala dinner will be held in Rome to inaugurate the exhibit on Nov. 29. For the occasion, Vanessa Beecroft has created a specially dedicated performance, called “VB74,” on the theme of female identity.

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