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Glamour of Italian fashion on show in London

Wednesday - 4/2/2014, 11:53am  ET

A V&A museum employee poses for the photographers with dresses at an exhibition entitled: 'The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014', at the V&A museum in London, Wednesday, April 2, 2014. The show, which according to the museum, is the first to examine Italy's rich and influential contribution to fashion from the end of the Second World War to the present, opens on April 5 to July 27, 2014. On display are around 120 ensembles and accessories by leading Italian fashion houses and the exhibition follows the story from the landmark catwalk shows in the 1950s to the impact of Hollywood films shot on location in Italy during the 1950s/60s where stars like Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor became style ambassadors for Italian fashion. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

LONDON (AP) -- The grace and glamour of Italian fashion are on display in London -- and the attitude, too.

Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were guests at Tuesday night's launch of "The Glamour of Italian Fashion," a new exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The duo behind Dolce & Gabbana praised Britain's "cool" style and designers like Vivienne Westwood, but were less enthusiastic about Victoria Beckham. Gabbana said the former Spice Girl had turned to fashion after doing "many, many, many different things."

He added "she's a designer but ... for us, she don't make (clothes) the same way like a fashion designer."

Dolce grouped Beckham, whose designs have appeared on catwalks at New York Fashion week, with mainstream retailers such as Zara and H&M.

The museum's exhibition, which opens Saturday, traces the global rise of Italian style, from the rebuilding of a shattered economy after World War II through the 1950s and '60s, when stars including Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn made Italian design synonymous with sophistication.

It also looks at how Italy's fashion and textile industries are coping with the globalized "fast fashion" world of the 21st century.

The show, which runs to July 27, features designs from fashion houses including Georgio Armani, Prada, Gucci, Valentino and Versace -- and of course Dolce & Gabbana.

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