The exhibition describes the creativity and stylistic genius of Gianfranco Ferré, the internationaly recognized fashion designer, through the iconic garment of his production: the white shirt.
Co-organized by the Prato Textile Museum Foundation and the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation, the exhibition is an homage to the work and talent of the fashion designer that represents a continuous dialogue between architecture and fashion.
Conceived to focus attention on the designer’s exquisite sartorial poetics, this exhibition guides the visitor on a unique journey of discovery of the white shirt, the true paradigm of the Ferré’s style, in an itinerary that highlights his remarkably rich vision, with innovative design elements and enthralling creative interpretations.
The 27 shirts are displayed along with original sketches, illustrations and videos.
“Talking about my white shirts is all too easy. It’s all too easy to declare a love that covers the span of my creative path. A hallmark – perhaps the ultimate signature – of my style, which enfolds a constant pursuit of innovation and a no less unfailing love of tradition.
Story in motion. Tradition in the form of the men’s shirt, ever-present and encoded element of the wardrobe. That tickled my fancy for invention, incited my propensity for rethinking the tenets of elegance and style in an interplay of pure fantasy and contemporary design.
Read with sense of glamour and poetry, freedom and energy, the formal and quasi-immutable white shirt took on an infinity of identities, a multiplicity of inflections. To the point of becoming, I believe, a must of modern-day femininity…
This process always entails a keen rethinking of shapes. The white blouse is never the same yet always unmistakable. It may be light and floaty, flawlessly severe (if a mannish cut remains), as sumptuously enveloping as a cloud, as skinny and snug as a bodysuit. Some parts, primarily collar and cuffs, can become emphatic; others expressly lose ‘force’ and may even disappear (back, shoulders, sleeves).
The blouse comes with precious lace and embroidery; turns sexy thanks to the use of sheer fabrics; acquires ultra importance with gorgeous ruffles and ruches. It billows delicately with every motion, almost free of gravity. It frames the face like a fabulous corolla. It sculpts the body in a slick second-skin mode. It is the eclectic interpreter of all types of materials: sheer organza, crisp taffeta, glossy satin. Duchesse, poplin, chiffon, georgette, too…”
Gianfranco Ferré, notes
Gianfranco Ferré was born in Legnano (Milan) on August 15, 1944. After earning his high school diploma specializing in sciences, he enrolled in the School of Architecture at the Milan Polytechnic Institute where he graduated in 1969.
His very first, quite off-hand entry into the world of fashion took place in the same years. Ferré designed jewelry and accessories that he would then give to friends and classmates.
In 1973 Ferré made the first of his many trips to India where up until 1977 he spent long periods.
India has represent a fundamental experience in the development of his style. In May of 1978 the Gianfranco Ferré company was set up and in October of the same year the first woman prêt-à-porter collection debuts on the runways. In addition to the launch of the men’s clothing line in 1982 and to the introduction of a wide range of accessories and other products on license in 1986 he entered the Alta Moda world with fashion shows for six seasons in Rome.
In 1983, he helped to develop the curriculum for Domus Academy, the new Design Management and Fashion Design Post-graduate School where up until 1989 he taught the course in Dress Design.
In May of 1989, Gianfranco Ferré was appointed Artistic Director of Christian Dior, one of the finest and most storied of French fashion houses, for the women’s Haute Couture, Prêt à Porter and Fourrure lines. In 2002, the Gianfranco Ferré Company was acquired by IT Holding Group.
Gianfranco Ferré became Artistic Director of the house.
In March of 2007, Gianfranco Ferré was appointed President of the Brera Fine Arts Academy in Milan.
After suffering a brain hemorrhage, Gianfranco Ferré died in Milan on June 17, 2007.
Fondazione Museo del Tessuto
Consiglio di Indirizzo
Anna Beltrame, Franco Ciampolini, Lamberto Gestri, Marco Gramigni, Canio Molinari
Comitato di Gestione
Catia Baroncelli, Loriano Bertini, Maria Rosaria Milazzo
Revisore dei Conti
Staff Museo del Tessuto
amministrazione e bookshop
coordinamento web e multimedia
servizio di pulizie
Fondazione Gianfranco Ferré
Carla Gaspari Ferré
Consigliere e Direttore Generale
Collegio dei Revisori dei Conti
Stefania Bettoni, Marco Rebolini, Francesca Trani
Organizzazione e coordinamento
Filippo Guarini, Direttore Museo del Tessuto
Rita Airaghi, Direttore Fondazione Gianfranco Ferré
Daniela Degl’Innocenti, Conservatrice Museo del Tessuto
Collaborazione alla curatela
Giovanni Vidotto, Consulente Fondazione Gianfranco Ferré
Alessandra Arezzi Boza
Guicciardini & Magni Architetti
Fondazione Gianfranco Ferré
Restauri e allestimento opere
Consorzio Tela di Penelope
Testing indagini radiografiche
Opificio delle Pietre Dure di Firenze:
4FRIENDS film Srl
AXA Art – Catani Gagliani
Accoglienza e gestione bookshop
Fratini Bruno & C.
Studio Maddalena Torricelli
Social media marketing
A cura di
Schede a cura di
Fotografia simulazioni x-ray
Disegni originali di Gianfranco Ferré
Foto di sfilata
Archivio Fondazione Gianfranco Ferré
Emanuela Di Lallo
Un ringraziamento particolare a
Opificio delle Pietre Dure di Firenze
Marco Ciatti, Soprintendente
Susanna Conti, Direttore tecnico sezione tessili
e il personale ed i collaboratori degli enti organizzatori e promotori che a vario titolo hanno contribuito all’iniziativa.
|The Prato Textile Museum Foundation is composed of:|
|With the support of|
Inside the catalog: contributions and insights from major figures from the realms of style, architecture and design; an outstanding sequence of photographic images by Luca Stoppini and one of x-ray simulations by Luca Salvini, the result of technical research in partnership with the Opificio delle Pietre Dure of Florence; originals drawings and scketches by Ginfranco Ferré and photos from catwalks. An integral part of the book are the 27 technical files, one for every shirt, by Daniela Degl’Innocenti, the Textile Museum’s curator.
a cura di Rita Airaghi
direzione artistica di Luca Stoppini
2014, edizione bilingue (italiano-inglese)
16,5 x 30 cm, 330 pagine, 97 colori, brossura
“In the lexicon of contemporary elegance,
I like to think that the white shirt is a universal term
that each woman may ‘pronounce’ as she prefers…“
The itinerary begins with a system of hanging fabric screens across which flash giant reproductions of autographed Ferré fashion drawings. They introduce the visitor to the universe present in each design project by the fashion house.
Large photographic installations (x-ray simulations) display the structural shape and material substance of the garment, highlighting the textures and the very soul of the shirt.
For the first time a technical representation of this kind is used as a key to understand the process behind the main element of a fashion exhibition
The second room is the main area of the exhibition. There are twenty-seven white shirts, a stunning sequence of sartorial masterpieces, bearing silent witness to twenty years of absolutely ingenious and peerless creativity.
Exhibited as sculptures, the shirts are bathed in light that highlights volumes with striking sculptural effects.
Arranged along the sides of the room are many pertinent materials on loan from the Ferré Foundation Archive such as: technical drawings, catwalk exit sketches, advertising and editorial images, shots by world-class photographers.
The final part of the exhibition is a captivating presentation of video footage from the most important fashion shows (1978 to 2007), which makes the shirts on display come alive.
Parallel to the exhibition is a full calendar of initiatives that includes: laboratories, meetings, conferences and events.
Download the exhibition’s press kit Press Office In English In Italian
Studio Maddalena Torricelli
ph 02.76280433 cell 335. 7057711
Download the exhibition’s press kit
Tuesday – Thursday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Special openings for groups on reservation
Full ticket: Euro 8
Reduced ticket: Euro 6
Special reduction: Euro 5
Reservation is required for groups over 10 people.
Guided tours (ITA) every Sunday at 4.30 p.m.