SHINING JEWELS: “We usually consider clothes when thinking about Gianfranco Ferré, but jewels, bijoux or ornaments had the same importance as apparel [had] — they were born out of the same emotional inspiration,” explained Rita Airaghi, director of Fondazione Gianfranco Ferré, on Friday morning during a press preview that unveiled the foundation’s latest effort.
The retrospective will display 200 objects created by Ferré for his fashion shows from 1980 to 2007. The exhibition will run through Feb. 19.
Airaghi also recalled that during his university years, Ferré designed jewels for his friends that were “too avant-garde and didn’t correspond to that period’s style. He used metal spring, raw cut leather and small industrial components, this was Gianfranco’s true beginning.”
It took 18 months to produce and set up the show. Curator Francesca Alfano Miglietti had around 350 ornaments to choose from and she tried to trace and underline that “Ferré was a figure that always learned and taught for his entire life.”
In fact, the ornaments on show recall decorations of the female body that have existed since prehistoric times. Materials like shining stones, enameled metal, polished shells and painted wood contribute to setting the tone of the installation.
Architect Franco Raggi, who also designed Ferré’s space in Via Pontaccio, now Kiton’s palazzo, and the foundation’s headquarters in Milan, was in charge of this project, too. The jewels will be displayed in six iron cages covered by rust. To further underline the ornaments’ microscopic details, a series of lenses will magnify them.
The exhibition will include eight dresses, scarcely made with fabrics. Apart from the linings, the dresses are entirely composed of chains, stones, pearls and coral, and they will be displayed like objects inside glass cases.
One of the designs will be produced by Fondazione Gianfranco Ferré and the Turin Museum Foundation rendered with a 3-D printing technique as opposed to its original galvanized brass version. It will be available for purchase along with the exhibition’s catalogue at the museum shop.
The exhibition, originally conceived for the Turin museum, is expected to travel to other cities, but no additional details were provided.