This August, our Tumblr is dominated by the white shirts of Gianfranco Ferré. It is this simplest of pieces that the designer took and reinvented endlessly, resulting in extraordinary reincarnations. His masterpieces can now be enjoyed on our Tumblr.
To honor his work, the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation set up an exhibition around the white shirt specifically, aptly named “The White Shirt According To Me. Gianfranco Ferré”. This exhibition was first hosted by Museo del Tessuto in Prato earlier this year.
For the exhibition and the catalogue, photographers Luca Stoppini and Leonardo Salvini photographed the best of Ferré’s white shirts. Stoppini’s images show the shirts in movement on the model, while Salvini’s x-ray-like photos unveil the technical detailing of the shirts. It is the work of these photographers that is now on our Tumblr.
Nevertheless, white shirts were not the initial hallmark of Gianfranco Ferré. Trained as an architect, he made his first steps into the fashion world in the early 1970s when the jewellery he was making for friends and classmates was picked up by influential fashion buyers and editors.
Throughout the seventies he worked for various Italian companies, designing accessoires, clothes and swimwear. His work for the San Giorgio Impermeabili clothing company based in India turned out to be most influential, as it gave him the chance to explore India’s local craftmanship and culture of aesthetics that later resurfaced in his own work.
By 1978, he set up his own label for womenswear, adding menswear and Alta Moda over the course of the 1980s. In the same decade, he taught fashion in Milan and became creative director of Dior. Ferré left Dior in 1996 and continued working on his own house until he passed away after suffering a brain hemorrhage in 2007.
Throughout his career, it was the white shirt that revealed his mastership of creativity in construction and shape. In the white shirt, Ferré reinvented structure, proportion and volume, drawing from his training as an architect and his travels.
The Gianfranco Ferré Foundation was established in 2008 and is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Gianfranco Ferré. The foundation is also an associate partner in the Europeana Fashion project.
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