Locandina della Mostra su Gianfranco Ferré a Torino
Fashion exhibition

Gianfranco Ferré: jewels as substance and soul

…often the jewel is a complement to the look as an accessory, sometimes even necessary. It is a detail which creates an effect. In some cases instead the jewel is the material which invents and shapes the outfit, becoming its substance and soul“.

Gianfranco Ferré

There is time until February 19th, 2018 to fall in love with the creativity of the unforgettable -but never too celebrated- architect of Italian fashion, Gianfranco Ferré, thanks to the latest exhibition “Gianfranco Ferré. Under another light: Jewels and Ornaments” organized and produced by Gianfranco Ferré Foundation and Torino Musei Foundation at the Sala del Senato of Palazzo Madama in Turin, Italy.

In the middle of the Civic Museum of Ancient Art in Palazzo Madama, after a series of masterpieces dating from the Early Middle Ages to Baroque, fashion oriented visitors risk to suffer Stendhal syndrome as soon as they cross the doors of the Sala del Senato.

The large frescoed vault with all its decorative Piedmontese Baroque elements,  seems to project itself onto the shapes of the 200 jewels displayed at the center of the room retracing the creative story of the famous Italian fashion designer. Volutes, cherubs, capitals, medallions, allegories and animals, symbols of sophisticated and classical opulence, gather togheter with the wildest spirit of the ethnic ornaments studded with stones, gems, shells and precious woods, giving life to jewelery masterpieces.

The exhibition, curated by Francesca Alfano Miglietti and designed by architect Franco Raggi, offers objects, accessories and precious items created for the Ferré collections ranging from 1980 to 2007. Thanks to the videos of fashion shows, interviews, advertising campaigns, shootings and backstages, it is possible to understand the meaning of all the pieces showcased, also contextualizing their importance in Ferré’s poetics, who did not see jewels as a complement of the dress, but as founding elements of his women idea.

As for all the creative people that come from the architecture field, it is surprising, if not even exciting, to see the boundless love Ferré had for materials and the ways he reinterpreted them basing on the sensations and feelings he wanted to create.

Among the highlights objects on show, there is the entire production of jewelry and bracelets inspired by African costumes, in particular the shapes that precious wood like ebony assumes when embracing the wrist, looking like a large mushroom on the bark of a tree, or becoming an abstract sculpture halfway between Brancusi, Calder and Guasti.

There are also references to the classic goldsmith tradition, with lions, chains, devant de corsage, but one of the most iconic pieces is the minimal baroque collar: a golden curl from the ready-to-wear fall winter 1985 collection that frames the face while lying on the long black dresses worn by the models at the end of the show.

With the exhibition “Gianfranco Ferré. Under another light: Jewels and Ornaments” once again the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation manages to uncover an original aspect of the creativity of the master of Legnano, without being repetitive and nostalgic, and indeed, only a year away from the exhibition in Parma, is reconfirmed to be the most active fashion and costume foundation in Italy.

I think it’s time for other renown Italian fashion brands (i.e. Versace) to do the same with their archives, taking the iperactivity of Ferré Foundation as a reference, but for the moment let’s enjoy this exhibition, even if we are already eagerly waiting for the next one.

Alessandro Masetti – The Fashion Commentator

Gianfranco Ferré. Sotto un’altra luce: Gioielli e Ornamenti
Sala del Senato – Palazzo Madama
Piazza Castello, Torino
12 ottobre 2017 – 19 febbraio 2018


Italian architect into fashion. Art curator in love with books, flea markets and interior design.

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