Gianfranco Ferré Volume 38.5 Preview

The White Shirt According to Me. 
Gianfranco Ferré


4 CONTRAPPUNTO SHIRT of cotton piqué and mother-of-pearl oyster buttons, Spring/Summer 1987. Photograph by Luca Stoppini.

This is an exhibition that deserves a standing ovation. The Phoenix Art Museum recently featured the work of Italian fashion designer Gianfranco Ferré (1944 – 2007) at its Steele Gallery. Worth every moment of a visit, it was one of those rarities, a well-orchestrated experience.

      Presentation is key when it comes to exhibiting clothing, and one has the feeling the curators from the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation in Milan and the Prato Textile Museum might have been subtly guided by the hand of Ferré himself in making this show come to fruition. Metal wires were strung from floor to ceiling in an hourglass shape that appeared as though the innards of a piano were upended and inverted into becoming display cases. Taut strings seem like part of an immense musical instrument, but instead provide mooring for headless manikins that are plain black canvases for Ferré’s white shirts.  


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Patrick R. Benesh-Liu is Associate Editor of Ornament and continues to find time to enjoy craft in between writing, travel and tech support. In March he attended the Heard Guild Indian Fair & Market in Phoenix. During this year’s Smithsonian Craft Show, which he visits annually, Benesh-Liu will be discussing the craft movement in America, part of Carol Sauvion’s “Craft Now: Washington, D.C. and Beyond” panel. In addition, he writes about the dramatic exhibition of Gianfranco Ferré’s “The White Shirt” at the Phoenix Museum of Art. As Ornament’s reporter, he provides a zesty compilation of the latest craft News, where you can find out what is happening with art-to-wear in the global neighborhood.