In a surreal world of fashion losing someone or something you love can be just as unpredictable as coming across a precious gem that may, in some way, cushion the blow caused by the bad news. In March it was announced that Gianfranco Ferre, the brand founded by one of the most incredible fashion designers in 1978, will be closing its doors - a heartbreaking reality of not being a crowd pleaser, but rather a fashion house with a legacy build on the firm believes in elegance, "constant pursuit of innovation" and "unfailing love of tradition". It was an incredible journey of style, a truly unforgettable one, captured in articles, videos and, of course, the clothes including one of the most simple, but magnificent pieces that Ferre made his hallmark...
The white shirt. Inspired by eras and continents, fairy tales and memories, Ferre transformed it from an ordinary classic shirt into an exquisite piece of fashion architecture. Made of silk, satin, poplin, taffeta, organza or cotton, it enhanced the beauty of a female body, moving, pleating, following the lines, twisting, knotting, the blouse kept transforming, changing its geometry and creating an emotional connection.
Founding a book entirely dedicated to Gianfranco Ferre's white shirt was surreal. Over the last few years I have bought every available title written about or by the designer, but The White Shirt According to Me was new to me. I later learnt that the book was a catalogue to accompany an exhibition co-organised by the Gianfranco Ferre Foundation and the Prato Textile Museum, but even on its own, it made it an outstanding and comprehensive guide providing wonderful insights into the work of Ferre and paying homage to his creative genius.
It begins with a series of articles discussing the creative vision of the architect of Italian fashion and then moves into the visual part showcasing 27 most iconic designs from 1982 to 2006 through a series of editorial and runway photographs, description of each blouse and collection it belongs to, Ferre's sketches and, what I personally found most fascinating, x-ray images of each shirt that truly capture the architectural structure of the garment and its numerous metamorphoses almost as if the shirt was a living creature and presenting it as an object of art.
Truly captivating, it makes such a wonderful addition to any fashion library. I found my copy at the V&A shop, but you can pre-order it via amazon.
Photo source: personal, Ferre | Museo Del Tessuto