Last week two of my very favorite things merged: a road trip and world-class fashion. I emptied out all my change jars and hit the highway to Phoenix, where the Arizona Costume Institue of the Phoenix Art Museum was opening it’s show “The White Shirt According to Me, Gianfranco Ferré.”
Despite all the great fashion exhibits I’ve seen at this museum in the past, I was not prepared for the breath-stealing experience of walking through curtains of white gauze and entering a great hall displaying a stellar collection of white shirts from this fashion genius
In the darkened hall of perfectly placed mirrors, 27 white shirts of architectural details to stun the mind are suspended, moving ever so slightly as you walk by in amazement. Around the perimeter are sketches by the master, and fashion pubs where they first appeared on the likes of Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington. But the true stars are the shirts themselves…
One of the most ingenious parts of the exhibit is outside the great hall: x-rays of some of his shirts. In the darkened room, they feel ethereal and demonstrate the engineering of these garments by Gianfranco Ferré, trained as an architect.
The mood of the exhibit is impossible to capture with photos. Running through March 6, 2016, I can’t promise I won’t be back to wander through fashion history with this Italian virtuoso. And, as if that wasn’t enough to get you there, a companion exhibit, Gianfranco Ferré Designs, is upstairs, showing more than 100 sketches and 10 exquisite garments (gowns! silk! ruffles! Oh my!) that reveal his creative process. Take a look…
Did someone say field trip?