Written by Ian Thompson | 17 October 2018
Etro Generation Paisley is a celebration of the life of the Italian fashion brand brought together in a visually rich cornucopia of material. The exhibition in Milan features a spirited narrative that weaves its way through the first 50 years of the company’s life.
Bonaveri worked with Etro to create a unique collection of Schläppi 2200 female and Schläppi 3000 male mannequins for the exhibition. The mannequins were customised by Bonaveri’s artisan team in a textured, white plaster finish that makes each one a unique object. It’s this dedication to fashion craft that is at the core of Etro’s work and synonymous with Bonaveri’s own creative aspirations.
50 of Bonaveri’s mannequins showcase 50 unique garments from both Etro’s archive and the owner’s private collections. Exhibition curators, Judith Clark and Luca Stoppini assisted Etro in selecting the garments and staging the presentation. 5 rooms of the gallery have been completely transformed, with ceilings walls and floors covered in a rich tapestry of mirrors, fabrics and patterns, reflecting the brand’s collective multi-cultural roots.
Like many of Italy’s post-war fashion brands, Etro started out as a textile company. Established in 1968 by Gerolamo “Gimmo” Etro, the company soon transitioned to fashion and it was in the early 1980s that Etro introduced its now famous paisley design. Still very much a family run business, Etro is headed by Gerolamo’s 4 children: Keane Etro is creative director of menswear, Veronica is the creative director for womenswear and Jacopo Etro looks after the accessories division. Ippolito Etro is the company’s General Director:
My father always told us that we could do what we wanted in life. But he said, ‘If you work here, you have to start from scratch.’
Etro has always managed to fuse fashion and nature, through their organic, bohemian prints and through their use of animal heads in presentations. Etro Generation Paisley includes all of these elements, presented in their very distinctive style. For Etro, this exhibition is an opportunity to reinforce their creative narrative as well as to share the brand’s key achievements otherwise lost on an emerging, younger fashion generation.
The team at Etro worked closely with curators Luca Stoppini and Judith Clark to bring the exhibition to life. Bonaveri has worked with Judith Clark on recent exhibitions including, Homo Faber in Venice and The Vulgar at London’s Barbican Art Gallery.
Etro: Generation Paisley is currently on at MUDEC in Milan
Museo delle Culture
via Tortona 56, CAP 20144 Milano
23rd September 2018 to 14th October 2018
Images courtesy of MUDEC and ETRO