Is fashion art? This might be a rhetorical question, what with all the blockbuster fashion exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but we’re always up for the debate.
The Museo Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence, Italy, is the latest to tackle this question. ‘Across Art and Fashion’ (Tra Arte e Moda), running through June 7, 2017, uses clothing, accessories, fabrics, art works, books, periodicals and photographs, to analyze the relationship between fashion and art.
Footwear designer Salvatore Ferragamo was always fascinated and inspired by the avant-garde art movements of the 20th century, on several ateliers of the Fifties and Sixties that were venues for studies and encounters, and on the advent of the culture of celebrities. But the show features much more than Ferragamo shoes. A 1930s Elisa Schiaparelli dress inspired by artist Salvador Dalí is just one example.
The exhibition examines the experimentation of the Nineties and goes on to ponder whether in the contemporary cultural industry we can still talk about two separate worlds or if we are instead dealing with a fluid interplay of roles.
If you’re traveling to Italy, know that the exhibition expands beyond the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo borders. In Florence the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, the Gallerie degli Uffizi, Galleria d’arte moderna e Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti and Museo Marino Marini will host the exhibition. The Italian city of Prato will also host Tra Arte e Moda at the Museo del Tessuto.
By way of background, the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo doesn’t just tell the story of the Ferragamo company’s founder. Its mission is “to create, organize and promote exhibitions, seminars and meaningful events on contemporary fashion culture, expressing the company’s interest in cultural trends that influence style, fashion and lifestyle through art, design, entertainment, fashion, communications and the news.”