Is Fashion Art? Preview the New Exhibit at Ferragamo Museo


A new exhibit at the Ferragamo Museum in Florence pairs the famous shoes of Salvatore Ferragamo with works of art from the Pre-Raphaelite, Futurism, Surrealism, and Pop Art movements. Salvatore Ferragamo was both personally and professionally interested in the avant-garde art movements of the 20th century, as well as art of the ’50s and ’60s. As such, the exhibit includes a range of works, from Elisabeth Chaplin’s 1906 oil painting Family Portrait in Garden, to the Andy Warhol collaborator Christopher Makos, to a Kenneth Noland bullseye acrylic painting that seems to have directly inspired a pair of Ferragamo suede pumps. At the heart of the show is this thesis: That perhaps we can no longer treat the worlds of art and fashion as separate mediums. In other words: Is fashion art? Preview the exhibit here, which opens to the public on May 19.


Salvatore Ferragamo, Tirassegno, 1958, suede pump with kid appliqués with a target-shooting motif. (Florence, Museo Salvatore Ferragamo.)


Kenneth Noland, “Untitled,” 1958, acrylic on canvas, 96 x 96 cm. Bergamo, Private Collection. (Courtesy Galleria Fumagalli, Milan).


Rosa Genoni, ‘Pisanello’ court cape, 1906, silk velvet with embroidery. The cape, inspired by one of Pisanello’s watercolours (Un homme et une femme en habits de cour, c. 1450, Chantilly, Musée Condé) was presented at Milan International in 1906 along with the Primavera gown. (Florence, Gallerie degli Uffizi, Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti.)


Silvestro Lega, “A Stroll in the Garden, ” 1864–8, oil on canvas, 35 × 22.5 cm. (Florence, Gallerie degli Uffizi, Galleria d’arte moderna di Palazzo Pitti.)


Bruno Munari, graphic project for fabric for the 10th Milan Triennale, 1954, tempera on paper, 267 x 208 mm. (Bologna, Fondazione Massimo e Sonia Cirulli.)


Christopher Makos, “Altered Image,” 1981, 120 #9 frame 1, digital print, 148.6 x 111.8 cm. (Private collection.)


Campbell Soup Company, “The Souper Dress,” 1968, nonwoven fabric in paper, cellulose and cotton printed with the image of the Campbell’s Soup can. (Kyoto, The Kyoto Costume Institute collection.)


Getulio Alviani, “Tensions,” 1966–7, six serigraphs on paper, 50 x 50 cm each. (Brescia, private collection.)


Hussein Chalayan, Remote Control Dress, “Before Minus Now” collection, Spring/Summer 2000, shell in light-green Fiberglas with remote-control mechanism. (London, Judith Clark Studio.)


Elisabeth Chaplin, “Family Portrait in Garden,” 1906, oil on canvas, 200 × 130 cm. (Florence, Gallerie degli Uffizi, Galleria d’arte moderna di Palazzo Pitti.)