“L’abito per pensare”, an exhibition held in 1989 in the Sala della Balla of Milan’s Sforzesco Castle. Gianni Versace presented himself, his history and his collections in a major anthological exhibition, entrusting the project to Gianfranco Cavaglià. Nicoletta Bocca and Chiara Buss were responsible for the exhibition design, Piero Castiglioni was responsible for architectural lighting works and Heinz Waibl drew up the graphic design for the exhibition. The ballroom is rectangular in shape, featuring 10 meter high ceilings, large windows – which allow for the diffusion of daylight – and a single door that serves both as entrance and exit. For the exhibition, the windows were closed and a runner indicated the itinerary for visitors while in each individual section large titles provided general information. In order to highlight Versace’s career, the show was divided chronologically into six different parts.
Section 1: “Utopia of the Past” featured both clothes made by Versace’s dressmaker mother, as well as those from the early years of his ready-to-wear lines designed for Callaghan, Complice and Genny.
Section 2: “The Unknown Masterpiece” underlines how, despite fashion’s apparent seasonal variations, a continuity and coherence of style and design exists from one collection to another. Tall, elongated trapezoidal side-screens marked the route, making it thus possible to control the lighting of and highlight each individual garment. To ensure that each garment was illuminated with parallel beams of shadowless light, a metallic grid was expressly fixed to the floor in order to eliminate any shadows.
Section 3: “La mise en scene”, dedicated to theatre and fashion, was illuminated with kinetic effects, employing moving light to accentuate the characteristics of the costumes present on the forestage. Theatre equipment was used to create lighting effects alternating between frontal, side, foot lighting and lighting from the wings, to allow the garment-cum-characters to come alive with all the glamour of the stage. This was a window of light projected onto the backdrop, whose intensity could be changed to add depth and breadth to the rather confined spaces and give a magic, ephemeral quality to the costumes.
Section 4/5/6: dedicated to Versace’s styling alphabet, dress design and cultural connections. Architect Piero Castiglioni, has worked with many fashion icons, such as the Jil Sander Showroom, Christian Dior Couture, Frette Showroom, Loro Piana Showroom, Viktor & Rolf Showroom and many others.
Gianfranco Cavaglià Architects
Orsay Museum where architecture became a big lighting device, the reflections of light bulbs with walls and ceilings create a uniform light without shadows. Groups of projectors in Grassi Palace recall a small football field. Here was born a new type of lighting device. Reflector lamps and articulated support gives life at the "Cestello". Spasa na Krovi is a perfection of Mantova project. Light beams aggregation allow the device size reduction and the dispersion light control.