Bonaveri Magazine

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The Bonaveri Magazine features interviews and articles featuring our products and commentary from the people we work with.

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BONAVERI 2020

INTRODUCING

OBSESSION

SCHLÄPPI’S LATEST

COLLECTION

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In memory of Romano and Adele Bonaveri

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www.bonaveri.com www.bonaveri.com BONAVERIMILANO BONAVERIMILANO

+39 02 +39 36736030 02 +39 36736030 02 +39 36736030 02 36736030

Palazzo Pucci, Firenze.

Palazzo Pucci, Firenze.

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THE HOUSE OF

MANNEQUINS

14

AN INTERVIEW WITH

JASON WU

26

THE SCULPTING

ATELIER

46

AN INTERVIEW WITH

OLIVIER THEYSKENS

54

AN INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN

ARPINO ABOUT ADEL ROOTSTEIN

66

ALOOF

82

AN INTERVIEW WITH

JUDITH CLARK

92

AN INTERVIEW WITH

JIL SANDER

104

OBSESSION

120

TWIGGY

132

SARTORIAL

COLLECTION

144

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN,

SAVAGE BEAUTY

152

AN INTERVIEW WITH

SAM BEADLE

168

BNATURAL

SUSTAINABILITY

174

A NIGHT TO

REMEMBER

184

AN INTERVIEW WITH

DRIES VAN NOTEN

194

MAKING THE

IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE

202

A CONVERSATION WITH

LAUDOMIA PUCCI

218

MILAN

SHOWROOM

230

THE MAX MARA

POINT OF VIEW

244

C&A

THE MET

EXHIBITIONS

254

SCHLÄPPI

2200

264

AN INTERVIEW WITH

LUCA MISSONI

276

CREDITS &

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

284

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Renazzo di Cento. Bonaveri lies tucked in the heart

of the Ferrara countryside. From the office of Andrea

Bonaveri, at the helm of the company with his

brother Guido, second-generation of the family, floorto-ceiling

windows afford a scenic view of nature,

with fields stretching in the distance as far as the

eye can see.

A vast space, essential: a conference table, Andrea

Bonaveri’s desk and a mood board on the wall

behind it, overflowing with inspirational quotes and

images, old photographs of his parents, Romano and

Adele who founded the initial core of the company

in 1950, as well as sketches, magazine covers,

faces of models and mannequins, ideas for bodies

and poses. The unmistakable Charles & Ray Eames

chair, and silhouettes and sculptures of mannequins

off to the side, complete the picture.

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Bonaveri, Schläppi, Aloof, Sartorial and Tribe…are

the names of some of the nearly 20 collections and

ad hoc ideas created for all needs and purposes in

the 20,000 square metre factory which turns out

15,000 pieces a year between mannequins and

bust forms starting from the preliminary clay figures

to body scanning, from ancient craftsmanship to

the latest technologies.

Aloof, we can say, is the mannequin most requested

for display in the most famous and glamorous

department store windows worldwide. However, all

Bonaveri collections and proposals, from the bust

forms to bespoke creations, find in the marketplace

the occasion to dictate new aesthetics and styles.

“I just feel it and

I do it. I can’t

define a vision

or a default

strategy”

In all honesty, when I’m asked how and why, I don’t

know. I just feel it and I do it. I can’t define a vision

or a default strategy, I don’t know whether or not it’s

because I see further into the future than others…

for this reason, my interviews might appear strange

because I can’t define my methods…it’s more a

question of instinct.

Up to now your intuition has never been wrong.

[He laughs] The few things I’ve done in my life

have turned out rather well. Now we’ll see what

happens with the last one, the acquisition and

relaunching of Rootstein. I firmly believe it’s a

passion that has turned into a work opportunity

and I feel I’m responsible for making it become a

story of resurgence and an occasion to broaden the

horizons of our work. I really like this mannequin,

which is the polar opposite of our stylized ones. I like

Rootstein and always have. I have always admired

this company founded in the ‘50s in London by Adel

Rootstein, and devoted to realistic mannequins. So we

took this step.

Your role. You are divided between two worlds: the creative

and managerial one, and your office reflects this.

Quite. It’s the right balance. I am not as creative as an artist

but I don’t live just for numbers, on the contrary. Let’s start

from the beginning if that’s ok.

Of course.

Basically, I didn’t want to do anything at all [He laughs].

You wanted to live off your father’s company?

To tell the truth, there wasn’t much money. My father came

from a situation in the ‘70s when the company was just a

little setup that handled orders utilising outside suppliers.

It was really small.

But the beginning sounds like a story out of a novel.

Bear in mind that my father was a pioneer in the business

in the ‘50s. He started off with a bag of gypsum, newsprint

paper and a package of clay. With this he sculpted the first

mannequin, loaded it onto a bicycle-drawn cart and cycled

around to try to sell it. It’s that part of post-war Italy that

today we dream of. There were a lot of people like him

then and they laid the foundations for many companies

while building up the Italian economy. My dad was one of

those people. From this rather poetic but laborious start

full of hardships, we move on to the end of the ‘70s when I

entered into the business end of the company.

Were you studying?

I was young…I had a lot of ideas floating around in my head,

lots of distractions. You could say I was never a model

student [He laughs]. The choice of my secondary school

was by pure happenstance.

What kind of school was it?

It was a training institute for tour operators. I was really

fascinated by trips that I had never taken and I still had no

clear idea of what I wanted to do in the future nor a secret

dream.

In the meantime did you do some traveling?

No, no trips. As I said before there was little money at home,

so I started working half-heartedly in the factory. I would

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“I said to myself,

“I’ll become

a traveling

salesman so I can

wander around

a bit and see the

world. ”

paint and pack the mannequins, I was doing a bit of this

and a bit of that around Bonaveri. Let’s say that my main

interest was focused on keeping late hours and partying

with my friends. I was 20 years old in a small provincial

town between land and sea.

At a certain point I said to myself: “I can’t take much more

of this. I’ll become a traveling salesman so I can wander

around a bit and see the world. In hindsight, that was my

good fortune, a perfect choice.”

I hopped into my car, a Citroen 2 CV, grabbed the

catalogues and started to call on store after store. What a

big let-down! People weren’t interested in our mannequins

and said, “Thank you, we’re all set.” Sometimes I saw

my catalogues tossed in the trash bin when I passed by

that way again. If I think about it now, I remember many

embarrassing moments and some humiliating situations.

But it was those doors slammed in my face that changed

things and stimulated me like never before and led me to

make choices that somehow brought me to where

I am today. Look elsewhere, aim higher, get away

from the local mentality.

But at the time who were your customers?

We made realistic mannequins and bust forms for

window display, and in particular dress forms for

dressmakers and stores that sold sewing machines.

There were Necchi, Borletti, Pfaff, Singer to name

just a few.

Getting back to your story.

I left door-to-door sales and asked myself which

one was the most important fashion company,

and the answer then was Benetton. I phoned their

headquarters in Ponzano near Treviso, sold them

a convincing story and was told that the person in

charge of their display windows was architect Tobia

Scarpa. Benetton were really ahead of the times

then. So I phoned the architect to set up a meeting

and he invited me to come see him in his studio.

We talked about this and that and we connected

- perhaps he liked my sincerity. Then he told me to

meet up with him and Luciano Benetton in Ponzano

the following week, and we did.

Benetton were your first big clients.

They had a new project called Benetton Uomo

on the drawing board and it had to be an elegant

man. Mr. Benetton was extremely interested in this

project and wanted to open several stores to test

the market. He and I talked about it together and

subsequently I developed a mannequin for them: it

was one of my first projects. I wanted to show him

photos of the mannequin, so I phoned the company

and was told Mr. Benetton was in the United States

in New York.

How did that turn out?

As luck would have it, it was precisely New York

where I went on my first trip to the States in 1984

and New York became my training ground. In fact,

my first trips were all to the United States. We were

doing the Nadi (National Association of Display

Industries) trade fair there with our American

agent. Upon arriving in town, I decided to go to the

headquarters of Benetton America: I went to an address

in a Manhattan skyscraper, entered the huge foyer and

asked for Mr. Benetton. I was invited to wait while they told

him someone had come to see him. Luciano Benetton in

person popped out of a door, looked at me thunderstruck

- I was there without an appointment - and said, “Hello,

what are you doing here?” I answered I wanted to show

him the photos of the new mannequin I had created for

the new Benetton Uomo stores. He had me come into the

meeting room with his team, and introduced me as one of

the world’s best mannequin producers! So I showed him

the photos.

That was a nice presentation on his part. Right away he

placed his trust in you.

He introduced me as the mannequin phenomenon! I think

he was just so shocked at the strange situation. After

glimpsing the photos he said that they were great, make

an agreement with Scarpa.

What a story, what a meeting.

If I think about it now, I still don’t believe it. But in life

nothing happens by chance and in the long-run, if you

commit yourself, if you take your job seriously, you realise

that what people may call luck is nothing other than the

prize for your hard work and determination.

Surely you have more anecdotes about other well-known

personalities who wrote the history of fashion.

Armani was very important for our growth. He opened his

first stores with our products and he even went in person

to arrange the window displays when his stores were

inaugurated. Once when we were showing him a new

mannequin for his boutiques, I remember that a special

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feeling developed between Armani and my father.

When he found out that my father was a sculptor, he

asked him if he could show him a piece of artwork

he had recently purchased. He took us up to his topfloor

apartment in a building on via Borgonuovo. The

ambiance was of an essential beauty, minimalist

with no ornaments. I remember how he really cared

about showing us his marble statue from the

“Armani was very

important for

our growth. He

opened his first

stores with our

products and

he even went

in person to

arrange the

window displays”

Romanesque period, and how he spoke about it

with my father who was also passionate about that

type of art.

I also am thrilled to remember the meeting I had

several years ago with Monsieur de Givenchy,

another great name. We were in Switzerland at

the inauguration of the Audrey Hepburn exhibition,

(“Audrey Hepburn & Hubert de Givenchy” at the Expo

Fondation Bolle in Morges in 2017). The actress’s

family was present and Monsieur de Givenchy, who

was 90 years old, came over to me to congratulate

me. He said that our mannequins were the most

beautiful of all, and that only our Schläppi were able

to enhance his creations. If I think about it, I get all

choked up just saying this.

Other than Givenchy you were, and are, partners in

the exhibitions of numerous other fashion houses of

yesterday and today, I’m thinking of Pucci, Missoni, Gou

Pei and the Lanvin show that just ended in Shanghai, as

well as the New York fashion exhibitions par excellence

like those organised at the Metropolitan of New York by

Anna Wintour and curated by Andrew Bolton. In each of

these you have ceased being just a supplier and have

established partnerships and collaborations with them,

and a personal relationship based on mutual trust.

It is exactly this personal passion that has become a part of

professional life. Even since I was young, I was fascinated

by the exhibitions dedicated to telling about fashion, and I

went to see them every time I could. It was a way to give a

vaster context to our work and to find inspiration. My work

is my life, naturally also my family, but outside my family

I have my work. Why? Because I don’t know what I would

do otherwise. As time passes, I find it more interesting to

look at things regarding my work in my free time: fashion,

art, design, architecture. My relationship with museums

condenses all my passions into one single gesture.

What still makes your eyes light up after all these years of

work and so much experience under your belt?

My greatest joy is seeing my client satisfied at the end.

It’s not about the supply or have I ever awakened in the

morning thinking about money. What really motivates my

search for absolute quality is my desire to not only keep

the promises we make but also to try to surpass them so

as to leave the client surprised and fully satisfied with what

we made for them. This relationship is most evident in the

case of personalised creations, where we have to be able

to interpret the needs of a brand or the wishes of a fashion

designer, often creating things never before seen or done.

These challenges supply the emotional high that makes us

grow and continuously puts us to the test.

Over many years we have been able to meet all the big

names, from the fashion designers and latest brands

to the design studios, famous architects who build the

stores - another of my great passions - and institutions

we collaborate with such as the Victoria & Albert Museum

of London, the Metropolitan of New York or the MoMu of

Antwerp.

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But you also do it your own way. If a client had once asked

you to make a realistic mannequin with makeup and wig,

you wouldn’t have done it, would you?

Oh, no! I wouldn’t have! [Laughing]. That wasn’t my kind of

product. We’ve always been distinguished for our stylised

and minimalist forms, which at times became almost

abstract in their simplicity and iconicity. As far as realistic

mannequins, there was Rootstein that has made them into

a true art form! We wouldn’t have been able to compete

with them.

Was this the reason you acquired the Swiss brand,

Schläppi?

The Bonaveri and Schläppi families have known one

another for ages and we mutually respect each other in

the name of very fair competition. I remember that one

summer at the end of the ‘90s, Schläppi travelled to Italy

on vacation with his wife, and so we got together. He was

tired of working and he felt that he had really given his best

over the years. It was one of those moments that following

your instinct, you throw yourself into something you really

hadn’t planned for. And then there’s always an irrational

and sentimental component in important choices. We

started seriously to discuss this and several months later,

we bought the company. I remember it wasn’t an easy

choice and it was also risky, but you know, if you don’t take

risks you don’t get the satisfactions. I remember heated

discussions with my brother Guido and my mother and

father, but in the end we were serene in making this choice.

How did the market react to these radically different

mannequins?

We showed these mannequins to some visual

merchandisers who said, “It’s old stuff, who would buy it?”

At that time, what really sold well?

The Rootstein realistic mannequins and the headless bust

forms. After meeting with Jil Sander in 1993, we were

the first ones to introduce the first headless mannequin,

inspired by the body of Linda Evangelista [see Jil Sander

interview]. That type of product still sold well. I remember

that once the visual merchandiser of an important fashion

brand, after having seen the new Schläppi catalogues, said

to me, “Andrea, who are you going to sell the mannequins

to?” Instead, magically, those forms were exactly what were

missing, and their presence created a new way of giving

value to a garment and interpreting a store window.

It was a total success, and to keep up with it, we had

this new factory built in 2006.

I had always defined Schläppi as a sleeping brand.

It was sleeping and it just needed awakening. In

the space of two or three years it has become a big

success and undoubtedly enabled us to make a

qualitative leap that was fundamental in making us

the company we are today.

Maybe in the meantime fashion wanted new and

fresh looking store windows.

Probably, but I didn’t know that. You can better

understand our history through hindsight. Today

we know that in the first decade of 2000, it was

no longer the United States but rather Italy that

determined the innovations in stores and windows.

You said you went to New York in the ‘80s for

inspiration and some fresh air. Is there any new

city or country today your industry should keep its

eyes on?

For the last 20 years it has been Italy; there’s no

longer that difference between Italy, London or the

United States as there was in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

Certainly when I travel to London I always find an

incredible energy there and I return home full of

enthusiasm and motivation. I confess it is a great

source of pride for me to walk along the fashion

streets and see our products in the windows.

Fashion, by definition temporary and with a fast

turnover, on the one hand, and mannequins, which

have to last more than one season, on the other.

What role does a mannequin play in a store window

and with the garment?

There are no rules. All fashion designers want

their garments to be displayed in the best possible

way and each designer has exigencies. Sarah

Burton of Alexander McQueen for example wants

the mannequin to wear the garment so the way

it falls from the shoulder, bust, waist and hips is

impeccable. Other clients may be less interested

in how the garment fits and more in the woman’s

more provocative and sensual shape. All fashion

designers have requirements. So what can I say? Should

the mannequin fade into the background or stand out? It

depends on how artistic directors want to see their garment

displayed in the store window. It’s very, very subjective.

On the other hand, there is your willingness and ability

to study and create together the mannequin your client

wants.

Every request stimulates us to evolve from what apparently

is an always equal relationship. Instead a mannequin is

still an object full of opportunity to be explored.

Let’s finish with the beginning. In 2019 Bonaveri acquired

the British brand, Rootstein, and you are giving it a new

life. What can we expect from this?

Do you remember that book by Renzo Rossi, “Be Stupid”?

[He laughs]. Sometimes you have to be a bit reckless.

Rootstein is to the realistic mannequin as Schläppi is to

the stylised one. In a certain sense it completed the range,

even if it’s a radical change of scene and quite complex

from an artistic viewpoint. Right now we are working to

complete the first archival collection that we are launching

at the EuroShop in Düsseldorf. We chose to lead with an

absolute icon, Twiggy. And this is not a commercial choice

but a message of style, the exploration of new aesthetics.

We took over their archives with about one hundred

collections, one more beautiful than the next; we only had

to update them. Twiggy serves to remind me who Rootstein

is, and to make the brand known to young designers and

visual merchandisers.

Twiggy in 2020?

It is a mannequin from the ‘60s but her proportions have

been altered a bit. She was 1.60m tall and we made her

1.80m tall because otherwise today she would be a petite

size. Here a bit of strategy came into play, to have visual

merchandisers remember and discover this brand that has

given so much and can still give so much in the future,

because while it is true that we all look at the future,

the really interesting things are in the past, aren’t they?

Certainly, it is also the course and recurrence of fashion.

Yes, and even the great fashion designers are often

inspired by old things and ideas from the past, from the

‘20s, ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s…. At the end of the day, we all are

searching the past for the roots of our tomorrow.

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Ph: Laurence Ellis

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Jason Wu, the ‘enfant prodige’ of American

fashion, has been in love, ever since he was a child,

with the art of making a dress and sewing, when

his mother bought him his first sewing machine

and he began sketching in fashion proportions by

using dolls as mannequins. The past times and

memories - as follows in our interview - definitely

lead him today to create designs and gowns of

intricate craftsmanship, always delving into

details of fascination and construction.

“My philosophy has always been to build a

garment from the inside out,” says Jason.

Born in Taiwan, he soon had an international

trajectory and education, moving with his family

to Vancouver, Canada, when he was 9 years old.

He attended school in Connecticut in the US, by

the age of 14 he went to study sculpture in Tokyo

and then spent his senior year of high school in

Paris.

He settled down in New York City, where he

founded his own eponymous label in 2007, at

only 24 years of age. A new face of the US fashion

landscape was born. Meanwhile, he worked for

Hugo Boss until 2018 as Artistic Director of BOSS

Womenswear. In 2009, the photo of First Lady

Michelle Obama wearing an embroidered white

silk chiffon one-shoulder gown at the Inauguration

Ball of President Obama at the White House

appeared in the news and toured around the

world. That exquisite dress was by Jason Wu.

“I was over the moon. I know I am an unusual

choice for a First Lady. I didn’t think it was my turn

yet,” he told The New York Times.

A super young talent beat the establishment of

American fashion system – Oscar de la Renta

was the reference, having dressed both Hillary

Clinton and Laura Bush.

“At that time, the brand was in all the stores

already,” as Jason Wu himself recalled to Vogue

America, “This episode amplified my name and

made me more well known, but we had had three

years of hard learnings before that.”

4 years later, when Mrs Obama chooses Jason Wu

again for Obama’s second Inauguration Ball – a red

victory gown - Jason Wu was already totally out there

in the international fashion firmament and articles

and accolades keep celebrating his talent and work.

The seek for the best and most exclusive fabrics –

mostly produced in Italy and France, old world couture

techniques with a modern twist; unique prints that

change every season and always explore new and

innovative ways of production; embroidered creations

and sequins hand-sewn onto garments, which can

take up to 1000 hours. Chiffon gowns in shades of

grey, nude, violet, and ivory; organza, draping tulles,

bouquets of Swarovski crystals; ruffled day dresses

with botanical prints as well as a satin strapless

cocktail dress or a sequinned evening gown…Jason

Wu couture is a triumph of beauty, romantic textures

and modern sophistication; impalpable lightness and

femininity a plenty!

Your women. From Scarlett Johansson to Gwyneth

Paltrow and Diane Kruger, your dresses embody not

only gorgeous women, but also self-confident and

intense ones - and I think in particular about Michelle

Obama.

I create clothes for women who are not only fiercely

fashionable but also own their power and femininity.

I have always embraced the feminine form. I think

women gravitate toward my designs because they can

feel beautiful, confident, sophisticated and completely

themselves.

The image of a woman, but also the allure of her

scent. Your new perfume Velvet Rouge, the intangible

message of a fragrance…

Fragrance is something quite subliminal but really

impactful. A scent really does become your signature,

so it is a great form of self-expression. I think when

making anything, it has to start with materials to create

something meaningful in the end. With the new Velvet

Rogue fragrance, we started with Jasmine Sambac,

which is a key ingredient in my first fragrance and

has symbolic meaning to my childhood in Taiwan. We

incorporated pure rose, golden amber, and incense

to give this fragrance a full body and depth. There is

something extremely sensual about this new scent.

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You presented the Spring 2019 and Fall 2019

collections in NYC with the poetry of two

installations of suspended bust forms custommade

by Bonaveri. How and when did you

“meet” them?

I first heard about Bonaveri through Emma

Davidge who I have worked closely with for

many years. I was blown away by the incredible

craftsmanship and refinement of the Bonaveri

forms. Bonaveri has been making bust forms

since the 1950s, which happens to be my

favourite era of design. It felt like the perfect fit

to achieve my vision in creating a truly modern

and beautifully considered installation.

Why the choice of an installation with

mannequins and bust forms instead of a

fashion show?

I have done runway shows for my entire

career. While I love the energy and excitement

of a fashion show, I wanted to do a special

installation format for the 2019 seasons. The

idea of stripping away everything, and putting

the focus solely on the clothes felt vital to me. It

was about going back to the basics, and why I

became a fashion designer - to make beautiful

clothes! Through these presentations, I fell in

love with my job all over again.

learning of fashion and an important foundation. My

first sewing experience was making a dress for my doll

when I was 10!

My background in the doll industry, where I often

worked on the actual forms of the dolls with mannequin

sculptors, has helped lend a much more sculptural

component to my designs as well as attention to

minute details.

Are dolls still a visual reference for you that perhaps led

you to choosing bust forms for the your presentations

and your visual in stores? Or am I way off the mark?

You are not off mark as designing dolls was my first

career and so you can see a lot of that jointing and

intricately engineered parts as something quite

familiar to me. The beautiful wood finish with the

meticulous muslin covered body and the pale gold

hardware was the perfect sartorial message for the

collection. Those bespoke details are a testament to

the exceptional craftsmanship of Bonaveri artisans.

-------

Bonaveri has collaborated with Jason Wu realizing a

mix of suspended and floor Sartorial bust forms, also

supplying heads for a few of them.

What about the behind the scenes of these

presentations?

It was important to see what worked best on

the bust forms so we did a lot of fittings with the

forms. Concentrating on the smallest details

was especially important as the garments had

to be suspended and inspected closely. Every

garment needed to be perfectly crafted.

A step backwards. You have studied sculpture

in Tokyo, and you have learned how to sew by

making doll dresses. And you also developed

your “Jason Wu Doll” collections later on.

That’s a very nice and unexpected background!

I guess you still like dolls! Do you collect them?

I do have an archive of some of my favourite

dolls that I have designed with Integrity Toys (an

American company producing innovative dolls,

editor’s note). Dolls were a catalyst for my early

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A physical, but at the same time, a metaphorical

place for the mannequin, the Window is the

universe where the mannequin dwells, and

interacts with the garments, the setting, the

lighting, other mannequins and the public.

It represents a place/non-place where fashion

designers project their vision of style to the

world. The protagonists of these style stories

are always the mannequins, which in the past

were a mirror image of human beings where

only the features were reproduced. Today more

often than not they refine reality.

Mannequins as symbols, but also as objects of

communication. They are absolute protagonists

of figurative art and an indispensable gobetween

for fashion when it tells its story both

in stores and beneath museum vaulted ceilings

where the evolution of style and fashion

designers is displayed. There exists an earlier world

that precedes the physical one and determines what

appears before the public.

This above-mentioned place is the Bonaveri sculpture

atelier: the epicentre of know-how from which ideas

take shape, wishes materialize and styles find their

line.

The story of Bonaveri represents one of the examples

of made in Italy where the words are not just labels put

there for commodity’s sake, put rather the essence

of Italian heritage: passion, art, craftsmanship and

originality linked to our region and inseparable from it.

The mannequins come alive and in the words of

de Chirico, are no longer condemned to immobility

because they are truly capable of giving life to emotions

in the heart and mind of those who come in contact

with them.

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The mannequin is created like a real sculpture

and it has within itself the DNA of the artistic

product. And like all forms of art, it reflects the

time and historical changes which are obvious

looking at the collections starting in the ’50s.

Let’s move to the origins of this story and enter

the sculpture atelier, the centre of gravity you

could say, with respect to the rest of the factory

housing the sewing room and the photography

studio.

The story of

Bonaveri represents

the essence of

Italian heritage:

passion, art,

craftsmanship and

originality

A bit further on is a space populated with

miniatures, small clay figures that are the

prelude to creating the actual mannequins.

The miniature in fact is not a reduction of the

larger mannequin proportions but rather it is

the first thing to be created and acts as means

of exploring ideas, modelling visions and

defining postures.

In fact the many possible proclivities and

natures live in them as embryos which are then

fully expressed in the life sized mannequins:

a first approach to understanding the steps

Bonaveri takes in exploring the confines of

form, the aesthetics of the figure.

From these shadowy rooms that enhance the

evocativeness of the figures, we pass into the

actual atelier.

Buckets of clay, rods and poles, spatulas,

instruments… The sculptor, Marco Furlani is

busy at work. He is shaping a new body for the

Obsession collection. Scattered around him are

scads of clay models, both baked and unbaked,

sketches and a wall covered with a mood board

of images of women in supple poses. In the same

room other sculptors are preparing or finalising figures

between abstraction and realism.

As every morning, Guido Bonaveri, at the helm of

the company with his brother Andrea, and technical

director at the factory, came in. In him you can also

feel the force of the passion for the artistic aspect.

Marco Furlani is from Trent, he is 36 years old and

has been working for Bonaveri for more than 10 years,

when he was still a student at the Fine Arts Academy

of Bologna. We have talked with both of them.

In this room are found all the significant things that

bind Bonaveri history to its present.

Guido Bonaveri: The sculpture atelier was already

the heart of the activity when my father, Romano,

was there. The old story he always told was that in

the post war period, when he was a little more than

20 years old, he didn’t know what to do with his life.

The idea of making bust forms and mannequins came

from talking with a tailor who told him that the bust

forms he used for sewing suits were made of papier

mâché, the same material used to make Carnevale

allegorical floats. Since my father at that time already

made such floats, it was then that he got the idea to

make a profession out of his own talent and start up a

business. And there you have it!

Interpreting this tradition must be a great

responsibility.

Guido: See, of the many paths one could follow in life,

my lot was to make mannequins. By chance I was

born into a family that has dedicated it’s own life,

both personal and professional, to mannequins. But

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it isn’t by chance that I am here today taking about

silhouettes and beautiful figures.

I was little more than a boy when I decided to take up

the study of form, sculpture and drawing along with

everything that is reflected in the concept of beauty

and linearity. It was a path I chose by chance but one

I followed with passion and reason determination.

Even with struggling with the force of doubt measuring

every choice.

If today I am in a position to apply an artistic sensitivity

to my metier, I owe it to the many steps I took affirming

my instinct and desire to cultivate beauty and to follow

the perfect proportion.

If chance has led me to this line of work, passion and

strength of will have accompanied me throughout life,

motivated by the desire to make the mannequin into

a form of art.

And here we can really feel the art foundation of

mannequins and their first steps and behind the

scenes’ process.

Marco: Once the mannequin’s pose has been

decided, here we study its aesthetic nature and make

a miniature. If we are satisfied, we make a life size

dimension one starting with a metal framework that

becomes the mannequin’s skeleton, obviously with

the pose of the finished mannequin. We first start

by covering it with clay, so we get a perfectly smooth

three dimensional figure. Then we make the first

mould by applying several layers of plaster paste to

the sculpture. Once it’s dry, we open the plaster mould

which will then be filled with resin to make the master

piece which will be used to create the one for industrial

production. This last mould will be used to make the

master mould from which the final one will be made

for industrial production.

What materials do you work with?

Marco: For the most part we use clay, then plaster,

resin, stucco, etc. We could use other materials as

well, but clay is the basis of classic sculpture and

allows to have a greater sensitivity in shaping the

forms, especially the faces.

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Guido: The clay we use in the sculptures is the

same that my father, Romano, used to go get

from the bed of Reno river, a river that traverses

the city and has given its name to many little

towns nearby, hence the town of Renazzo where

we have our headquarters, or other places in

the vicinity such as Reno Centese, Corporeno,

Casalecchio di Reno…

How is work organized inside the atelier?

Marco: There are 3 really capable young women

here with me. They also create new models but

utilizing a different technique. They don’t start

with clay but from already existing epoxy resin

or plastic mannequins. In accordance with

the clients’ requests, they modify the size, the

face or the posture and in this way, make new

“bespoke” prototypes.

How does the creative process work?

Marco: We always start from a mood board

that we put on the wall. Some poses are more

inspiration and dramatic in effect, while other

are easier to interpret. In this case, the mood

board Emma Davidge prepared is quite detailed

and enables us to proceed with great precision.

Starting from this, we go to the image archives and

choose those poses, those forms and features that will

allow us to define the aesthetics of the mannequin.

Clients might ask for different sizes, faces, maybe

more feminine or masculine looks, and so on. How

do you go about interpreting these requests?

Marco: A personalized mannequin must be able to

express the brand identity and respect it in its form,

posture and aesthetics of its image. Before starting to

work we do an in-depth study of the client’s universe

particularly the windows, the product and how they

communicate and what they want to transmit. We try

to enter into symbiosis with it since what we will create

is bespoke exactly in the same way a tailor makes a

suit. It’s not enough for it to be beautiful or well made,

it has also to be the “right product” for that brand so

the client sees their image in it.

The face and its features. Sometimes they are always

the same whereas in others change slightly.

Sometimes it is an aesthetic choice connected to

the concept of the collection as is the case of Tribe

for instance, where each mannequin had to have its

own identity. Other times it’s random, like for

Obsession. When we made the first Obsession

figure we fell in love right away with its face.

We had no doubts because in the originality

of that face the DNA of our Schläppi collection

from the ‘60s was present and we wanted to

preserve it in Obsession. We looked at it and

were Obsessed, hence we decided to use it for

all the poses.

Any anecdotes? A project that was particularly

challenging, and therefore satisfying?

Marco: I remember the mannequins from a

window project Emma Davidge created for Louis

Vuitton on a circus theme. I made mannequins

to look like trapeze artists flying through the

air. There were tight deadlines but the result

was striking [and Guido confirms this task and

almost in sync with Marco starts talking about

the first ever articulated mannequin].

But actually my greatest satisfaction was when

I made the first female articulated mannequin

for the exhibition, “Louis Vuitton - Marc Jacobs”

at the Louvre under the artistic direction of

Emma who curated the creative concept. It was quite

a complex work with a deadline that allowed for no

mistakes but I can proudly say that the result was

impeccable.

Guido, thanks also to these abilities and Bonaveri

unique know-how, today your company’s name is

recognized worldwide.

Guido: Our objective was never to become famous

but to do our work well. What happened after was a

consequence of a way of seeing life and our craft. We

are a family and each of us contributes to foment this

story. First our parents, then it was myself and Andrea

with our energy and competence, and tomorrow it will

be our children contributing to the story. My son, Alex,

has been at my side for the past two years bringing

freshness and his generation’s modern touch to

nourish our company. The heredity we received was

never an immobile capital but a resource through

which to develop new ideas.

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“She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes;

Thus mellowed to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impaired the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express,

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!”

Lord Byron, 1814

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“Darkly romantic”. This is how famous

journalist Suzy Menkes has defined him.

Olivier Theyskens, Belgian fashion designer

with Paris as his second hometown, fell in love

with Bonaveri mannequin collection while he

was planning his own exhibition, “She Walks

in Beauty,” at the MoMu fashion museum in

Antwerp, in Belgium, two years ago.

Born in Brussels in 1977, Olivier started his

own label at the age of 20; then he became

Artistic Director for the historical maisons,

Rochas first and then Nina Ricci; a jump to the

US for the American-wear label, Theory, and in

September 2016 his return to Paris to re-launch

his eponymous current label.

A gifted child in drawing with a keen sense for

detail, he declared he wanted to be a couturier

when he was only 7 years old!

We reached Olivier over the phone in his studio

in Paris - tucked inside the historical landmark

Hotel de Bourrienne - one early January morning,

feeling and enjoying his sincere passions not

only for couture but for mannequin bodies and

their world of movement and postures.

“She walks in beauty”, what a fascinating title

for your exhibition, that sounds like it is leading

us to another world and feelings.

The title comes from a poem by Lord Byron.

You like him and poetry?

I like poetry for sure, I like the sky and of

universe of poems, from Baudelaire to Lord

Byron. I wanted to have some quotes in the

exhibition from the world of poetry to give more

atmosphere, something reminiscent of strong

words that make people think.

“She walks in beauty” is a poem that speaks

about an extremely beautiful widow dressed in

black. I thought it was a good fit and also when I

sketch collections a lot of times I sketch figures

that are in movement, like they are walking…

And you in the rooms of MoMu were replicating this

idea of movement.

Well, I think that the very important thing in the

exhibition, which was a monograph, was to give a

feeling of who the Theysken girl was. Her posture and

physique had to link to my shows.

It was essential to transcribe something that was

coherent with what I have done through the years,

so the choice of the mannequins was extremely

important. We started the process of the exhibition

probably more than a year before its opening. I wasn’t

finding the right attitude to present my work, then I

happened to understand there was a new collection

coming at Bonaveri, called Tribe, that was just what I

was looking for.

I saw the first prototypes; we were very lucky because

we could use them to shoot the images for the

exhibition catalogue. We had to start working on the

book six months before the exhibition itself and I had

the possibility of playing around with the mannequins’

positions: we had five shapes and five postures that

I could mix to recreate new positions to shoot the

photos.

You loved the Bonaveri Tribe* at first sight.

The Tribe silhouettes, the postures were very

Theyskens, because they really look like real girls.

I understood from Bonaveri that their poses were

inspired by models’ attitudes and gestures when they

are backstage at fashion shows.

As I was saying, I could experiment with these new

mannequins earlier for the catalogue. I could mix

them: for example, I could use the bust of number one,

a leg of number three, one arm from another… and

make new postures with new and different attitudes.

An employee of the museum who was there on the

shoot started writing down how I used each silhouette,

each mannequin, how I combined the parts…

The goal of the book was to give the feeling the clothes

were shot on alive models. And this complex combining

really gave the feeling that you had real girls wearing

the clothes.

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I have in front of me the images you are talking

about; I’ve never seen mannequin shots

looking so real and caught in such natural and

romantic poses.

What was particularly interesting for me was

that the proportions were so right for all the

looks that I was shooting. Exactly the fit that I

experienced when I did the shows back in the

years in couture. It was exactly how I could see

a model wearing the clothes, exactly the same

attitude and the same fit.

“The Tribe

silhouettes, the

postures were

very Theyskens,

because they really

look like real

girls.”

The idea of the exhibition was to show my career

and how I have worked in different houses. So

the exhibition started with my own brand I did

for five years, it followed with Rochas, then with

Nina Ricci, then Theory and finishing with my

current years.

There was something quite natural, slightly

distant at the same time that allowed me to

do dramatic compositions, and also with the

light I was able to create a more atmospheric

presentation; I added wigs to the mannequins

for the feeling of style and finishing touches. So

the final effect was absolutely beautiful.

Absolutely beautiful. Beauty is not easy to

define.

The concept of beauty is extremely subjective,

one person is more touched and moved than

another by something a person has defined

as beautiful, and I am that kind of person, but

there are different contemplative aesthetics. I

am a person who is moved by things that I find

beautiful, especially with women. I don’t have a

criteria saying that you have to be like that or like this,

it’s more about a situation in life that brings things

that are emotional and connected with beauty.

When I design, I also want to do beautiful clothes, and

beautiful designs and I want to bring a dimension to the

girl and to her personality with emotions. Sometimes

it can be only positive, or it can be something more

fragile, or more dramatic or it could be something

pure and absolutely ethereal. But it’s very important

for me that it touches the world of delicacy and the

world of beauty.

And this is the Theyskens girl.

It’s something very personal, it’s an impression I have.

I have been collecting impressions for all my life. I

have inside me feelings and emotions. I don’t like to

be very strict and mono-directional, I want to be more

subtle and hard to catch. There is a mystery, there is a

question, which is hard to read exactly. You won’t ever

be able to label one of my collections, saying the girl

is sexy, or the girl is like this or like that… because I

am very much more into the attitude, the dark and the

light of the character together.

Going back to your beginnings, you also had some

experience in theatre.

I designed some costumes. Right after school I

launched my brand, I did my collection for five years

before I moved to Paris. The moment I took the job

with Rochas, I had a proposition to collaborate on an

opera at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels.

It was a transitional moment, I was about to leave

Belgium for Paris and start with Rochas. At that time, it

was a very very difficult schedule but I managed to do

everything, and I was able to work with the beautiful

opera “I due Foscari” by Giuseppe Verdi, for which

we designed lots of costumes, like 280, because the

opera chorus had several costume changes and there

were many characters and a lot of very complicated

pieces. I loved working on stage and the Théâtre Royal

del la Monnaie has an incredible production atelier.

I was working there with designers like Christian

Lacroix. It was a great experience.

A Belgian in Paris.

Well, I grew up in Brussels but my mother is French,

from Normandy, a region one hour and a half by car

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from Paris in the countryside. I used to come

many times to France when I was a kid and I

always say that my French side is very important.

I feel half Belgian, half French. I physically

moved from Brussels in 2001 and I have always

felt at home here in Paris. Obviously I have a

little bit of Belgian typology, I have a little bit of

an accent from Belgium, my attitude is probably

a little bit Belgian too, and obviously I visit often

my family in Belgium.

I always feel that the French side of myself is

very important, especially when it comes to

the world of aesthetics, the world of fashion,

the world of nature …I definitely feel that has

been a strong part of me. In the French side of

my family there were more women: my mother

has three sisters. When I was a small child, the

French side of my family was very strong in the

feminine side and always inspired me.

Last but not least, have you ever been to visit

Bonaveri near Bologna?

No, I have never been. I wish one day I would

be able to design a mannequin with them. I

did design mannequins two times; once when I

was working with Nina Ricci and then some for

Theory when I was in the US, producing them

with a Los Angeles based company. I would

really love to be able to work someday with

Bonaveri to create a line.

I am a sculptor, I will carve and create the body.

I use my hands and I can create bodies with the

right proportions. I have worked on the body for

so many years, it’s in my blood, it’s there. It’s

my kind of thing and it’s about proportions. It’s

the classic discipline and training that I have

been working for so many years.

“I am a

person who

is moved

by things

that I find

beautiful,

especially

with

women.”

-------

*Bonaveri Tribe Collection is composed of

a series of mannequins rather than a single

character, each with its own identity – unlike

a traditional collection that explores a single

character in multiple poses. Here Bonaveri

collaborated with Tribe female mannequins.

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London-born, Kevin Arpino is a milestone - and

also a maverick - in the display and mannequins

industry and art, having worked for 31 years at

Rootstein, next to the founder Adel Rootstein,

the pioneer of realistic mannequins who broke

into the world and market in the ‘60s with her

eponymous company based in the UK.

Dubbed the “Mercedes Benz of mannequins”,

Arpino was the Creative Director at Rootstein

Display Mannequins in London curating the

design of mannequins and also the image of the

brand, conceiving some of its most successful

and ground-breaking collections, faces and

bodies.

We spoke with Kevin over the phone, catching

him between a London - California flight, where he was

heading to work as a Creative Director and dealer for a

London art gallery. At present, with all his experience

between fashion and visual arts, he oversees art fairs

like Art Basel in Miami and Untitled Art Fair in San

Francisco.

Let’s start from the beginning: London, Rootstein and

you.

I started in the ‘80s, but the history of the company

dates back to the ‘50s. Adel Rootstein established

the company in the late 50s making wigs and props

in a small apartment in Earl’s Court. At that time she

came to a realization that all the mannequins in the

stores looked the same. So, she began creating handmade

mannequins that looked younger and more

glamorous and stylish - not shapeless husks that

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look like someone’s mother! She started her

own collections - some were very good, some

not so good - with a sculptor called John Taylor

who said he wanted to work with some models

- so he could model the mannequins after the

glamorous models of the day. Taylor would

go on to work at Rootstein for 28 years. Adel

booked some models and Taylor reproduced

them in clay.

The collections grew. And then the big break

came when they did Twiggy... Adel was quite

clever proposing her, as Twiggy became the

face of the 60s; nobody else had done anything

like this before. It was sensational! Twiggy

is Twiggy, you know? And after that, she did

other mannequins based on other models or

actresses. People - the big brands - wanted

their clothes in mannequins that resembled the

models and actresses of the day. That’s how it

all started.

How did you get involved with Adel and her

mannequin world?

Originally, I was a client of Rootstein’s. I was

working with other people at the time - doing

visual merchandising, some teaching, but I

have always had an eye for these things and I

guess you could say that Adel head-hunted me.

Of course, we didn’t use that word back then,

but she thought I had a certain panache, and I

did! I mean, I still do, because I have a particular

eye, and they wanted to bring some fresh blood

into the company to shake things up. She was

a visionary, you know. So I joined the company

in 1983, I think, I can’t remember, I was 29. It

was a fabulous gig for me back then. I started

out as Adel’s assistant and then eventually she

approached me to do my own collections, and

she teamed me up with another sculptor; and

quite soon I was doing male collections and she

was doing the female ones. At one point she

wanted to go back to school, so she went to art

school to do a degree in Fine Arts - always on

the move, Adel was . So I took over the whole

style of the design, working close with sculptors

doing two collections a year, and continuing

with new models. Some of them were already very

famous, some became famous. Of course I became

familiar with all of them.

For example which names?

Yasmin Le Bon, who was married to Simon Le Bon. We

did Dianne Brill in 1989, she was a big club woman,

we did a small waist for her, with an hourglass figure,

pert breasts, platinum blonde hair swept up and the

most stunning expression. It was sensational; it really

is an art to achieve this stylised beauty that resembled

real people.

“THEY WANTED TO

BRING SOME FRESH

BLOOD INTO THE

COMPANY TO SHAKE

THINGS UP”

We did models such as Eric O’Conner, Agyness Deyn,

Coco Rocha. If they could sell fashion in a magazine,

we thought they could sell fashion in a store. To name

a few more: Johanna Lumley, Karen Mulden, Ute

Lemper, Saffron Burrows, Jodie Kidd. I did my friend

Pat Cleveland who was the supermodel before we even

knew what that word was. I also did her daughter, my

god-daughter Anna Cleveland who really is quite the

rage and was the face of the Met Gala a few years back

.

And how about the male collections? “The Great

Gadsby” and “The Young and Restless” ones raised

a lot of buzz, your super thin mannequins got some

criticism.

We did a male collection that was muscle boys

because at that time designers like Versace started

to be successful and the look that was prevailing

at the moment was - you know, sculpted muscles,

and swarthy looking. Swedish supermodel Marcus

Schenkenberg was all the rage. We didn’t get Marcus

in the end, but we used a guy called Chad White.

Our mannequins tended to reflect what was going

on in the fashion world. I think Rootstein was more a

fashion company than a display company - you know,

they actually had some influence on the fashion world.

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We did Naomi when she was only 15 and never

used it; she looks better now to be honest. Then

we did the very skinny boys because that was

what was going on in the fashion shows, like

Gucci or Prada, they were all using very very

slim boys. And we did the mannequins like that

but we got criticized heavily for propagating a

negative body issue, but really we were just

emulating what the fashion world wanted from

us.

“WE WERE MOSTLY

KNOWN FOR

OUR REALISTIC

MANNEQUINS -

WHICH STARTED

TO FEEL ‘OUT OF

FASHION’”

we often did special mannequins for Ralph Lauren. It

depended on the situation and brand, really, but we

always kept up with the trends... just as the fashions

changed, we changed, too.

London was your headquarters and playground.

My office was in Chelsea. Then we moved to a massive

premise in West Kensington - with offices, design labs,

and showrooms, even fully functional sewing rooms

where we would make outfits that followed the trends

of the day. The mannequins could not be shown

naked - they had decorum, decency, you know we

really imbued them with a liveliness. But also I must

not fail to mention the sculpting studios, the foundries

where we would

So you were definitely catching what was going

on in society.

Yes, we were tapping into the fashion zeitgeist.

We did many celebrities; Joan Collins was a very

big name at the time, she came in a few times

throughout the years. As a result I became

linked to all these very influential figures, and

we used to do all the most glamorous clubs and

restaurants. Even studio 54, I was there. We

tried to reflect what was going on, not just in

England but also the American market, which

was very big for us too. Also we were selling

our mannequins to Ralph Lauren and to the

new big stores like Zara, H&M and all the big

department stores as well: Neiman Marcus and

Bloomingdales. We were mostly known for our

realistic mannequins, but toward the 2000s

there began a trend to not use make up and hair

- which started to feel ‘out of fashion’ - in their

place were these glossy, stylized and simplified

mannequins. Zara was big on heralding this

change - it felt youthful and emerging - easily

maintainable, just like the stores themselves.

We also did some custom work, for example

cast and mass-produce the mannequins. What many

people don’t realize is that it all happened on-site. But

we didn’t have just one big space, but many around

the world. We used to have an office in New York, in

Chelsea, with a massive showroom and we would stage

the most elaborate ‘fashion shows’; once we created

a Brazilian themed show with a pool, and filled the

showrooms with an actual pool. We did a harlequin

theme once: all black and white, with carnival acts

and trapeze style mannequins. You know it could be

a real palaver!

In the ‘80s and ‘90s the music and club scenes

in London were at its peak, from Punk to New

Romantics. Were they influencing your work?

Very much so: art, movies, fashion, music, really

they are so interlinked. Models marrying actors and

famous singers marrying models and so on. We had

to have our fingers on the pulse, and music is

always at the forefront of these things. Even

today you have Bieber for Calvin Klein or One

Direction boy Harry Styles for Gucci and so on.

Today you have influencers and bloggers from

the Internet, who are even more important

than fashion editors, becoming celebrities

themselves. It’s very McLuhanite: “the medium

is the message”. I think today it’s more about

curating a lifestyle situation: store sales are

down at alarming rates around the world, but in

those days, at that time, the models were dating

the musicians and it was all so linked together.

Yasmin and Simon; Bon Jovi and Madonna

were modeling for Versace. Elton and Princess Diana

were best friends! So fashion really has always been

so omnipresent, and it was quite glamorous to be “in

the know” even with some of these dodgy musicians

like how Kate was with Pete Doherty.

You have lived and worked in audacious times,

meeting rocking people!

It was a fun company! And we did fantastic, honest hard

work. It wasn’t all champagne and glitz and glamour,

we pulled long hours. People came in to experience

our showroom launches in London or New York and it

was all very exciting. We had a strong product and we

had a lot fun. You should have seen them!

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www.bonaveri.com www.bonaveri.com BONAVERIMILANO BONAVERIMILANO +39 02 36736030 +39 02 36736030

Palazzo Pucci, Firenze.

Palazzo Pucci, Firenze.

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The history of mannequins is as much a history

of fashion as an cultural overview of the 20th

century.

Over the last 100 years, the shapes that

represent our “human illusions” have often

changed to align with the constantly evolving

culture of fashion consumption. The advent

of window shopping, subversive androgyny,

women’s liberation, wartime rationing, the

Barbie Doll and fibreglass all add support to an

industry in constant flux.

The evolution of the mannequin runs parallel

with the industrial revolution, a period in

which large plate-glass, sewing machines,

and electricity transformed the shop-front into

a performative space. From simple headless

dolls to full figure representations of the human

form, the mannequin rapidly took to the stage.

This period marks the onset of a new bourgeois

activity, that of “window shopping” where

mannequins modelling the latest fashions take

centre stage.

“In the 1920s, realistic dolls with sculpted wax

heads and glass eyes became “mannequins”

as we know them today. Their poses were

sophisticated, their bodies stylised, and their

manner elegant. Their shape reflected ideal

figure at the time, which was straight-up and

boyish.”

Oriole Cullen, V&A

The 1950s marks a boom in US consumerism,

and mannequins become more uniform in

shape and size, embodying the period’s ideal

notion of the female form. Likewise, in the

1960s the mannequin evolves yet again as the

sexual revolution plays its part in defining the

era’s ideal beauty.

Whilst each of these decades expressed

distinct ideals of beauty there is a growing

disconnect between the mannequin and the

shape and size of the average consumer. Whilst

mannequins of the 1960s were based on the

glamour and celebrity of the era, mannequins of the

1970s became increasingly abstracted – morphing

slowly into the headless drone-like figures which gain

runaway popularity in the 1990s.

Rejecting the attitude to body image which takes

centre-stage in the 1960s, the 1980s gives rise

to a brief focus on health and fitness. In response,

mannequins emerge with realistic, toned features.

The 1990s marks a “heroin-chic” trend, a decade

during which the stick-thin figure of supermodels like

Kate Moss prevail as the ideal female form. During

this period, plus-sized retailers and fashions gain

popularity, and accordingly, larger models emerge

on the market, that are closer in size to the average

woman.*

This journey through the evolution of mannequins,

along with the tastes, styles and shifting requirements

of the fashion industry is essential in understanding

when is the key point at which a company decides to

develop a new collection. The perfect example is the

story of the Aloof Collection.

In 2014 Bonaveri decided

to evolve the Schläppi

family adding a new

collection to its long list of

iconic figures.

In 2014 Bonaveri decided to evolve the Schläppi family

adding a new collection to its long list of iconic figures.

For the first time in its history the Italian company

invited an external creative director to work on such

an ambitious task. Emma Davidge, Creative Director

of Chameleon Visual, accepted this challenge.

Bonaveri had worked with Ms. Davidge on previous

bespoke projects and so choosing her to collaborate

on the new collection wasn’t out of the blue. Between

them, they had to look no further than the shelves

of the Bonaveri factory where the original Schläppi

figures and moulds were waiting to be rediscovered.

Emma immediately recognised the original design

intent and started extracting the essential elements

that give the Schläppi collection it’s unique

look.

Timeless elegance, height and grace: Aloof is

the answer: a fresh new note of glamour and

femininity to fashion displays.

“Each time I visited Bonaveri I was always

drawn to the archive area at the far end of

the factory” says Emma Davidge “Each time I

looked up onto the shelving units the same blue

mannequins always stood out and I wanted to

incorporate them, somehow into a new project.

When I was asked to collaborate on a new

Schläppi collection I knew these mannequins

would be my starting point and my source of

inspiration. I’m unsure what year the collection

was produced, but I was told it was the 1st

generation Schläppi?”

Starting from a study of the Schläppi archive

collection from the 1960s, Emma Davidge

reinterpreted the figures with elongated

limbs and hands, exaggerated poses, serene

facial expressions and markedly tilted necks.

She then imbued these silhouettes with the

femininity typical of a sophisticated 1950s

aesthetic. This was a time when fashion models

moved with supreme style through the fashion

atelier’s apartments and grand houses, moving

gracefully through filled rooms. This same

profile of beauty was being captured by some of

the greatest fashion photographers of the time;

Cecil Beaton and Richard Avedon.

“My personal inspiration for the Aloof collection

came from a fantasy of what was the ultimate

mannequin? What did I want to put into one of

my displays? What did she look like? How would

she work in a small window or a department

store window? Who would buy her? She just

didn’t exist I have always been drawn to great

photographers and stylists who explored

fashion and motion and produced some of the

most iconic imagery (which is still used as a

source of inspiration today) or stylists who really

transformed moments in fashion history Irving

Penn, Horst, Duffy, Richard Avedon, Dianna

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Vreeland, Cecil Beaton (to name just a few)

The 1950’s couture houses: Dior, Chanel, YSL

also played a huge role in the inspiration. The

moments I chose to capture were the editorial

shapes, a mannequin with exaggerated poses,

exaggerated limbs but still elegant and would

work solo as a hero mannequin telling a story or

by using them in a more powerful symmetrical

poses where they become twins or a mirror

image of each other, they had to tell a story

where they interlocked as a whole collection

without there being one figure that never got

chosen, they needed to flow with each other

and could tell a story without there being a

narrative”.

The collection was partly conceived to enable a

dialogue amongst the various poses, offering the

designer unique opportunities for creating versatile

combinations and a fresh narrative every time.

To celebrate the introduction of Aloof, in 2014,

Bonaveri staged a series of global events under

the title ‘The Journey’. The first event at EuroShop

2014 was a 5-day presentation held at the Bonaveri

Showroom in Düsseldorf.

Soon after, a second Journey event took place; a

cocktail party held in the Bonaveri showroom in

Paris. Set alongside the grand architecture of the

Rue Beaubourg, the showroom provided the perfect

backdrop for introducing Aloof to a sophisticated

French industry.

During the third “Journey” event, Aloof was launched

in spectacular style at the Louise Blouin Foundation

in London. The evening was attended by some of the

UK’s top luxury retail brands. The strikingly simple

white backdrop of the gallery coupled with a very

Aloof comes alive by being able to recall this

major period of fashion history. We recognize

in Aloof this heritage and find her shapes

both inspiring and memorable. The Bonaveri

sculpting atelier took up the task of developing

the first miniature figures of Aloof, crafting

from clay both her new found inspiration and

Schläppi heritage.

Aloof is a modern, inspiring, elegant collection

made by several engaging poses. Each has its

own stage presence and individual expression.

Whether the mannequins are used singly or

in larger compositions - where the figures

seem reflected in each other - the theatrical

essence of Aloof is striking. With their precise

proportions, these mannequins are perfect for

haute couture and prêt-à-porter collections.

Aloof is a modern,

inspiring, elegant

collection made by several

engaging poses

powerful arrangement of Aloof mannequins and

decorative elements made the entire evening

unforgettable. The display designed by Chameleon

Visual. was twinned with two spectacular tables of

flowers and miniature Aloof pieces. The gallery space

and amazing display of Aloof mannequins delivered

a perfectly memorable mix of style and atmosphere.

Aloof’s first debut in a window display was in 2014, on

the Fendi Avenue Montaigne in Paris. Since then many

brands have chosen Aloof as their arbiter of style,

enacting ever changing narratives across the globe.

Each event, presentation and reveal is a journey in

itself, one that continues to contribute to the ongoing

story of this young and important collection.

*taken from “The complete history of mannequins:

Garbos, Twiggies, Barbies and beyond” by Leighann

Morris

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Just back to London from Shanghai, where she flew

to curate the set up and opening of the last exhibition

she made, “Dialogue: 130 years of Lanvin”, Judith

Clark talked with us over the phone right before

Christmas. Born in Rome of Australian parents, super

fluent in Italian, here she tells about her job as a

“fashion exhibition maker”, one of the most soughtafter

and revered in her field. From the Louis Vuitton

Galerie at their Asnières-sur-Seine’s home in France

to “The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined” at the Barbican

Art Gallery in London in 2016, “Fashion Inside and

Out” in the context of “Homo Faber” in Venice two

years ago indeed up to Lanvin, Judith Clark has been

collaborating with Bonaveri for several years with

unforgettable projects, each on its own.

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Let’s start from your most recent project, the

Lanvin exhibition in Shanghai.

Well, it’s about Lanvin’s 130 anniversary but

also it’s very much celebrating Bruno Sialelli’s

new creative directorship. It was an opportunity

to show both an incredibly important history and

also to show how, in his first two collections, he

used that history.

It shows the relationship between the two, with

the mannequin, its pose and other elements,

playing a central role. One mannequin had for

example a wig that has a gold hairline, created

by Angelo Seminara, which is like a masculine

hairline, and then we put gold curls on top of it.

This way Bruno Sialelli shows the

Andrea

Bonaveri

is very

enthusiastic

about

conceptual

projects

that use

mannequins

inspiration to Art Deco and the tight curls that I

am sure you can picture.

The mannequins were both male and female,

because Bruno is doing menswear and

womenswear. Even in a wig all the concepts are

kind of present. And so the gesture… everything

about those mannequins is part of a series of

references within the exhibition. It was very

important to me to have those mannequins

covered in calico fabric. For me it’s like my

canvas.

Andrea Bonaveri is always very receptive to

that, and very enthusiastic about conceptual

projects that use mannequins also to celebrate the

history of mannequins, that is an important history.

September 2018, San Giorgio Island, Venice.

Within the glorious event “Homo Faber” organized by

Michelangelo Foundation to promote craftsmanship,

you staged “Fashion Inside and Out” exhibition in an

unusual abandoned swimming pool setting! And it

stole the scene and most of the attention.

Well, you know the context, so it was obviously about

celebrating the exquisite craft and so that presented

a dilemma, because people don’t immediately put

together the idea of couture and the idea of a swimming

pool, they are thought of as opposites. So I thought I

wanted to look at the alchemy of craft and how you

take a swimming pool and transform it into something

glorious. So I started looking at fashion that used raw

materials and transformed them by hours and hours

of skilled work - hay, wood, wooden beads, - and so

we decided to construct the installation with the same

materials to show their transformative power.

Even the wigs were made out of wood. Everything

kind of revealed its craft, which was in keeping with

the “Homo Faber” concept. And the pool was always

there in the background as the essential player in the

exhibition. You couldn’t get past the fact that you were

in a swimming pool.

Stephen Jones had famously created a hat that was

called Wash&Go, which looked as though you had just

come out of the shower, dripping with water.

I thought: “What if I combine Stephen Jones couture

skills with Bonaveri articulated mannequins to put the

swimmers back in the pool, to give life to the swimming

pool?” So I commissioned the three Wash hats,

which of course were showing craft, and the Bonaveri

mannequins were also showing their own virtuosity.

So, look, the whole installation has to engage with the

subject, not only the dresses. Everything was crafted

from scratch for the exhibition. I think that’s what

people responded to, that it’s a holistic exhibition.

Everything that you saw in the space had been given

the same amount of attention.

Judith, how did you start your career and train for this

fascinating field?

I trained as an architect; my mentality was and is that

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of an architect. I grew up in Rome and then I

moved to London to go to University, where I

studied architecture.

I have worked as an exhibition maker for 20

years; I set up a small experimental gallery in

London, exclusively dedicated to exhibiting

dress and fashion. It was the first in the world to

look at this within a small gallery environment,

because at that stage it was only the big

museums that were doing exhibitions of dress,

or there were temporary exhibitions in many,

many regional museums, where often budgets

prevented them from changing the display very

often in order to experiment.

So you had on the one hand the big kind of

museums, you had of course dress as social

history, and then you had the very commercial

The mannequins,

the dress, the

plinths, the

lighting, the

mise-en-scène…

it’s all equally

important

within the

narrative.

reality of course of dress in a shop window.

There wasn’t a huge dialogue between these

very different worlds and it didn’t exist at the

level of an experimental exhibition within a

gallery space. So in a way I came in with the

desire to work within this other space, with the

mentality of an experimental exhibition maker

and maker of installations. So this is in a way

was how I came in this field.

You just defined yourself as an exhibition maker and

not curator, which is different I guess.

I do both and in a way an exhibition maker is both:

I work in the round so I work towards an exhibition

holistically; I work with the objects but I work with

them very much already conceived within the given

space. So the mannequins, the dress, the plinths,

the lighting, the mise-en-scène… whatever it is, it all

equally important within the narrative.

I do both, it’s very very much about the concept,

but also how about to tell the story and the concept

running through everything involved, from the props,

wigs, mannequins… everything around it, as I was

explaining before.

The collaboration with Bonaveri includes several

exhibitions and projects. How did your relationship

come about?

Well, for various reasons. I am a lover of the history

of exhibitions and I was very interested in Diana

Vreeland’s use of the Schläppi and about what could be

considered a kind of quintessential mannequin within

fashion, not within dress history but specifically within

fashion. I thought they were producing something that

is not only a mannequin, but also like an essential

prop, because their mannequins came to represent

one of the narratives within fashion exhibitions. Now it

comes with controversy, because Diana Vreeland was

also criticized - she was criticized for being sort of too

focused on fashion and not enough on dress history,

and so for me the mannequins that I now always use

with Bonaveri are themselves the concept. It is the

essential fashion like the high-end shop mannequins

you can find in a store but covered in calico fabric,

which is the quintessential conservation material

for historical dress. So my conceptual statement is

both: I am working with the shop window mannequin

but I am working with it in a museological way. And

Bonaveri not only respects a mannequin that makes a

contemporary dress look beautifully styled…. but also

by coating it in calico fabric they give it a conceptual

edge for me.

Museology, which is the class you teach at London

College of Fashion.

It’s everything to do with fashion in a museum, the

relationship between the fashion system and the

museum and how to put these two things together.

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How to translate Fashion into a conceptual

narrative. And the didactic one, because I am

essentially an academic.

Exhibiting fashion in a museum...

I have a huge challenge, but I think that the

mannequins are our point of identification. So

people identify with bodies, we understand

dress because of the body. The mannequin

plays a huge role in an exhibition.

I know that also Andrea Bonaveri is interested in

the history of mannequins and so our exchange

is not that I say to Andrea “I want a mannequin

in blue”, no, I say to him “I am doing a project

that has this gesture, that needs to remember

this… As I was saying before, for the Lanvin

project in Shanghai I wanted the mannequin to

be resonant with the present, so still a calicocovered

Schläppi but I also wanted the gesture

to be exactly the same as the gesture that the

mannequin had in 1925.

Andrea understood that immediately and

they cast the exact pose from 1925. So it

was a contemporary mannequin but with a

historic pose, which for me is conceptually

very important. There is always some historical

element inside it.

Do you conserve all your materials, custommade

mannequins and props?

I’ve kept everything, I always keep all the

props, I have a huge storage facility. Because

eventually I want to show everything again, but

I have to decide how to do that. I am working

on a big project, which links different strands of

my work in new ways. I can’t reveal more. I don’t

still know where it will be.

Besides this big secret project, what are you

working on?

I am putting the finishing touches on an

exhibition at Poldi Pezzoli museum in Milano

that is going to open late February during Milano

Fashion Week. Basically it is an experimental

exhibition, with bespoke mannequins and bust

forms covered with calico.

-------

Judith Clark has collaborated with Bonaveri in four

exhibitions over the last 4 years – 5 including the

current one at Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milano.

Here are the timeline and mannequins specifications.

The common thread – and landmark - of Judith Clark

work and touch is the calico fabrics covering for the

mannequins.

2015 on: Galerie Asnières, Louis Vuitton home in

Asnières-sur-Seine near Paris: Bonaveri supplied 30

bespoke female Schläppi mannequins that featured

gold inlay neck and waist caps, some with articulated

lime wood arms and hands, others with matching lime

wood heads. All of the carefully crafted pieces were

covered with a fine raw calico giving the articulated

mannequins a soft and feminine feel.

2016-2017: “The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined”,

Barbican Art Gallery, London (October 2016 -

February 2017): 2200/3000 Schläppi mannequins

were customised with a calico fabric.

2018: “Fashion Inside and Out”, “Homo Faber”, San

Giorgio Maggiore Island, Venice (14-30 September

2018): Bespoke Schläppi 2200 and fully articulated

mannequins. The Schläppi 2200 female mannequins

have been covered in a special calico fabric to

compliment the garments, hats and accessories

on display. The series of straw hats was created by

Angelo Seminara. Bonaveri has also exhibited three

fully articulated mannequins set up in swimming

poses adorned with special ‘water splash’ headwear

designed and made by Stephen Jones.

2019 - 2020: “Dialogue: 130 years of Lanvin”

Shanghai (December 7 2019 – February 9 2020):

Bonaveri created bespoke Schläppi 2200 standing

and seated mannequins, covered in fine calico with

raw wood articulated arms and hands. The 2200

collection has a long pedigree with haute couture

fashion and the Schläppi collection as a whole has

been a favourite of Lanvin’s for some time.

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“Strong and pure” are the adjectives Jil Sander

herself has used to define her fashion and also

her way of life (and her choices). Few colours,

pure lines and “cuts made by the knife”. Along

with the avant-garde of Japanese designers

such as Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, Jil

Sander has turned Western aesthetics upside

down while evoking also her German culture.

Born in 1943, in Wesselburen in the

neighbourhood of Hamburg, Germany, as

Heidemarie Jiline Sander, she was the middle

child of three siblings. A few years later, the

family moved to Hamburg and Jil Sander

studied textile engineering, meeting teachers

who introduced her to the Bauhaus movement,

which had been outlawed under National

Socialism. At the age of 19 she moved to Los

Angeles to finish up her education there as an

exchange student. She also started working as

a journalist.

“The women to

whom I think of

when I design

are very aware of

themselves and selfconfident”.

When she returned to Hamburg in the mid

60s she worked as a fashion editor for several

women’s magazines. What she saw and was

asked to photograph did not correspond to

her ideas of fashion; it did not match her

vision of proportion and material, nor her

image of women, or her intuitions about the

seismographic shifts in the aesthetic demands

of a rapidly advancing society.

Her aesthetics lies in a strict proportional

relationship of form, material and colour.

Her woman is bright, independent, resourceful.

“The women whom I think of when I design are very

aware of themselves and self-confident”. Jil Sander’s

reforming voice was unimpressed by fashion’s

dictates and the customary boundaries of prêt-àporter

and couture. With rigour on the one hand and

an obsessive research of quality in materials on the

other, she shaped a new vestimentary language and a

new way of dressing.

Her first distinctive moment arrived in 1968 when

she opened her own store in Hamburg: the line she

designed, called Jil Sander was marked by subdued

colours and formal severity and sold out in a flash.

While eccentric styles flourished in Paris, her minimalist

audacity was a breath of fresh air.

“If you wear Jil Sander,” she herself once said, “you

are not fashionable, you are modern.”

Jil Sander invites women to free themselves from

decorative details. Opulence with her is to be found

in the three-dimensionality of the cut, in exquisite

craftsmanship and in the material. The look

nevertheless remains purist.

Her definition of beauty: “You cannot produce beauty

just for itself. Beauty is created when all the parts are

in relationship to each other. I feel that aesthetics and

ethics have an equal say in beauty.”

In 1973, the label Jil Sander was born, expanding

in success and range of products season after

season. After several runway shows in Paris,

Jil Sander decided to present her collections in

Milano, a city that seemed to perfectly fit her

personality and taste.

It is always the material that remains at the

centre of Jil Sander’s attention. She devotes

herself intensely to its development and

research, imports state-of-the-art high-tech

weaves from Japan and works with Italian

producers on the research of new fabrics with

sculptural tractability. Materials and techniques

that do not exist in Europe must be invented

anew, or traced back to remote locations of the

world.

Not only fashion and accessories, but also

architecture, interior, sound design, photography

and cosmetics… Jil Sander imparted her vision

and insight overseeing many creative field and

projects. A true lover of contemporary art, she

is collector and a promoter of art exhibitions.

Magazines and interviews have described her

as a crossroads of opposites: creative and

methodic, fragile and full of energy at the same

time, determined and reserved.

In 2014 the last Jil Sander collection designed

by herself went on stage.

From Hamburg, where she lives at present,

she has demonstrated a gracious availability

to recall for us her encounter and collaboration

with Bonaveri, that led her to partner with us in

the solo exhibition “Jil Sander: Present Tense”

held at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in

Frankfurt in 2017.

We are in the 80s, you saw the Bonaveri

advertisement in VOGUE ITALIA and you

contacted the company… and here began a

long-time partnership… right? What year was

it exactly?

I can’t remember the exact year nor the

advertisement, but we certainly have HAD a

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long happy partnership! We went to Bonaveri

and worked together on a new mannequin. We

were looking for more authentic mannequins

with natural poses, less theatrical, cool.

You then asked Bonaveri for a custom-made

mannequin inspired by Linda Evangelista’s

body. Why Linda Evangelista’s measurements

in particular and why that type of body?

It was the beginning of the supermodel era.

The mannequins one could see around felt very

dated. Linda Evangelista was a model I really

“Mr. Bonaveri was

very helpful,

curious and open

to exploring

new ideas and

possibilities.”

liked, she was charming and Jil Sander minded.

She was one of the first customers to walk into

our Paris flagship store on Avenue Montaigne

on the morning of the opening. She said: “Jil,

I like to shop.” She had perfect measurements

and proportions for my design. Her body was

modern and her forms lent themselves to show

off the three-dimensional cut.

Not only did you request a mannequin with

Linda Evangelista’s measurements but you

specified no head and from your input, this is

how the first ever headless mannequin was

created!

The faces were too eye-catching and drew

attention away from the cut and design of the

clothes. Mr. Romano Bonaveri was very helpful,

curious and open to exploring new ideas and

possibilities.

Your windows: what should a window convey? What

is the meaning of a window for Jil Sander?

Multimedia has lately been more prominent in window

design. But I think, you still need the presentation

on a mannequin to give a clear idea of design in all

its dimensions. Of course, the mannequin needs

to be contemporary with a natural feel and great

proportions.

A jump from the 80s to 2017, when Bonaveri created

custom-made mannequins for your exhibition “Jil

Sander: Present Tense” in Frankfurt. In this case,

what kind of mannequin, and so what kind of body,

did you envision?

The Jil Sander exhibition in Frankfurt opened in

November 2017 and ran until spring 2018. We

needed a more restrained mannequin for a museum

exhibition. The heads and faces, too, were very

reduced. Since the public response was very positive,

we plan to bring the exhibition to other international

venues, if the conditions are right.

----

Curated by Matthias Wagner K., director of the

Museum Angewandte Kunst and an acknowledged

expert on Nordic fashion, art and design, “Jil Sander:

Present tense” was a journey into the career and

personality of the German fashion designer through

digital films, multi-media installations, photographs,

clothes and objects dedicated to expressing Jil

Sander’s aesthetics and the relationship between

form and matter she has promoted.

The retrospective was divided by thematic sections:

runway, backstage, study, clothing lines, accessories,

beauty, fashion images and advertising campaigns,

fashion and art, architecture and garden design.

Bonaveri defined a selection of tailored men and

women bust forms, with special fabrics, finishes,

elements compositions directly selected by the

designer, including in the exhibition 44 bespoke

female and 15 male bust forms.

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“When passion meets inspiration, an obsession

is born.” - Anonymous.

The dictionary defines the word “obsession” as

the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings

by a persistent idea, image, desire. It is a

phenomenon that consists of a continuous

thought, which recurs and persists despite

efforts to ignore or eliminate it. It manifests with

the onset of an idea that imposes itself in an

irrepressible way. When we obsess, we tend to

see the direct or symbolic realization of desires.

Obsession is the

newborn of the

Schläppi family,

rooted in a

tradition of vibrant

inspirations.

It may seem like an unusual way to begin with

the story of a mannequin collection, but for

those who have a fixed idea about the pursuit

of beauty and who live every moment on a path

of exploration it is quite normal. The continued

search for a profound harmony between shapes

and colours in the creation of a new mannequin

can be epitomized in one word: obsession.

By this we intend the positive tension towards

measurement, proportions, aesthetic and vital

significance that are capable of bringing to life

the apparently inanimate body of a mannequin.

Alive with the inspirations that generated it,

pulsating with the energies that it is capable

of unleashing through its enigmatic features.

These are our obsessions, our desires to

decline - once again - in apparent dynamism

the motionless beauty.

Obsession is the newborn of the Schläppi family,

rooted in a tradition of vibrant inspirations. A new

collection that embodies a multitude of voices, sounds,

attitudes, emotions and manners. It is our unique way

of creating mannequins, and setting, once again, the

boundary between what was and what will be.

Obsession recalls the vision and inspiration hidden

within the original Schläppi collections modeled by

sculptor, Lorenzo Piemonti alongside the sixties and

seventies. It goes back to the ruts of the very first and

most distinctive of all, Schläppi Loisir: one of the most

indecipherable collections ever created.

While the rest of the world was concentrated on

creating hyper realistic figures, Piemonti opened up

the way for an alternative creative expression that

featured far simpler forms. His reduction of the male

and female figure to almost primal forms transformed

their bodies with a fluidity of elongated limbs and

fingers, exaggerated poses, basic facial expressions

and markedly tilted necks. These proved to be

mannequins ahead of their time in every sense.

To design the Obsession Collection Emma Davidge –

Creative Director of Chameleon Visual, also designer of

Bonaveri’s Aloof and Tribe Collections – has captured

Schläppi Loisir DNA, enriching it with the magnetic

force and cultural energy that found its center in the

Studio 54 in New York.

The seventies revealed themselves as a decade of

freedom, contamination, decadence and glamorous

allure. The peculiar aesthetics of that disco glamour

environment was defining new codes and styles whose

influence has gone far beyond the boundaries of the

city of New York.

Among the many, there were four women who stood

to impersonate and express with their personality

the spirit of that era: Pat Cleveland, Jerry Hall, Grace

Jones and Diana Ross. Icons of their time - at the edge

of all the arts - we recall on those four figures a unique

and distinctive taste for a new kind of beauty matched

by energy, of grace merged with force, of talent and

determination to self empowering.

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We see through them a mélange of cultures

coming together, different attitudes, skin tones

and characteristics that led us to the specific

theatrical drama that the Obsession collection

expresses.

Studio 54 set the stage of a completely new

atmosphere where those four icons found

the landscape for their talented personality.

It changed the face of fashion and influenced

aesthetic codes deeply.

To understand the peculiar attitude of

Obsession Collection we have to go back to

the original Schläppi Loisir and forge it with

the ground-breaking personality of those four

extraordinary women.

Each of them helped to define new aesthetic

standards in a rapidly changing era. Alongside

the cultural revolution of 1970s New York clubs

and art scenes, they offered unique expressive

meaning to a mélange of transgression,

pleasures and decadence. It was a time of

gender revolution where women were able to

freely express their personalities, affirming their

right to self-determination, openly challenging

the status quo.

Theatricality gave way to formality liberating a

desire that could no longer be contained.

The spirit of the time flowed through the streets

of New York. Even though it was a difficult and

dangerous environment, it was ripe with artistic

flair. This emerging community defined an era

free from racial boundaries, gender and sexual

preferences, giving way to a blend of no longer

divergent

worlds.

Cinema, photography, fashion, music and art

existed in a collective habitat where protagonists

could exchange roles and move fluidly from one

context to another. It is this glamorous spirit,

proud of its vanity and full of energy, that the

Obsession collection is founded on.

Theatrical poses are its most evident characteristic:

blatant in their gestures, articulated in space, sensual

in a sense of unruly grace, provocative in the allusion to

their own power. Obsession represents a mannequin

capable of dominating the stage, of making the dress

the focus of desires and attracting the gaze.

The vitality of the poses, the energy of the stances, the

overflowing dynamism of the features are combined

with a wealth of colours and tones that is a new

beginning. The spirit of this time, it captures our

feelings with a delicate and magnetic palette that is a

declaration of vanity, grace and elegance: a new way

of giving shape to a mannequin’s soul.

Obsession

represents a

mannequin capable

of dominating

the stage

The personality of the collection radiates also through

a glamorous and couture use of decorative elements.

Instead of using traditional wigs, Emma Davidge has

designed colourful and voluminous feathers for the

mannequin’s dramatic headwear, returning the sense

of magic that makes the collection timeless and

present in our era at the same time.

For the first Obsession photoshoot, Jason Wu has

generously allowed some magnificent Haute Couture

clothes to be dressed by the collection: exclusive

garments that in their volume, colours and silhouettes

have contributed to give a touch of unparalleled

beauty that perfectly matches the personality of the

new collection.

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Time travel doesn’t just happen in movies or

in novels. This is the case of the new Twiggy

collection that brings back to the scene the

most iconic image of the Rootstein brand. It is

the dawn of a new beginning for the famous

English brand, which has only recently become

part of the Bonaveri group with the rebirth

of one of the most historical collections that

transformed the relationship between fashion

and the mannequin.

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In order to appreciate the present, we must look

to the past. In this case it is the late 1950s when

Adel Rootstein has just embarked on a lifetime’s

journey creating the now iconic, Rootstein

mannequin brand. Her subsequent work would

establish her as an industry trailblazer, a highly

respected figure whose innate ability to identify

and capture cultural moments set her apart

from her contemporaries.

Adel Rootstein was

always one step

ahead; she foresaw

fashion, identifying the

personalities that were

emerging as foundation

examples of a changing

industry.

Adel Rootstein was always one step ahead; she

foresaw fashion, identifying the personalities

that were emerging as foundation examples

of a changing industry. Her very first creations

epitomize the dynamism and energy of 1960s

London influencing an entire generation of

global fashionistas. She was a modernist in

her time and a was able to bridge the divide

between fashion photography and what was

presented on the high street.

England and London are at the center of

Rootstein’s world where a radical shift in cultural

expression is laying the foundation of a new

aesthetic in fashion. Alongside the remarkable

change in garment shapes are the emerging

personalities of stage, screen and magazine.

These are people that break the mold and offer

contemporary, free spirited alternatives to a

post-war generation.

It is in this environment that Rootstein develops

her craft, drawing from the dynamism of a new

fashion creative and the energy of its proponents;

Biba and Mary Quant. These are designers that are

searching for alternative forms of presentation and

Rootstein is there offering them exactly that. For the

first time, designers are able to display their garments

on mannequins that wholly represent their intent; with

shapes, figures and atmospheres that truly represent

their generation. From magazine shoots to the vibrant

atmosphere of Carnaby Street and the King’s Road,

Rootstein’s mannequins represented this cool new

youth culture.

Rootstein’s mannequins were unique in that they

were realistic representations of emerging cultural

personalities. The shape, pose, face, makeup and hair

are all highly considered features that make it easy for

viewers to make a connection with the model behind

the mannequin.

One such personality, and the subject of Rootstein’s

very first mannequin collection, is Twiggy, a diminutive

17 year old whose mannequin encapsulates the spirit

of the teenager. With a height of just over 1.60 m, size

40 and an unusual pose she is a perfect reproduction

of the iconic model. With her slender physique, her big

fawn eyes and her “boyish” haircut, Twiggy became an

emblem of change and a symbol of rebellious youth

culture.

In that first collection, modelled on Twiggy, we see how

the values of an entire era, an aesthetic and vibrant

culture would go on to influence the wider world.

John Taylor, the sculptor of the Twiggy collection was

able to give life to this first mannequin with realistic

magnetism: his artistic sensitivity contributed to the

definition of one of Rootstein’s most emblematic

collections.

Fast forward 6 decades and Rootstein’s past and

future are folding into the present like a time machine

of creativity. Exploring the Rootstein historical archive

- an extraordinary heritage of models, samples,

molds, drawings, photographs, artist proofs, original

documents of the time – we are taken on a journey

back in time, not only of the life of a brand, but also

that of the entire mannequin sector and its ongoing

relationship with aesthetic standards and fashion.

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In rediscovering the appearance and forms of

Imogen Woodford, Jill Kennington, Patti Boyd,

and many more Rootstein characters, one

can appreciate the enormous breadth and

significance of decades long records of fashion

aesthetic.

At the beginning of the 1970s, Rootstein set out

to find inspiration from models and personalities

who possessed unique and magnetic charm.

Marie Helvin, girlfriend of fashion photographer

David Bailey, Japanese model pioneer Sayoko,

American model Tina Chow and the legendary

Pat Cleveland, are the leading figures of those

years. They were all models who garnered

incredible success, united by an exotic charm

that Adel identified as pivotal aspects for an

industry seeking novelty.

The models of the 1980s reflect a desire for

glamour, charm and power: decadent desires

embodied in captivating figures such as those

of actress Joan Collins and model Dianne

Brill. In the 1990s, emerged the collections

dedicated to Yasmine Le Bon, while in the

2000s characters such as Erin O’Connor and

Coco Rocha are Rootstein’s muses.

The Rootstein archive is a journey through time,

encapsulated in the archive of motionless figures

that have animated store windows for many

decades. It is precisely this unique heritage that

inspired Bonaveri towards acquiring the brand,

moved by the desire to transform a formidable

aesthetic tradition according to its sensitivity

and craftsmanship.

Bonaveri is not new to these types of

acquisitions. In 2001, it acquired the iconic

Swiss mannequin brand Schläppi, which, under

Bonaveri’s seasoned management team,

experienced an unprecedented revival and

has now become the point of reference for the

stylized mannequin.

With the same driving force, Bonaveri set its

sights on Rootstein, a company that forged

its notable identity as the reference brand for

the realistic mannequin. “Rootstein represents a

milestone in the evolution of mannequins” - states

Andrea Bonaveri, CEO of the Company - “having been

the first to give a form to contemporary aesthetics,

inspired by models and real-life figures who perfectly

embodied the spirit of the time. With this acquisition

we were able to make a dream come true. It is our

intention to embrace this legacy and elevate it to a new

splendour, updating it with our aesthetic sensibility

and manufacturing capability. This acquisition is the

expression of a strategy that has led us to acquire the

world’s top player in the realistic mannequin market”.

We now turn our attention to back to Twiggy and her

irreverent gaze. Nestled within this unusual silhouette

is an enigmatic personality, radiating charm from her

distinctive and instantly recognizable expression. Our

time travel is almost complete; a full circle journey for

Twiggy who’s appearance defined the 1960s and will

again bring joy to a new audience today.

The new Twiggy collection includes hair and makeup

that personifies the famous model: the motif on

the eyelids, as well as the drawn eyelashes, without

forgetting the freckles that contributed to giving it

that cheeky and youthful air. The soft shade of the

mannequin is re-proposed with a light finish, in Pale

Cameo colour.

A great labour of love has been carried out in the

Bonaveri workshop, to marry the spirit of the past

with needs of the present. Twiggy’s new silhouette is

a contemporary interpretation of a new era, whilst still

honouring the spirit of the original.

Our makeup artists have added delicate touches

through distinctive makeup and hairstyles that

reference the original soul of the mannequin.

The result is a figure that embodies the spirit of our

times, one that contains the essence, magnetism and

the allure of the original form. Even in the world of

realistic mannequins, reality is never an objective. The

creative process intervenes and calls for an original

interpretation of an emblematic symbol.

Hidden within this story is an artistic mediation that

reworks the future chapters of our very first Rootstein

collection.

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In 2011 the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume

Institute organized an exhibition to showcase the late

Alexander McQueen’s extraordinary contribution to

fashion.

From his Central Saint Martins 1992 postgraduate

collection up until his posthumous runway presentation

in 2010, McQueen challenged the narrative of fashion.

He expressed far more than mere dress utility through

conceptual expressions of culture, politics, and identity.

His iconic designs represent the soul of a true artist.

The exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

featured almost 100 of his garments and more than

70 accessories from McQueen’s prolific nineteen-year

career.

His work often referenced the exaggerated silhouettes

of the late 1800s and 1950s, and yet his technical

ingenuity kept him at the vanguard of contemporary

fashion.

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His ICONIC designs constitute

the work of an ARTIST whose

medium of expression was

FaSHION

Savage Beauty was composed of six

unique thematic galleries: “The Romantic

Mind”, “Romantic Gothic and the Cabinet

of Curiosities”, “Romantic Nationalism”,

Romantic Primitivism” and “Romantic

Naturalism”.

In 2015, the exhibition Alexander McQueen:

Savage Beauty was again presented at the

Victoria & Albert Museum. A new section of

the exhibition, focused on McQueen’s fledgling

development as a London based designer

and featured an additional 30 garments;

some of them rare early pieces, lent by private

individuals and collectors.

Bonaveri was honoured to be included in the

staging of this extraordinary project, developing

a bespoke mannequin for each of section of the

exhibition.

The Romantic Mind

“You’ve got to know the rules to break them.

That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules

but to keep the tradition.” Alexander McQueen

McQueen doggedly promoted freedom of

thought and expression and championed the

authority of the imagination. In so doing, he

was an exemplar of the Romantic individual,

the hero-artist who staunchly follows the

dictates of his inspiration. “What I am trying

to bring to fashion is a sort of originality,” he

said. McQueen expressed this originality most

fundamentally through his methods of cutting

and construction, which were both innovative

and revolutionary. Referring to his early training

on Savile Row in London, he said, “Everything I

do is based on tailoring.” McQueen’s approach

to fashion, however, combined the precision and

traditions of tailoring and pattern-making with

the spontaneity and improvisations of draping

and dressmaking—an approach that became

more refined after his tenure as creative director

of Givenchy in Paris from 1996 to 2001. It is

this approach, at once rigorous and impulsive,

disciplined and unconstrained, that underlies

McQueen’s singularity and inimitability.

Romantic Gothic and Cabinet of Curiosities

“People find my things sometimes aggressive. But I

don’t see it as aggressive. I see it as romantic, dealing

with a dark side of personality.” Alexander McQueen

One of the defining features of McQueen’s collections is

their historicism. While McQueen’s historical references

are far-reaching, he was particularly inspired by the

nineteenth century, especially the Victorian Gothic.

Like this age, which combines elements of horror and

romance, McQueen’s collections often reflect opposites

such as life and death, lightness and darkness. Indeed,

the emotional intensity of his runway presentations was

frequently the consequence of the interplay between

dialectical oppositions. The relationship between victim

and aggressor was especially apparent, particularly

in his accessories. He once remarked, “I… like the

accessory for its sadomasochistic aspect.”

Romantic Nationalism

“The reason I’m patriotic about Scotland is because I

think it’s been dealt a really hard hand. It’s marketed

the world over as… haggis … bagpipes. But no one ever

puts anything back into it.” Alexander McQueen

McQueen’s collections were fashioned around elaborate

narratives that are profoundly autobiographical, often

reflecting his Scottish heritage. Indeed, when he was

asked what his Scottish roots meant to him, he replied,

“Everything.” Despite these heartfelt declarations of

his Scottish national identity, McQueen felt intensely

connected to England, especially London. “London’s

where I was brought up. It’s where my heart is and

where I get my inspiration,” he said. His deep interest

in the history of England was most apparent perhaps in

The Girl Who Lived in the Tree (autumn/winter 2008–

9), a dreamy quixotic fairy tale inspired by an elm

tree in the garden of McQueen’s country home near

Fairlight Cove in East Sussex. Influenced by the British

Empire, it was one of McQueen’s most romantically

nationalistic collections, albeit heavily tinged with irony

and pastiche.

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Romantic Exoticism

“I want to be honest about the world that we

live in, and sometimes my political persuasions

come through in my work. Fashion can be really

racist, looking at the clothes of other cultures

as costumes… That’s mundane and it’s old hat.

Let’s break down some barriers.” Alexander

McQueen

McQueen’s romantic sensibilities expanded his

imaginary horizons not only temporally but also

geographically. As it had been for Romantic

artists and writers, the lure of the exotic

was central to his work. Like his historicism,

McQueen’s exoticism was wide ranging—

India, China, Africa, and Turkey all sparked his

imagination. Japan was particularly significant

to him, both thematically and stylistically.

The kimono, especially, was a garment that

he reconfigured endlessly. Remarking on the

direction of his fashions, McQueen said, “My

work will be about taking elements of traditional

embroidery, filigree, and craftsmanship from

countries all over the world. I will explore their

crafts, patterns, and materials and interpret

them in my own way.” As with many of his

themes, however, McQueen’s exoticism was

often expressed in contrasting opposites. For

McQueen, the body was a site for contravention,

where normalcy was questioned and the

spectacle of marginality was embraced and

celebrated.

Romantic Primitivism

“I try to push the silhouette. To change the

silhouette is to change the thinking of how

we look. What I do is look at ancient African

tribes, and the way they dress. The rituals of

how they dress… There’s a lot of tribalism in

the collections.” Alexander McQueen

romanticizing ethnic dressing, like a Masai-inspired

dress made of materials the Masai could never

afford.” It famously included a latex dress with locusts,

McQueen’s statement on famine. Indeed, McQueen’s

reflections on primitivism were frequently represented

in paradoxical combinations, contrasting “modern”

and “primitive,” “civilized” and “uncivilized.” Typically,

McQueen’s narrative glorified the state of nature and

tipped the moral balance in favor of the “natural man”

or “nature’s gentleman” unfettered by the artificial

constructs of civilization.

Romantic Naturalism

“I have always loved the mechanics of nature and to a

greater or lesser extent my work is always informed by

that.” Alexander McQueen

Nature was the greatest, or at least the most enduring,

influence upon McQueen. It was also a central theme,

if not the central theme, of Romanticism. Many artists

of the Romantic movement presented nature itself as

a work of art. McQueen both shared and promoted

this view in his collections, which often included

fashions that took their forms and raw materials

from the natural world. For McQueen, as it was for

the Romantics, nature was also a locus for ideas and

concepts. That is most clearly reflected in Plato’s

Atlantis (spring/summer 2010), the last fully realized

collection the designer presented before his death in

February 2010. For the Romantics, nature was the

primary vehicle for the Sublime - starry skies, stormy

seas, turbulent waterfalls, vertiginous mountains. In

Plato’s Atlantis, the Sublime of nature was paralleled

and supplanted by that of technology - the extreme

space-time compressions produced by the Internet.

It was a powerful evocation of the Sublime and

its coincident expression of the Romantic and the

postmodern. At the same time, it was a potent vision

of the future of fashion that reflected McQueen’s

sweeping imagination.

Throughout his career, McQueen returned to

the theme of primitivism, which drew upon

the ideal of the noble savage living in harmony

with the natural world. It was the focus of

his first runway collection after graduating,

Nihilism (spring/summer 1994). He said of

the collection, “It was a reaction to designers

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If a mannequin has to do with the body of a man and

of a woman, makeup enhances and emphasises its

symbolic nature and personality. This means animate

the inanimate, diversify identical things, enrich and

give them structure and differentiate. The artifices

employed in the art of makeup and wig artistry are

focused on widening the range of suggestions and

expressions a mannequin may have to portray to give

the public a more complete and informed story about

the garment it is wearing.

Observing the history of costume in the second half of

the ‘50s, the mannequins from that epoch had hyper

realistic features inspired by the American Hollywood

stars: jutting jaws, greased-back hair and magnetic

looks for men whereas women’s figures were round

and voluptuous with elaborate hairdos and thickly laid

on makeup.

The arrival of the cultural revolution in the ’60s

liberated the mores of society and at the same time,

modified the features of the window mannequins,

giving them new hair styles, longer for men and

shorter for women.

As modernisation took centre stage, hyper realism

faded away. Features became increasingly more

stylised to cut down on frills. Often the mannequin

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became a quasi-abstract, iconic figure at last

freed from those secondary traits so prominent

in the aesthetics of persons, balancing to a

greater extent its relationship with the garment.

Within this continual back and forth of styles

and experimentation lies the metier of those

professionals who dedicate themselves to

adding a touch of humanity to mannequins.

Mannequins offer

fashion designers

and visual

merchandisers

new opportunities

The eyes, ever the inspiration for poets and

philosophers alike, are both symbol and mirror

of the human soul, the focal point of attention,

that are capable of attracting to themselves

the most important forms of decoration.

Make up gives depth to the gaze, individuality

to the person just like a haircut recounts the

evolution of eras in an immediate and almost

spontaneous way.

In reality as in the window, mannequins have

undertaken to bring to centre stage the sense

of these imprints to differentiate themselves

and offer fashion designers and visual

merchandisers new opportunities.

Sam Beadle is a young wig maker who like

many of his generation are bringing new

creative ideas to the mannequin world. His

work is original and yet follows on from a long

line of tradition. Visual design and historical

presentation have elements of high art that

have long been practiced by silent participants

like Sam; people that set the scene, behind the

scenes. We talk to Sam as he unpacks a box of

pastel coloured wigs that have just arrived from

London.

He is styling them on the mannequins in Bonaveri’s

showroom: the photoshoot with Emma Davidge is

about to begin. He spends minutes looking and

checking to see how each of them fits and appears,

obsessed with any detail.

25 years old, Sam is a cool guy wearing Balenciaga

trainers and an oversized sweater. He runs his own

mannequin wigs in Northern London. “I design and

make them by myself.” A young talent still making his

name known, whom Emma Davidge tracked down and

invited to collaborate making wigs ad hoc for Bonaveri.

“Each wig – Sam says - is made bespoke for each

head, so it will only fit that particular mannequin.

For example, for a pose like this [and he shows the

mannequin], where the head is turned - sometimes

the neck distorts the shape of the head - so even if

the head is the right size, sometimes you need to have

another wig. So usually I tend to make wigs work for

two poses.”

It’s his first time at Bonaveri headquarters: he is here

for a couple of days to set up his wigs, and style and

prepare the new collections for their EuroShop debut.

I have never met someone working in such a very

specific field! How cool you are.

I absolutely love making wigs, is my passion you know.

Hair in general has always been my thing. I was a

hairdresser before this. I always wanted to start my

own business. The mannequin industry, you know,

is quite small and the wig part of the industry is very

niche, there are not a lot of people that do it.

How did you get into it?

I was a hairdresser for people. Basically, it was very

weird how it all happened. I was about 16 years

old and, straight out the school, I was training as a

hairdresser with a lady whose husband was the

manager of a mannequin renovation factory - they

didn’t make new mannequins but renovated old ones

upon the requests from shops. Selfridges, Topshop,

Harvey Nichols, Harrods and Liberty would come to

them if they wanted to change the colour or the pose,

or get a wig or make up.

So you fell in love with mannequins at that time?

I didn’t actually! When I was working as a hairdresser,

they offered me a job as a training wig maker

but I didn’t take it. I wanted to carry on

hairdressing.

In London right?

It wasn’t in London, actually it was in Essex, just

outside the city. But then I left that hairdressing

salon and I moved up to one in London, where

I stayed for three years or something like that.

Then I got bored….

Hairdressing can be very the same, you are

doing the same thing over and over again, you

know. It was not feeding me creatively and so I

decided I wanted to leave it. So I was about to

go to Berlin. I didn’t know what I was going to do

there. But just before I moved, I got a call from

the husband of the hairdresser I used to work

for before. The manager of that mannequin

renovation company…

And so you ended up in the mannequin field.

He asked me if I would come in, as they were

looking for a training wig maker and that’s what

I did: I got the job straight away.

Once there?

They already had the wig department. The guy

who trained me had originally started up at

Rootstein. He retired eventually and I worked

with him and a small team of people, eventually

becoming head of department. Then I left to

open my own company.

That bears your name.

Correct, but I am rebranding it into “Peluca

Studio”, that is the Spanish way to say wig. My

life partner is Spanish and I just think it’s a

beautiful word. You know, wig is not a nice word

in English. I like the ring to it in Spanish. I am

rebranding these days for EuroShop.

This marks your first collaboration with

Bonaveri. Your other clients and works?

I work with Selfridges, and they do have some

Bonaveri, with Topshop - and I just did their

Christmas windows - and with other smaller

clients.

And how does your collaboration work?

Sometimes it is based on a brief, sometimes I am

asked to design from scratch and make proposals.

In this case with Bonaveri? What are you working on

for them?

I am working on three collections: Obsession, Twiggy

and Tribe: I made each wig for a specific head. They

had to send me the mannequins in London, so I have

all of them in my studio. My studio is absolutely full of

mannequins!

As for Obsession, I was given a brief; Emma (Davidge)

had some idea of images she wanted. She had found

some photos of the Sixties and Seventies hairstyles

that she loved and wanted to recreate. The inspiration

comes from the ‘70s moment, from all the glamour of

Studio 54… there are such amazing pictures of Diana

Ross on the dance floor with an afro hairdo. And from

there, suggested by Emma, I made these inspired

ostrich feather hats.

What does a wig add to a mannequin? It’s something

very new and unusual for Bonaveri.

I think it really depends on the style of the mannequin.

Personally, if you have a mannequin that has no face,

I don’t really think you need a wig. You know, it’s like

having an egg with a wig on the top! It just really doesn’t

work. For example, I think the Schläppi mannequins

are just beautiful without any wig. It really depends

on what it needs to be. For a stylised mannequin you

would have a more stylised wig or a piece like this for

example [and he shows his feather hats], you wouldn’t

want to have such a realistic wig, because there is no

point.

So what are you going to do for each of these

collections?

A super realistic wig for Tribe. For Twiggy I studied

hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Twiggy

pictures. She has such an iconic look: for example,

her hair was flicked up in back and flicked back on the

sides and a 1960 pony tail, and you have to consider

these little movements.

When you have someone like Twiggy, you know, she is

so iconic, all know her name all over the world… So, if

you are going to do a mannequin based on someone

like her, you should take care of every detail. I studied

a lot.

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Ostrich feathers for Obsession as said, in

8 colours. Emma and I looked at the mood

together; it was clear that the afro would make

so much more of a statement, and I am really

happy we decided to go with all afros.

You design the wigs, and also you make them

or do you have someone make them?

No, I do everything. But I have a few assistants

that help out when I need them.

What is the material you use for them?

It’s usually synthetic hair fibre. It comes in a big

range of colours, and I hand mix the colours

together to make it right. It’s very different

making that than doing wigs for people. I used

to do wigs for drag queens, I have done some

for a few drag queens like Ru Paul’s Drag Race

TV program. I have done a few wigs for people

from that TV show. In this case it’s much more

styling, not so much making.

Do you follow fashion and runways to see

what’s going on and get inspired?

Some. Did you see the big feather hat by

Valentino? I do follow Philip Treacy, who

designed those big ostrich feather hats for

Valentino.

It seems that feathers now are quite cool and

current.

Yes, for sure.

The world of visual display.

Way back, when realistic mannequins were in

Vogue, wigs and make up went hand in hand,

they fit together. A realistic mannequin just

looks weird without a wig, or make up. It could

look OK if doesn’t have any make up either, but

if it has make-up it has to have a wig. No makeup

without a wig, but you can have a wig without

make up. I mean, I prefer both but it is possible

to have just a wig. I feel like wigs and things

like that and make up are super important now,

because of online shopping.

Nowadays in visual merchandising everybody is

trying to create an experience rather than just a

shop window with the mannequins displayed in

it. People now are creating whole stories rather than

just a mannequin with clothes on it.

Something that can sound easy but actually isn’t?

A customer could say to me: I want a bob. But there

are so many different ways you can make a bob. Let’s

think for example of men’s wig.

Men’s wigs are quite hard to do: you would think they

would be easier because they are short, but actually

doing short wigs is one of the most difficult tasks,

because there is so much room for error. While with

long hair in female hair styles, from a bob and longer,

there is a lot of room for mistakes because you can

always hide them and make them look better, but

not with men. When it’s short it’s short, if you cut too

much off, it’s gone! I would pick out every single detail,

starting with the hairline.

How is one trained in this niche?

There are no schools where you can learn this.

There are a few courses but so-so. But the reason to

take courses or go to school doesn’t really work for

mannequins because there is not enough work to

have lots of people do it. It’s a niche industry and this

is the niche of the niche as I said. If I count on my

fingers, in the UK now, there are probably less than 10

mannequin wig makers in the whole country.

What does it mean to be a mannequin wig maker in

2020?

As I said before, there are not many people that do

the job that I do. This is due to changing trends within

the industry, and whatever is fashionable at the time.

Because this has become such a small part of the

industry we work in, this has never enabled wig studios

to grow. I was lucky enough to be bought in to a team

of mostly older people, and was trained the classic

way by some of the original Rootstein wig makers. But

being a young hairdresser I quickly recognised that

things needed to change if they were ever going to

move forward. It all felt very old fashioned, which don’t

get me wrong, is often beautiful. But ‘Classic’ doesn’t

work for every client, they need to have options. That

is why I started Peluca Studio. To modernise and move

forward an almost forgotten part of the the Visual

Display industry.

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In 2016 Bonaveri presented the very first

biodegradable mannequin in the world. The

new mannequin was, and still is, a totally

innovative product made of BPlast®, a biobased

polymer consisting of 72% sugarcane

derivative and painted with B Paint® made

solely of renewable, organic substances.

This innovation is the result of a long and

ambitious research program launched by

Bonaveri in 2012 under the name of BNatural.

This innovation

is the result of a

long and ambitious

research program

launched by

Bonaveri in 2012

under the name of

BNatural.

“The pursuit of quality has always been at the

centre of Bonaveri’s work. There cannot exist

quality without responsibility. With this in mind

we launched an ambitious research project

dedicated to reducing its CO2 emissions

and environmental footprint” - says Andrea

Bonaveri, CEO of the company.

With the collaboration of Polytechnic University

of Milan, we conducted an analysis of the

lifecycle of our mannequins, examining and

measuring the impact of each stage of work:

from pre-production to industrial production,

packing and shipping of products around the

world.

Using this data, we were able to define a strategy

focused on specific factors responsible for the largest

environmental impact of our products: raw materials

and lifecycle process.

And so it was that we embarked on the challenge to

design and manufacture the first ever mannequin

made from a renewable, biodegradable, natural

source.”

With a mindful approach, Bonaveri selected as

partners some of the most innovative research

centres specializing in materials for the development

of Bio Polymers and a leading company in its industry

for the production of natural paints. This synergetic

effort allowed us to create BPlast and BPaint.

Although it has been a challenging journey filled with

surprises, the experience has served us well as today

we are completely confident and capable of offering

our customers a product that is just as sustainable as

it is aesthetically impeccable.

New mannequins in BPlast and BPaint have a reduced

environmental impact compared to conventional

mannequins made with petrochemical materials.

The primary benefits to the planet are as follows:

1. Reduction in CO2 emissions, greenhouse gases

responsible for global warming;

2. Sugar cane, unlike fossil material, is a renewable

material, the use of which does not deplete

environmental resources;

3. The biodegradability of the materials used in the

mannequins makes them completely sustainable.

But the benefits do not end there as they directly affect

the interests of fashion brands who use and therefore

associate themselves to the philosophy behind these

mannequins.

In fact, BPlast also helps to break down the carbon

footprint of the companies that use it, therefore

improving the buyer’s environmental performance.

Replacing mannequins made from petrochemical

materials with those in BPlast, fashion brands have the

opportunity to reduce their environmental footprint.

A comparison between two mannequins clearly

shows the quantitative value of the benefits

generated by substituting non-biodegradable

mannequins with mannequins made in BPlast.

Looking at the more relevant indicator as a

cause of global warming - namely, the amount

of CO2 released into the environment for each

mannequin produced- the data processed by

the Polytechnic University of Milan quantifies

the reduction of CO2 emissions to be 25.72%.

Therefore mannequins in B Plast® allow

companies that choose them to reduce their

Carbon Footprint by 25.72%. Shop mannequins

have a significant impact on the environmental

footprint of fashion brands and intervening

on their quality allows companies to act

responsibility on a wider scale.

Promoting an increasingly circular system is

fundamental to achieve concrete objectives,

especially in a sector such as fashion, which

has one of the highest environmental impacts

in the world.

A reduction in emissions of this substance

generally requires extremely arduous initiatives

for companies that have to adopt emission

reduction plans in accordance with agreements

signed by the Members of the United Nations

Conference on Climate Change in Paris, known

as COP 21.

The Polytechnic University of Milan research

group (Design and System Innovation

for Sustainability), within the DESIGN

LeNS Department (Learning Network of

Sustainability), under the leadership of

Professor Carlo Vezzoli, operated according to

the methodology of the Life Cycle Assessment

individualizing the diverse impacts in relation

to stages and lifecycle processes of systemproducts

chosen.

The environmental impact assessment was

intended to lay the basis for defining the design

of priority intervention indicators.

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The aim of Life Cycle Design is to reduce the

resources and emissions used throughout all

the stages of product lifecycle (pre-production,

production, distribution, use and disposal) in

relation to the functional unit.

The LCA has highlighted two aspects of the life

cycle of mannequins:

the material of origin that mannequins are

made from and end of life of mannequins

Having quantitative and qualitative data

capable of indicating the factors responsible

for the environmental impact allowed Bonaveri

to define the strategies capable of reducing

such impact. And so they initiated the research

project for the discovery of a natural material,

both renewable and biodegradable.

the environmental impact through carefully selecting

sustainable raw materials, so that in any scenario of

disposal (incineration, landfill, recycling), the result

would have virtually no environmental impact.

With regard to researching alternative innovative

materials to use as opposed to plastics from fossil

fuels, Bonaveri benefited from the scientific and

technical consultation from and collaboration with

a European institution specialized in the research

for new materials. This exciting initiative verified the

compatibility of the production processes of the

The aim of Life Cycle

Design is to reduce

the resources and

emissions used

throughout all the

stages of product

lifecycle

Why select the approach of biopolymer rather

than taking a recycling approach?

Bonaveri mannequin products are sold across

five continents. Each country has adopted their

own regulation in the collection and disposal of

waste, each customer has policies that cannot

all be standardized.

It cannot be guaranteed that all products are

recycled or disposed properly at the end their

life, 15 years after purchase. In order to address

this challenge, Bonaveri thought out to reduce

mannequins with the technical characteristics of

the most advanced and state of the art biopolymers

available.

To date, the production of the mannequins is

performed through extrusion blow moulding of

plastics. Specifically, the mannequins are produced

in polystyrene (HIPS) or polystyrene-butadiene

copolymer (SBC) through the blow-moulding process,

after which the same polymer exits from an extruder

into a tubular shape and is partially shaped by hand

by a qualified technician.

In order to substitute conventional plastic materials,

Bonaveri turned to using materials that were either

completely or mostly derived from renewable resources

and able to be processed by extrusion and blow

moulding, as well as being completely biodegradable

at the end of their life cycle.

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BPLAST®

Four years of research paved the way to the

mindful selection and registration of PLA

biopolymer as the most suitable material for the

production process of Bonaveri mannequins.

BPlast is a biodegradable bioplastic (ISO

14855) made up of 72% sugar cane derivative.

This biopolymer has been subjected to stringent

checks by the Belgian certification institution,

Vinçotte that issued the “OK BIOBASED” 3 Star

Certification, which certifies the percentage

of renewable source material present in the

product. The remaining 28% is made up of

monomers of BIO-BASED origin.

To date, the percentage of biobased composition

of 72% (Biobased Carbon Content) is the

highest coefficient in the relationship between

natural and non-natural material. A relationship

that allows the polymer to retain technical

characteristics and performance suitable for

the production of mannequins.

The choice not to create a product that is 100%

biobased is the result of prudent technical

evaluations as many biobased monomers

are available in the market but only in their

experimental version, this therefore does

not guarantee a sound level of performance

excellence required by Bonaveri standards.

BPAINT®

BPaint is the first biocompatible paint made

exclusively from renewable organic materials.

BPaint consists of 100% natural raw materials

and it is free of any petrol-based substances.

This exemplifies unequivocal innovation in

using natural paints without compromising

quality and performance in any way. BPaint

has been subjected to stringent checks by the

Belgian certification institution, Vinçotte that

issued the “OK BIOBASED” 4 star certification

that certifies the material is produced from

100% renewable sources.

- plant-based surfactants that do not

contain phosphorous;

- 100% vegetable solvent obtained from

orange peel using physical processes;

- cobalt-salt- and naphtha-free desiccants

based on a new water technology.

BPaint consists of

100% natural raw

materials and it is free

of any petrol-based

substances.

A sustainable packaging is the essential complement

of a sustainable product. For this reason in 2016, with

the aim of improving its environmental performance,

Bonaveri started a collaboration with the University

of Bologna to define an eco-friendlier packaging

system. Following an in-depth LCA analysis of the

entire production cycle, the packaging was in fact

one of the most critical and impactful factors from a

sustainability point of view.

The new packaging developed through this

collaborative research leaded to a complete change of

materials and design. Gaining to Bonaveri a packaging

that is made with sustainable materials, with a lower

weight – that reduce the consume of energy needed

for transport - a significant optimization of the box

measurement in order to increase the efficiency in

the logistic process, and a sharp reduction packaging

time.

It provides an impressive 40% reduction in CO2

emissions, 37% reduction of energy consumption and

56% decrease in water usage.

BPaint® contains:

- plant resins and oils;

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A BAFTA Green Carpet Challenge Night to

Remember In September 2016, Bonaveri chose

the occasion of the Green Carpet Challenge

to unveil the world’s first truly biodegradable

mannequin.

The Green Carpet Challenge (GCC) is a

dynamic platform that pairs together the

glamour of fashion with a global approach

to ethics, raising the profile of sustainability

in the industry. The GCC was founded by

Livia Firth, Creative Director of London-based

Eco-Age.

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Bonaveri alongside its partner, the GCC,

presented a unique, first-ever sustainability

event during London Fashion Week 2016.

With host partners, the BAFTA and the British

Fashion Council, Andrea and Guido Bonaveri

and the GCC staged ‘A Night To Remember’

hosted by Livia Firth and husband Colin Firth.

Other guests and presenters included Keira

Knightley, Anna Wintour, Natalie Massenet,

Amanda Berry, William Vintage and Andrew

Bolton, curator at the Metropolitan Museum of

New York Fashion.

“A Night to

Remember”

celebrated fashion

from the world’s

iconic red carpet

Stephen Jones, Erdem, Matthew Williamson, Hannah

Weiland, Molly Goddard, Portia Freeman, Pixie Lott,

Justin O’Shea, Laura Bailey, Lauren Santa Domingo,

Nicole Farhi and Bianca Jagger attended.

Livia Firth, Founder and Creative Director of Eco- Age,

said: “This event brings together a brilliant group of

leaders with sustainable values from the creative

industries. I hope it will inspire delight and continue

to show that sustainability is the most magical and

show-stopping story in fashion”.

Following on from the William Vintage & Bonaveri

presentation was the premiere screening of Andrew

Rossi’s “The First Monday in May”. The documentary

“fly on the wall” film explores the intricate and exciting

lead up to the Met Gala, famously chaired every year

“A Night to Remember” celebrated fashion from

the world’s iconic red carpet – from Movies to

the Met Ball unveiling a unique exhibition of

iconic vintage couture gowns assembled by

William Vintage.

Each of the garments, from undeniable

red-carpet icons, exemplified the values of

artisanal skills and hand-crafting from the

20th and 21st centuries with work by Hubert

de Givenchy to John Galliano and Alexander

McQueen. Presented on Bonaveri’s innovative

eco- mannequins, this represented a world first

for fashion and sustainability.

Guests including Victoria Beckham, Helena

Bonham Carter, Joely Richardson, Luke Evans,

Arizona Muse, Amanda & Tallulah Harlech,

will.i.am, Caroline Rush, Mario Testino, Sabine

Getty, Erin O’Connor, Daisy Lowe, Caroline

Sieber, Christopher Bailey, Henry Holland,

by Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue and artistic

director for Condé Nast.

William Banks-Blaney, Founder of William Vintage said:

“The importance of craftsmanship and excellence in

design is central to idea of sustainability in fashion.

We are thrilled to be co-hosts of an event uniting film,

fashion and the global responsibility to protect our

environment”.

Amanda Berry, CEO BAFTA declared: “The creative

industries must take responsibility for their impact,

seizing every opportunity to ensure the creation of

art has a positive environmental legacy. Since 2011,

BAFTA has chaired the BAFTA Albert Consortium,

helping the film and television industries to act on their

Phs: WWD/REX/Shutterstock

impact together. With over 400 organisations

involved, the consortium provides the tools,

guidance and opportunities to all those who

recognise the urgent need for action on climate

change. Five years of collaboration has seen

the roll-out of environmental management

tools, bespoke industry training and, most

recently, the costume directory – a guide to

ethical sourcing. The Green Carpet Challenge

highlights important progress made in fashion

and BAFTA is excited to be working with GCC

and hopes that the collaboration will allow us to

drive further sustainable progress.”

“Bonaveri is such an iconic company - their

mannequins are not only being used by the

whole fashion world, but they are also the first

ones to have extensively researched and finally

created the first eco mannequin - the BNATURAL.”

Says Livia Firth “I remember launching this during the

Green Carpet Challenge and BAFTA event ‘A Night to

Remember’, in London in 2016 and then using them

again at Buckingham Palace for The Commonwealth

Fashion Exchange in 2018 - two of the most beautiful

happenings we ever had with Eco-Age are forever

linked to Bonaveri and their exploration of sustainable

fashion!”

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Each of the garments,

from undeniable

red-carpet icons,

presented on Bonaveri’s

innovative ecomannequins,

represented a world

first for fashion and

sustainability.

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Award from The Province of Antwerp for his

contribution to Culture and in July 2019, in

France, he was appointed ‘Officier de l’Ordre des

Arts et des Lettres’ by the Minister of Culture –

in honour of his significant contributions to the

arts, literature, promoting them in France and

around the world.

“I have been working directly with Bonaveri for

many years, since 2001, when we renovated

our flagship store ‘het Modepaleis’ in Antwerp

and we started working on some customised

shapes and bust forms. But I had come

across them even before,” he says. “We have

Bonaveri mannequins in our shops, corners

and showroom. They are still the best way to

represent our clothes.”

(Chief Curator at the museum at that time, editor’s

note) was a great experience; I had the opportunity to

visit their archives, and as you can imagine, a French

Fashion Museum has all the iconic pieces that you

have known for decades and that have influenced

fashion and how people dressed over the years. The

idea of the exhibition was to let people have a look

into my world, into my references and to show different

layers of inspirations that made me the designer that

I am.

A long-time friend of

the Bonaveri household

is Dries Van Noten,

the Belgian designer

renowned for his mastery

of exquisite fabrics and

his innovative eye for

prints, embroideries

and colour.

Born in 1958, the third generation in a family of tailors,

he attended the fashion design course at Antwerp’s

Royal Academy. Upon graduating, not only did he

begin to freelance as a consultant designer but he

also opened a tiny eponymous boutique in Antwerp.

In 1986, Dries Van Noten started his own collection

of menswear, receiving right away positive reviews

and attention from the best departments stores and

buyers worldwide.

And from here, fashion show after fashion show,

year by year, Dries Van Noten matured to become

one of the major protagonists of the international

fashion panorama, in balance between Antwerp, his

hometown, where his studio is still based, and Paris,

where his men’s and women’s runways take place

every season.

Just a few notes on the calibre of his person beyond

fashion: in October 2016, he received the Culture

The bond between the two of them tightened a

few years later, when they worked hand in hand

on the occasion of his exhibition, “Dries Van

Noten: Inspirations”, that went on stage first

in Paris at Musée des Arts Décoratifs in 2014

and then with a new configuration, in 2015 at

the MoMu fashion museum in Antwerp. As the

name itself says, “Inspirations” told about and

recounted Dries’s world of references and rich

universe of passions, from music to movies

and performing arts, at the heart of his creative

process and collections.

Upon Dries’ invitation, Andrea Bonaveri and

his team drove up from to Antwerp to meet in

him in person in his studio, and to sit down and

discuss together his needs and desires for the

anthology and to enhance at their best Dries’

clothes.

What is inspiration?

Everything can be inspiration, it can be

something beautiful or something ugly. I think

you get inspired by things that move you,

things that evoke an emotion. The starting

point of the exhibition was that it couldn’t

be a retrospective, since I’m still a designer

working on my collections every day and I’m

still enjoying it. Working together with Musée

des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and Pamela Golbin

Did you come across any challenges during its

preparation?

Sometimes you remember things differently than

how they were in a collection. The fashion show,

the venue, the music, the light, the model that

wore the outfit… all form the image you have from a

silhouette. If you see these silhouettes back in a more

neutral environment they can give a totally different

message. So for this exhibition we started to bring

the collections chronologically out of our archives and

put the strongest looks on mannequins. For me this

was challenging in a way because as a designer you

always work on the next collection, you’re always a

season ahead and you don’t look at the past. We had

to consider the looks also with reference to the their

time period; some looks date back to 1996, that’s 25

years ago!

For “Inspirations” you collaborated with Bonaveri

for custom bust forms, hand-picking every detail

yourself, from the fabric and heads, to the wooden

articulated arms of the bust forms. What is the role

of the mannequin in expressing your work?

The biggest challenge for me is that the mannequin

has to bring the clothes to life. We’re used to seeing

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clothes moving on a runway at the fashion show or on

people who wear them. In an exhibition or a window

everything becomes static, so the mannequin has to

give an extra dimension to the clothes. At the time, I

think it was around the millennium, we invested a lot

of research into the posture of the mannequins; the

wooden arms with the movable hands and fingers are

so refined that you can put a lot of movement into the

clothes. We once did a window for the AW 2013-14

collection where it looked like the mannequins were

dancing.

The mannequin should bring the clothes to life, the

focus should remain on the garments, the mannequin

has to be invisible, therefore we work with the black

fabric mannequins, they support the garments

perfectly but disappear into the background.

We usually think about female mannequins? How

about the male ones?

For us the biggest challenge at the time were actually

the male mannequins, it was not easy to get the

proportions correct, as you are speaking to different

types of people. I remember that we struggled in the

beginning with the male proportions, but we managed

and I’m still happy about both the man and woman

mannequins.

How do you like to play with the visual world?

I’ve always been interested in the different parts of

the process, and I always wanted to be involved in the

different steps of the collection. I work more globally

on the concepts and the team that has been working

on the windows for many years works it out into detail.

From windows to communication. No ADV at all in

the history of Dries Van Noten.

It’s something that happened organically, we

communicate with our fashion shows and always

had a good understanding with the buyers as well as

with the final customer without feeling the need to

advertise.

Let’s circle back to the beginning of this conversation.

The Nordic sea, David Bowie, artist Victor Vasarely,

roses... just to name a few. So many inspirations have

a second life in your dresses. How does your creative

process work?

It’s a process, I cannot really describe it; things

that cross my path and that evoke an emotion,

it can be almost everything. It is not like a

particular moment that you see the light and

think… Often it is also a reaction to something.

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There are encounters that have the ability to

leave a deep impression on people’s lives,

as well as in things, places, the history of

companies and sometimes, even in the history

of an entire industry.

This holds true for the collaboration and the

personal harmony found in the relationship

between Andrea Bonaveri and Emma Davidge;

the former, CEO of Bonaveri, the latter, Creative

Director of Chameleon Visual.

Brought up in the world of mannequins, and

following in his family’s footsteps to become

entre-preneur in his turn, Andrea, at the helm

of the company with his brother, Guido, has

known how to ensure to the annals of history

of the company whose name he bears, an

increase not only in terms of size but also in an

enrichment of the aesthetic and manufacturing

quality of its bust forms and mannequins.

A Londoner, Emma began to work early on in

the visual display sector applying her natural

aesthetic sensibility to creating displays for shop

windows while still at a young age. This natural talent

matched with a strong determination which evolved

through several years of freelancing experience leading

Emma to create Chameleon Visual, a creative studio

which over the years have developed collaborations

with the leading figures in the fashion world.

For the past twenty years, Chameleon have been

producing distinctive visual concepts for the finest

brands within the luxury and fashion sectors. With an

impressive client list, under the direction of Emma,

Chameleon have made a name for themselves through

their imaginative approach to visual display, from

windows through to set design for runway, exhibitions,

events and pop-up stores.

Based in South West London, Chameleon’s team

adapt projects, pushing boundaries no matter how

ambitious or demanding the project may be.

Thanks to these projects, Davidge’s and Bonaveri’s

paths crossed. It was written in the stars that they

should meet since both were committed to providing

visions and products to the needs of the fashion

industry.

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What began as a simple professional

acquaintance, with Bonaveri supplying

mannequins for the brands that Davidge

designed the store windows for, little by little,

took on shape. With a constant characteristic:

every time Emma worked on a particularly

complex project conjuring up imaginary forms,

structures, positions and innovative stage

effects, there was nothing to do but turn to

Bonaveri to check the workability of those forms

and body compositions.

This is how in a playful sense of the word,

making the impossible possible came to be.

Those impossible visions that Emma designed

to tell the public about a fashion brand’s DNA

and projects, could only become reality in

Bonaveri’s sculpture atelier, his sewing shop

and in his workmanship.

This is why, if on one side there was a visionary

art director who was pushing her imagination

beyond customary frameworks, on the other

there was Andrea, an entrepreneur held in

thrall by challenges, impassioned by everything

capable of lowering the bar on the limit between

the ordinary and extraordinary.

How did you meet each other?

Emma Davidge: We had done a few projects for

Louis Vuitton where we needed some acrobat

mannequins; we worked on two window

campaigns, a Circus window and EPI Magic.

That was the first time I came to the factory. At

that time I was working as a consultant for LV

windows. When I was given the project of the

LV exhibition at the Louvre, I needed a bespoke

mannequin… And I don’t remember why, but I

chose articulated mannequins. I am trying to

remember why I chose them... Ah, because I

was looking for a variety of poses and things for

the mannequins to do. Rather than making 20

bespoke mannequins, I chose an articulated

mannequin which could be manipulated into

different poses…and the idea came from a

small maquette doll! So, I came here and I

showed Andrea the project – and [looking at

Andrea] your reaction was kind of cool.

Do you remember?

Andrea Bonaveri: No!

Emma: You can’t remember when I came here?!

Andrea: I remember you came here but I don’t

remember my reaction.

Emma: You were terrified, believe me. Especially when

we talked about the time frame. The thing was that the

mannequin didn’t exist anywhere. From a small doll

into a full-sized mannequin, we needed to understand

how to make it and how we could pose and maintain

This is how in a playful

sense of the word,

making the impossible

possible came to be.

its positions; including how we could change the heads.

We ended up with two versions: a fully articulated one

and one with fake articulated legs, because it was

impossible at that time to make the mannequin stand

up due to its weight.

She had a variety of different head types, made in

London by my sculptor: animals heads, a smoke head,

a balloon head, even a disco ball head. There were a

lot of crazy heads that were made for them. And then it

was the collaboration of bringing everybody together.

Marco the sculptor [Marco Furlani, Bonaveri’s sculptor,

see the article about the atelier] came to Paris and he

had to help us install them since they were brand new

and we didn’t even know how to put them together!

And which year was it?

Andrea: 2012.

Emma: So glad you remember [She laughs].

This was the most challenging project together?

Andrea: Also, the windows were quite difficult to realise

because every single mannequin was so special.

And then you invited Emma to collaborate on other

projects?

Andrea: I mean, I think at that time a friendship was

starting and we began to collaborate on other projects.

Emma: Then we made the Speedy mannequins,

with the magnetic bag heads. We did those when

LV opened the store on Bond Street in London.

They were for the Katie Grand exhibition that

was travelling the world.

Andrea: And then for Bally we did mannequins

on different types of bicycles.

Emma: I forgot about those! They were bespoke

mannequins riding bicycles for the presentation

of the collection, which then blurred into a huge

amount of projects. We made bespoke up and

down legs for Fendi, and many others, but

essentially everything is bespoke. Andrea is the

best in the world to work with, because he can

pretty much do anything.

Andrea: Don’t exaggerate! She is really the best

in the world.

Why Andrea do you think so?

Andrea: I don’t know. Actually I do know. When

she designs a new project, it’s really unique. Not

only for us, but also for other fashion designers.

What do you mean by unique?

Andrea: Unique for me means everything. Every

time she brings me a project I am wondering how

she does it, how she can conceive something

like that.

So how do you do it?

Emma: I don’t know! I’ll tell you how I work. I am

a visual storyteller and my job is to deliver a story

that brings some kind of emotion, whether it be

to a child or an adult. No matter what language

they speak and wherever they are in the world,

I would like to think they can look at the story I

am telling and understand it.

So it’s like being a silent actor on stage. That’s

how I view it.

And also the mannequin is a silent actor on

stage.

Emma: Yes, it is the main actor. Mannequins

are telling the whole story. The intention is for

anybody, regardless of language, culture or

age, to look at something and tell their own

fantasies, since that was how I got into window

dressing as a child.

On the weekend I used to stand outside shops with

my Dad, face pressed into the glass. When my Mum

would go in the shop I would be creating stories about

where the mannequin was going; what she wanted to

wear and I would create my own fantasies. So that’s

how I still work now.

Then did you go to a visual academy?

Emma: No, I didn’t. I left school at 16 and I got a job

with Joan Burstein at Browns store and she trained

me for three years and then the rest is history. So I

have always been in luxury.

Browns has always been ahead of its times.

Emma: Joan Burstein developed the first multi-brand

store, before anybody else did and I had the luxury of

working with her. I am really grateful she was the one

that trained me.

And after Browns? You were very young, not yet 20?

Emma: I was 16! After Browns I went to Selfridges and

I learnt about department store display, for maybe

three years, and then I moved to Italy, where I had a

lot of multi-brand customers like Romeo Gigli, Genny,

Moschino… I used to dress their windows freelancing,

travelling Europe the rest of the time.

Then I went back to London…and what did I do? [She

thinks] Ah, I went to work for Jigsaw, where I became

assistant to the Creative Director. Then, one day I just

left and started my own company. I created Chameleon

Visual in 2004.

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Photos Courtesy Louis Vuitton

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Photos Courtesy Louis Vuitton

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And you started to collaborate with the big

companies such as LV, Fendi… and then

Bonaveri came into play.

Emma: Bonaveri has always been in the game

because I have always used either Rootstein

or Bonaveri mannequins throughout my entire

career. There is a specific taste level when you

are choosing or dressing mannequins, and it

was either Rootstein or Schläppi. That is just

how it is.

Bonaveri has always been

in the game, because I

have always used either

Rootstein or Bonaveri

mannequins throughout

my entire career.

And now you are designing some Schläppi and

also you are collaborating on the new Twiggy.

How did she come about?

Emma: Andrea and I had a conversation

four or five years ago, whilst we were driving

back to Ferrara late at night from the Milano

showroom. I said to Andrea: “Maybe you should

buy Rootstein!” During the three hour car

journey we talked a lot about Rootstein, but

the conversation then finished. A few years

later, one day Andrea said: “Oh I have some

news!” And yes, he was in the process of buying

Rootstein, which was very exciting! With Twiggy,

I have curated the styling and Andrea has done

the main bulk of the collection.

For Bonaveri you designed Aloof, Tribe

collection, and Obsession that is launching

soon. What about this last one?

Emma: Schläppi has a certain DNA and I love

one of the first creations which I nicknamed

“the Monkey” because her pose reminded me

of a monkey. There is a beauty and elegance in

her elongated fingers, limbs and neck… she’s

stunning. When you go through the archive

pieces, which you don’t see in the factory, the moulds,

the faces and lips are generally very awkward, which I

find very attractive.

When I looked at the original Schläppi mannequins, I

really wanted to translate them into modern day and

create mannequins with the right height and size but

still with that awkward beauty to them…something

that people want to buy and that will be timeless.

When we created Aloof, I was inspired by the ‘40s and

‘50s and then with Obsession we moved into the ‘70s

and it was very much Pat Cleveland, Jerry Hall, Grace

Jones and Diana Ross. Pat Cleveland for example

was one of the first supermodels, the face of all the

brands in New York from Halston all the way through.

I looked at that Studio 54 era, when they all used to

hang out together and when you see them dancing -

whirling and twirling on the dance floor - that’s where

all the movement and the ‘70s attitude comes from.

So there is the inspiration, but also making it timeless

and making it very Schläppi. When you mix awkward

with movement, you get something really beautiful.

Timeless you said, in an industry that is the opposite

by definition.

Emma: You know the mannequin is the actor, she is

going to be changed every five minutes, a dressing

rotation in a fashion store is every two weeks. But the

mannequin needs to be timeless in the sense that…

I want someone to go into the archives in a hundred

years’ time and pull our pieces out and be as excited

by them as I am now looking at the first Schläppi. I

would like to think that somebody in the timeline will

continue the Schläppi heritage. Revisting the pieces

Andrea and I have created… I would like people to say:

“Wow, she’s amazing!” [Looks at Andrea] How old she

is now?

Andrea: Schläppi is from the beginning of 1970.

Emma: So she is nearly 50! She’s still in the windows

now…incredible!

Andrea: This is the iconic mannequin. This is “The

Mannequin” no other mannequin is as famous and

so successful and unique. Schläppi 2200: is the only

one in the world.

Going back to the new Obsession collection, I would

like to add a note regarding their pose: all the

mannequins in the windows now are standing straight

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like soldiers, with straight legs and straight

arms, but you [looking at Emma] now have

designed a completely different mannequin.

And I like the idea to change in an opposite way.

Here in fact is Obsession, dancing on the dance

floor. Both of you are taking a new risk.

Andrea: It’s about risk all the time. When

we started to design Aloof, the market was

completely different, nobody had made a

mannequin like this before.

Andrea knows

mannequins better that

anybody and he taught

me everything I know

about production

Emma: With Aloof I had an obsession with

twins. As a window dresser, the one thing since

the beginning of my career that has frustrated

me was the search for symmetry - because I

love symmetry - I couldn’t find it anywhere. If

I wanted two mannequins back to back, one

would be looking at the wall of the window and

one would be looking at the glass… impossible.

So with Aloof I made them twins, they are

symmetrical: they sit together; they stand

together; they can go in a big army together.

Also you can come back to the possibility of

bespoke: take the head off and make one turn

and so on. That was a huge appeal to everybody

who bought Aloof, because finally these things

were possible.

This is where the collaboration is amazing:

Andrea knows mannequins better than anybody

and he taught me everything I know about

production. I know windows and I know the

insights. So when you bring these two worlds

together, it becomes very powerful.

When we launched Aloof, she sold instantly, it was

amazing! At first Andrea said to me: “So don’t worry

if it doesn’t sell for the first three years, it takes

time,” but we were selling them before we had even

finished sculpting the collection. Then when Max Mara

launched them globally it all went boom…!

You both together have impeccable intuition.

Emma: I don’t have strategies for anything. I normally

just go goose bumpy and…“This is it!” I just know. I

think I have approached the industry very differently.

People get caught up in the fashion, in the name and

the glamour, but I am not really interested in that. I am

interested in telling stories.

I live in this body every day, for me what I do is just

normal, it comes naturally. I don’t really care about

what other people say. I like to be behind the scenes,

and that’s why my company is called Chameleon, we

blend into the background. The story I am telling is

about the client, it’s not about me. Everyone has a

story to tell and I like to dig around because there is

always some magic that happens when you show it to

people.

So it’s the same when we worked for Pucci [see

Laudomia Pucci interview]. I wanted the very strong

DNA of the house of Bonaveri and of the House of Pucci

to combine together. There is a story in everyone’s

archive. I know the DNA of Bonaveri because I work so

closely with Andrea, and on the other hand I had to go

and discover the DNA of Pucci. Laudomia told me that

her father was a pilot and saw everything from a bird’s

eye view, which is how the first scarves were made

and I took things like that, sifted through information

and connected them in unexpected ways.

Why, Emma, did you want the title of this interview

“Making the impossible possible?”

Emma: Because most of the time when I have an idea,

my first reaction is “Oops, this is going to be difficult”,

but then I come here and Andrea just stares at me

and says: ”OK, let’s do it!”.

I like his bravery.

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So you are the perfect partners in crime?

[Turning and smiling at one another]

Emma: Yes.

Andrea: Yes.

Emma: He’s very chilled whereas I’m not so

much. We push one another, we are also very

similar in many ways and we are very passionate

about what we do. It’s also about the taste level,

we have a very similar one. All of those things

work. I have a lot of respect for him, for what he

does.

I surround myself with people I like, there

must be something in a person that makes me

curious and there is a level you can understand. It’s

like two children playing and that is when the magic

happens and the adults disappear.

I care about Bonaveri as much as I care about my own

company. It’s not just coming in, taking the money

and doing a job. I really care as much as Andrea does,

probably more sometimes! I can drive him mad.

Andrea: There is a good combination between us

because I have the experience and you the vision….

Anytime we do a project, I tell myself “This is the last

one.” But then I realise that it is just the beginning for

something else to come.

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Florence, June 2018. At Palazzo Pucci, in the

heart of Florence, “Bonaveri, A Fan of Pucci”

went on stage. An event only for three days,

held concurrently with Pitti Uomo.

Door after door, sumptuous room after room,

the history and heritage of Pucci for the first

time were at the public’s fingertips, so they

could learn about, but above all breathe and

enjoy what Pucci was and is.

In the entrance, in the courtyard, a giant Vivara

painted mannequin stood with a group of

smaller mannequins to greet the public and

then, right upstairs, a memorable sight came

into view: 57 mannequins in 31 shades of

Pucci sitting in glamorous poses, all wearing

Pucci foulards, sunglasses and bags, hats and

precious accessories. What a front row!

The co-protagonist of this plunge into the Pucci

puzzle of colours, way of life, garments and

attitude was an elegant silhouette: a mannequin

revisited – and dressed up - not only in many

hues but in many sizes, materials, prints and

gestures as well. And… here was “A Fan of

Pucci” room, playing and overlapping reality

and meanings: at centre stage a mannequin

wrapped in length Pucci fabric that was being

fanned by the wind!

“We have been using Bonaveri mannequins

for more than 20 years, our favourite is the

Schläppi, either in white, skin colour or gold,

which you could say, has become the leitmotiv of

our retail and showroom. We have become very

attached to its forms, to its particular form of

femininity, which in my opinion is transmitted in

the Schläppi through the movement it conveys

and through its freshness,” Laudomia Pucci

says, Deputy Chairman and Image Director at

the maison, daughter of Marchese Pucci, who

founded the eponymous label in 1947. “I think

we perhaps were among its first clients and I

think Andrea (Bonaveri) can confirm that our

relationship has been constant over the years.”

So, Pucci long-time relationship with Bonaveri

led to this exhibition “A Fan of Pucci” in

Florence.

No, that’s another aspect, that was created parallel

to this but completely distinct from it, let’s say. This

relationship with Bonaveri already existed. But

“Bonaveri, A Fan of Pucci” follows another track, it is

related to the Heritage Hub idea I launched here at

the Palazzo. Heritage Hub is my proposal and project

to work on our brand heritage and archives, from the

cataloguing to the events, involving new talent and

students just out of the leading fashion schools.

“We have been

using Bonaveri

mannequins for

more than 20 years”

The Pucci heritage and the present.

In a lively and vibrant manner, we are trying to create

archives for the future for Pucci. I created it as an

experiment at the maison’s historical headquarters

in Florence. We are creating it again here thanks

to the help of the LVMH group and, clearly it is an

entertaining experiment. It’s something extra, which

all brands with a particular history like us are happy

to showcase. Here we quite aspired to do something

different, innovative with very voluminous archives.

So what did we do? We started decorating the interior

spaces. I called my friend, architect Piero Lissoni, and

we started to install turquoise and fuscia carpeting,

my father’s colour scheme from his first boutique here

at the Palazzo.

Then the conversation with Andrea Bonaveri started,

both eager to do something marvellous together! We

started thinking about how to use Sala Bianca, which

is the most important one of the Palazzo. Since I really

like collaborations even of the most innovative kind,

I was thinking how to transform this into a different

kind of partnership, because a maison of mannequins

has never before joined together with a maison of

storytelling like Pucci. What I liked right away was that

Bonaveri was no longer just our store and showroom

partner who wearing our products, but it became a

performer alongside us in a story tale about Made in

Italy and Italian quality and co-protagonist in a

show.

A show that recounts the past in a very fresh

way. Often opening archives and enhancing

their value can turn out to be nostalgic. Here

we have a breath of unexpected freshness.

Thank you, but you see, this is a bit in the spirit

of what I am doing here, with my global vision of

things, and let’s say that if they had said to me

“Do an exhibition with Bonaveri mannequins,”

I might have said no. I wanted this Florentine

reality to be used in an experimental way and

when I speak of archives for the future, it is in

this sense, not in a museum sense. Florence

has 69 museums, we certainly don’t need

another one! Do you see where I am going? So

we created a happening, an event, we told the

story in a fun way that enhances the qualities of

one or the other partner.

The event presented also the behind the

curtains of Bonaveri with the atelier area. The

Cutting Room, the Sewing Room, the Miniature

Workshop showing Bonaveri artisans at work…

This is fundamental: Bonaveri made a

mannequin painted in Pucci’s Vivara print to

tell the story of Pucci through its craftsmanship.

As said, these are two partners who recount

their know-how together. We could not tell the

story without Bonaveri nor could Bonaveri tell it

without us.

And such an original title, “A Fan of Pucci”. As

you said, Bonaveri the performer, the actor,

who demonstrates his admiration for the Pucci

heritage.

And that is the most interesting thing of this

moment that we created together. Of course,

we had the beauty of the mannequins, the

research, etc., that have brought to light the

quality of Bonaveri and Made in Italy, which we

are all proud of and jealous of at the same time.

But what is important is we sent out a truly new

message, new and new, to those who came

and read about the history of the brand and our

Made in Italy in a totally innovative way - this to

me was and still is the big challenge. And the

big challenge is also having had young talent working

with two historical maisons: and this opens the way to

other collaborations for me, and other dialogs between

two Made in Italy companies at the same level of

quality. It also opens the way to using technology in

anything you can think of. We Italians tell our children

“Go to the museum, go see Florence… Go see Venice.

Here people had fun and when you are having fun, you

enter into the heart of the matter, you make it yours,

you snap a photo, you post something on Instagram.

Today you have to be able to communicate the same

emotions by involving the public. Don’t you think so? I

think that with Bonaveri our strength is indeed this”.

Bonaveri mannequins wearing even more beautiful

garments than Pucci’s, but the emotion we offer

together cannot be replicated.

The Runway, showcasing a front-row of mannequins

wearing sunglasses, scarves and little handbags, is

unforgettable. The display of Pucci’s entire chromatic

spectrum was there!

This is what the brand is really about and I did it

on purpose. When you enter the Palazzo you see

the prints first, but also, right upstairs, you see and

understand the colours, and then you see other prints.

I am explaining the importance of the brand to you

and who I am, but I am doing it in a light -hearted and

simple way, with the carpeting and the mannequins

in different shades of colour. At this point you might

ask me: “What does this mean, what is it?” And then

I would explain it to you. But you can only do it if you

have a quality partner on the other side who creates

marvellous mannequins for you.

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Mme. Pucci, you were speaking of young

talent working between two historic brands in

this project. How did you keep them involved

next to you and the creative direction of Emma

Davidge?

She and I worked together. But we worked on

the archives with my young people, who are

all about 20 years old. The more you motivate

them the more they give, you know, when you’re

20 years old... All of them were at their

“My father not

only adored

collaborations but

also was open to

innovation, novelty,

different countries,

women, different

ethnic groups and

young people. ”

first job and they all really worked with spirit

and intensity.

You have relied on a new interpretation.

The public invited to come to the Palazzo were

able to meet the young people who had worked

here, and when you are a 20 year old, you would

never stop talking about the exhibition you had

worked on, how proud you are. You make that

outcome yours.

Emma didn’t work with a third party, but directly

with me, who explained to her what the brand is,

and we were laughing for three days. Emma is

a person with a lot of spirit and great execution

capability. She entered into the brand, thanks

also to the fact that the brand and contents

really exist here, even without me.

So Emma found fertile soil on which to set up

the happening, while paying homage to the

tradition of your father, Marquis Pucci.

I think it is fundamental to remember our traditions

– as Andrea says it in the video as well, where he

speaks of the Bonaveri ‘maison’ tradition. I always

remember our best tradition: our collaborations.

My father not only adored collaborations but also

was open to innovation, novelty, different countries,

women, different ethnic groups and young people. My

father adored young people, and let’s not forget that

he wanted to bring the Polimoda school to Florence.

Therefore in my little way, I have always tried to bring

forward the best interpretation of this message into

this century and into the moment in

which we are living. That is why a museum bothers me

and that is why, for example, remembrance bothers

me. Don’t you see that today we are all less cultured,

many of us never read and everything has to be

immediate?

The freshness, as we said before, and also the

celebration of those who worked before and who

are working today. I don’t know if you remember the

Makeup Room where you could try foulards on, with

the season’s collection hanging on the walls, which

replicated the backstage of a runway show. If you

are a designer today and what you design was never

shown anywhere, how would you feel if you could do

like we did here?

An explosion of colours and prints - we all could feel

the fun as we walked through the exhibition.

Exactly and we had fun doing it. When I said I spent

three days laughing with Emma, I think you can feel

this. She has that sense of humour, obviously she is

English, but she has worked in Italy for a good

part of her life, and she knows Bonaveri inside

out. Here she found something right up her

street and she had fun, you could tell. When you

are buying 10 mannequins for the store, you

know how much you are spending, you know

everything. But here it was totally different,

because it was an

The beauty of this

collaboration: to

celebrate yourself,

to have a good time

event. The beauty of this collaboration: to

celebrate yourself, to have a good time.

Obviously everything comes at a price but the

idea was to do something special and do it well.

“Bonaveri, A Fan of Pucci” then went to Munich.

There we were hosted by the Lodenfrey

department store. They have a lot of wonderful

space and we did the store windows with

blue carpeting and decorated personalised

mannequins with archive accessories. So we

were able to keep the same story-line as in

Florence. Under the skylight, we put the Vivara

painted mannequins and, I must say, it was

really a beautiful presentation.

I hope in the future the exhibition can travel

again to other venues. This is to me a moment

of great encounters and innovations between

two Italian brands that live together but that do

not necessarily speak the same language. In

this case they wanted to celebrate together.

-------

Bonaveri collaborated with a Schläppi Giant

painted in Pucci’s iconic ‘Vivara’ print and other

Schläppi mannequins from the 60s; 57 bespoke

Sartorial mannequins in 31 shades, the Tribe

collection and with Schläppi 4000 Junior and

other vintage and current mannequins and bust

forms. Some other numbers: 100 miniatures,

360 kg of paint, 609 meters of fabric, 97

colours, 27 Pucci prints... and much more!

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The Bonaveri showroom in Milan is entirely

dedicated to the visual merchandising world, to

fashion and creativity behind the glass.

BonaveriMilano is a 600 sq.m. three level

space, located behind a rhythmic façade of

concrete street facing panels. The building

is located near the ex-Richard Ginori area of

Milan, alongside other revitalized examples

of decades-old architectural gems. The area,

within the Milan city boundary was traditionally

used as an industrial and manufacturing centre

and is today an important fashion and creativity

hub.

The original building with its playful concrete

facades was designed by Italian studio

Giuseppe Tortato Architects between 2007 and

2009. When Bonaveri decided on this location for

their showroom, they invited Emma Davidge, creative

director of Chameleon Visual, to undertake the

reorganization of the interior structure and to develop

the interior design of the new space. She set about

opening up the structure arranging spaces around a

central courtyard and crowning it all with an impressive

terrace for hosting summer events.

BonaveriMilano is not only used for the presentation

of mannequins, but is also a versatile space for guests

and friends of Bonaveri to come together from far and

wide.

It is an environment that still holds true to its industrial

past, with its austere concrete facade composed

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of an intriguing pattern of eyelets and glass

cubes. Each of these tiny apertures is carefully

illuminated, transforming the building into

a magical galaxy of light after dark. Inside,

the showroom’s three levels are arranged

within a horseshoe-shaped structure, stacked

around a central garden that provides constant

illumination through its triple height windows.

From street level, guests have an impressive

initial view down into the ground floor gallery,

accessed via wide stairs that also act as a stage

set for presentations.

From the ground floor volume, the building

reveals its hidden pathways with a sculptural

metal staircase leading you through a

mezzanine gallery on upward to the 260 sq.m.

roof terrace.

The ground floor space offers multifunctional

uses. At the entrance there is a wide area

dedicated to permanent exhibitions, alongside

which is a working area set against a gallery

wall. Deep within the structure is a final “lounge

area” that offers a quiet space away from the

activity of the galleries.

A large double-height bookcase dominates the

lounge area with a floor to ceiling composition

of shelving that plays host to fashion, art and

design catalogues.

Travelling upward to the second-floor gallery,

guests can meet and work within a space that

includes a large table, a display library and the

showroom’s well kitted out kitchen. Travelling

along a narrow metal bridge, guests continue

their journey through the building onward up

to the large roof terrace where a vast open-air

terrace offers the perfect spring and summer

venue for parties and launch events.

On the occasion of the opening of BonaveriMilano

in 2014, the large ground floor central space

hosted a tribute to the artist Lorenzo Piemonti,:

“Momenti tubolari”. During his lifetime, Piemonti

also worked as a mannequin sculptor leaving

an indelible mark on the history of this field thanks to

the creation of his wonderful Schläppi silhouettes in

the 1960’s and 70’s.

His visionary work has offered a timeless contemporary

and evergreen form which has continued to inspire

creative director, Emma Davidge in the creation of

new Schläppi collections.

Bonaveri hosts

ongoing initiatives

to support young

designers and

strengthen the

relationships with

schools, universities

and training

institutions.

Over time many events and presentations have taken

place at BonaveriMilano, most of which are staged

during Milan’s September Fashion Week. Bonaveri

chose this time of the year to reveal their new Tribe &

Sartorial Collections with a striking display of figures

on the ground floor & mezzanine galleries alongside a

roof top party.

Bonaveri is proud to be able to develop its business

relationships around this new social and working

space. As part of a program of events, Bonaveri hosts

ongoing initiatives to support young designers and

strengthen the relationships with schools, universities

and training institutions.

During Milan Design Week 2019, Bonaveri put

together an exhibition celebrating the iconic

Schläppi M collection with a series of bright orange

pieces set alongside a Giant Schläppi M.

Adorned with lighting along its outstretched arms, the

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Giant radiates a warm glow of orange light after

dark.

Schläppi M is a distinctive mannequin

collection offering display pieces as well as

traditional abstract mannequins. The collection

was initially designed in the 1980s to include

integrated hanging rails, tables, plinths and

seating. Bonaveri recently enriched the group

with a series of abstract mannequins and bust

forms that honour the original design ethos.

“Schläppi M is both aesthetically unique and

extremely functional offering our customers a

characteristic way to display their merchandise”

said Andrea Bonaveri.

During Milan Fashion Week 2019,

BonaveriMilano hosted a new installation of

Sartorial mannequins covered in a colourful

array of velvet fabrics. The installation drew

inspiration from the collaboration between

Chameleon Visual and Emilio Pucci, when in

2018 Bonaveri launched the Sartorial Female

Collection in a rainbow of Pucci inspired colours.

Each of the Sartorial Mannequins was crafted

with fully articulated arms, bespoke seated leg

positions and a unique system for adjusting

head positions. Each of the arms and legs were

meticulously painted to match their torso’s

vibrantly coloured velvet fabrics.

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www.bonaveri.com

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As one of Italy’s largest fashion houses, Max

Mara is a name known across the world,

synonymous with luxury, style and quality.

Inspired by a passion for tailoring passed down

by his mother and great grandmother, Achille

Maramotti founded the brand in 1951 in the

Italian city of Reggio Emilia.

He began with a line of high-end coats, which

were inspired stylistically by French haute

couture but made using cutting-edge industrial

tailoring techniques. In this, Maramotti had

discovered an exciting new area of fashion. His

methods created more styles, cuts and colours

than ever before, allowing him to reach a far

wider audience. His clothes gained immediate

and overwhelming recognition, and within a few

short years the brand was opening new lines

under the umbrella group of Max Mara.

Today Max Mara is one of the largest fashion

houses in the world, and the Max Mara Group –

with 9 brands and more than 5,000 employees,

operating in 105 countries worldwide – is the

biggest clothing company in Italy. More than

60 years after Maramotti made his first coats,

the brand remains at the forefront of fashion,

producing beautiful clothing in almost every

category imaginable, from the classic to the

experimental.

Our interest is to also understand about the

approach to storytelling when the product is

face to face with the public: in windows.

The Max Mara approach to store windows is

a crucial part of the brand’s choral narrative:

runway shows, advertising, on and off-line

communications, all the channels are synched

and speak the same language.

Each of the Group brands have their personal

expression in their line of points of sale.

All originates from the product: the fashion

designers and the creative director are the

story tellers and the starting point from which

the visual merchandising team, together with

their experts and consultants, draw inspiration

to create the narrative in the store windows and points

of sale. Within this ecosystem, the store windows and

the visual image inside all points of sale act as the

scenic transposition of the fashion content.

The product is always at centre stage for Max Mara.

Therefore the perfect visual image must exalt and

pay homage in primis to the product and act as the

mouthpiece for the narration that the brand wishes to

transmit to the consumer from season to season.

The store window tells the story of Max Mara. The set

design starts from the mood board of the collection

and therefore requires four changes connected with

the four principle seasons.

the brand remains

at the forefront of

fashion, producing

beautiful clothing

from the classic to

the experimental.

The store interior leads the customer through a large

space divided into various shops each dedicated to

the principle brands and their collections while the

seasonal palimpsest varies according to the different

thematic areas, collections and focus. There are also

cross-sectional categories and dedicated areas that

show for example, all coats, or the businesswoman

as seen by the Max Mara sartorial project or assorted

cross-sections of all other collections.

The quality of the product is also the quality of the retail

spaces as well as the quality through which the sales

personnel takes care of the clients. The atmosphere

is determined by the particular aesthetics combined

with the savoir faire of the staff in introducing the

client to the brand new entries for each seasonal

palimpsest.

One of the key elements to focus on to understand

the success of this brand is the distinctive nature of

stores as pillar elements in the communication with

the client.

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Max Mara has a significant number of points of

sale spread all over the world, a sales network

carefully built to stage the physical relationship

between the product and the end-user. An

exercise developed at such a magnificence

and perfection so as to allow us to compare

the main flagship to the different instruments

in an orchestra, where set design and products

present in unison.

Over the last 5 decades many things have changed in

the fashion industry, as well as in the visual narrative

of window displays. Once the store window used to

represent the stage on which a specific product or

products could be best displayed. To put it simply,

the choice of the garment to display in the window

was often dictated by the desire to push a determined

product and encourage the client to enter the store.

And as a well-performing orchestra, able to

play the music of the moment as well as to

interpret and stimulate the emotional spectrum

of feelings in the audience, according to the

projects or special products, the creative team

fabricate a specific narrative from season

to season and the store window offers the

occasion to celebrate them across the line.

Just as windows are so relevant in the perception

of the style message, and the shop crucial to

entertain a structural relation with clients, so is

the choice of the visual tools to carry on stage all

the collections. From this derives a long lasting

relationship between Max Mara and Bonaveri.

Both companies are family based, both founded

by visionary men, both share the landscape

of their imagination – the flat land of Pianura

Padana - where the quality of food matches the

character of people always willing to build new

dreams.

It was a natural encounter for those who –

each one in his own business environment –

were pursuing excellence. The lowest common

denominator between the two being the

research for beauty and harmony. Over the last

30 years Bonaveri has provided mannequins

and busts to all the many different and evolving

needs of the Max Mara Group windows and

shops.

Not only does Max Mara use them, but Bonaveri

collections are also found at Marina Rinaldi

stores, in MAX & Co., and in a few months’ time,

a new collection for WEEKEND Max Mara will

make its debut.

But nowadays the proliferation of means of

communication and points of contact with the

client make the panorama much more complex and

challenging. The window becomes a fundamental

piece in constructing the narrative, which must be

perfectly synchronised and coordinated with all the

other touch points of communication.

The fashion system is often characterised by

exaggeration, provocative shows, shocking

campaigns… all of them to attract attention of the

public. Short visions followed by quick changes in

style, designers, ownership.

Max Mara is a completely different style and story.

This is not a brand that wants to unduly show off. The

basic philosophy behind this concept is that a brand

should not divert attention from the woman who is

wearing it. We could call it as silent approach to luxury

so that a woman wearing Max Mara is enriched by the

experience of wearing the clothes, not by the way these

clothes help her interact with society. The attention

is always focused on a one-to-one relationship that

women have with Max Mara, and the strength and

energy they acquire wearing its clothes.

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This particular philosophy has proven to be a

key distinctive element of the Group’s success.

Max Mara loves being classic and classic in

the highest sense of the word, which can be

summed up as rigour in keeping to proportions,

materials and cuts, and a keen awareness

and knowledge of its past in both general and

technical terms. What is deemed of value is

recognised, maintained and carried ahead

generation after generation with no emotional

refusal of the past.

Max Mara women appreciate the intrinsic value

of the products, luxury for them is, first of all, a

gift to themselves. It’s difficult to single out an

archetype that sums up all the women who wear

Max Mara. They come from the four corners

of the world from different eras and different

social contexts. They have different styles, they

can be very formal or refuse anything that isn’t

comfortable or is restrictive. Some are socially

active and committed, others prefer a more

solitary life style. The one thing they have in

common is that they are women who choose,

who always aspire to take control over their life.

The clothes they wear are their faithful

companion in the adventure of discovering and

becoming themselves. This is the secret of a

long story of overwhelming success built up of

care, elegance and femininity.

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“Today a mannequin standing alone or in a

group in a display setting must be immobile, yet

still capable of dialogue, of telling the viewer

about whatever it is wearing” said the fashion

journalist Gianluca Bauzano “A mannequin

must have a personality and character that is

independent of its covering, whether that be a

dress from an exclusive collection or a costume

from a film or play”.

What may seem obvious today, may not have

been so in the past.

The way we relate to mannequins today is in

no small part due to the ground breaking work

by Diana Vreeland, executive director of Vogue

USA (1963-1971) and special consultant at the

Costume Institute.

Her innovative presentations at the Met

Museum transformed the role of the mannequin.

No longer arranged in a static succession of

dresses, a mannequin was now conceived as

a virtual participant, providing a greater dialogue

between garment, context and viewer.

Bonaveri’s mannequins are imbued with this same

sense of spirit and have intrigued the world’s greatest

couturiers for decades. Their ability to adapt to a

multitude of styles gives every garment undoubted

consequential elegance. For this reason, Bonaveri

is often invited by international organisations to

participate in the exhibitions and retrospectives that

celebrate the best of fashion; the Musée des Arts

Décoratifs in Paris, the MoMu in Antwerp, the Victoria

& Albert Museum in London, the Accademia del Teatro

alla Scala in Milan and the Metropolitan Museum in

NY.

Recent exhibitions that feature Bonaveri’s work

include, China - Through the looking glass, Schiaparelli

and Prada: impossible conversations, Punk: Chaos to

couture, CAMP: notes on Fashion. Here, Bonaveri’s

mannequins have been principally chosen to feature

haute couture garments, women’s and men’s clothing,

art and fashion objects.

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“My first time visiting the MET was in December

1984. It was for me one of those defining

moments when I knew it would change the

course of my life. I was surrounded by such

immense beauty. I would go so far to say that

I experienced a degree of Stendhal syndrome;

there was just so much that attracted my

attention in that coffer of treasures. In the book

store I purchased a book of an exhibition that

had opened exactly one year before: “YVES

SAINT LAURENT”; a retrospective on the work of

the French couturier curated by Diana Vreeland.

Unfortunately, I did not see the exhibition, but

the book was a revelation for me: all the clothes

had been worn by Schläppi mannequins, in a

flowing discourse between clothes and figures

of great impact.

From that moment on I understood what I was

going to do when I grew up.

When I think today that in 2001 Bonaveri

acquired the Schläppi brand in order to relaunch

its collections, I believe that the effects of that

first visit to the MET had a crucial impact, not

only on Bonaveri’s history, but also on the

larger significance of the relationship between

mannequins and the world of fashion.

On that day, the desire to collaborate with the

Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum

on projects of cultural importance was also

born. In this sense my life has gone full circle.

Over the years, Bonaveri’s relationship with the

MET has grown into a successful collaboration

and that holds great meaning in my life and that

of Bonaveri’s legacy.” Andrea Bonaveri

Schiaparelli and Prada: impossible

conversations

The Met’s Spring 2012 Costume Institute

exhibition, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible

Conversations, explored the striking affinities

between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada,

two Italian designers from different eras.

Inspired by Miguel Covarrubias’s “Impossible

Interviews” for Vanity Fair in the 1930s, the

exhibition featured orchestrated conversations

between these iconic women to suggest

new readings of their most innovative work. Iconic

ensembles were presented with videos of simulated

conversations between Schiaparelli and Prada

directed by Baz Luhrmann, focusing on how both

women explore similar themes in their work through

very different approaches. The exhibition showcased

approximately one hundred designs and forty

accessories by Schiaparelli (1890–1973) from the

late 1920s to the early 1950s and by Prada from the

late 1980s to the present.

The exhibition

showcased

approximately one

hundred designs and

forty accessories by

Schiaparelli (1890 -

1973) from the late

1920s to the early

1950s and by Prada

from the late 1980s

to the present.

The exhibition showcased approximately one hundred

designs and forty accessories by Schiaparelli (1890–

1973) from the late 1920s to the early 1950s and

by Prada from the late 1980s to the present. Drawn

from The Costume Institute’s collection and the Prada

Archive, as well as other institutions and private

collections, signature objects by both designers were

arranged in seven themed galleries: “Waist Up/Waist

Down,” “Ugly Chic,” “Hard Chic,” “Naïf Chic,” “The

Classical Body,” “The Exotic Body,” and “The Surreal

Body.”

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Schiaparelli, who worked in Paris from the

1920s until her house closed in 1954, was

closely associated with the Surrealist movement

and created such iconic pieces as the “Tear”

dress, the “Shoe” hat, and the “Bug” necklace.

Prada, who holds a degree in political science,

took over her family’s Milan-based business in

1978, and focuses on fashion that reflects the

eclectic nature of Postmodernism.

Punk: Chaos to couture

The Met’s spring 2013 Costume Institute

exhibition, PUNK: Chaos to Couture, examined

punk’s impact on high fashion from the

movement’s birth in the early 1970s through its

continuing influence. Featuring approximately

one hundred designs for men and women, the

exhibition included original

The exhibition

included original

punk garments,

garments and

recent, directional

fashion

punk garments and recent, directional fashion,

to illustrate how haute couture and ready-towear

borrow punk’s visual symbols.

Focusing on the relationship between the punk

concept of “do-it-yourself” and the couture

concept of “made-to-measure,” the seven

galleries were organized around the materials,

techniques, and embellishments associated

with the anti-establishment style. Themes

include New York and London, which tells punk’s

origin story as a tale of two cities, followed by

Clothes for Heroes and four manifestations

of the D.I.Y. aesthetic—Hardware, Bricolage,

Graffiti and Agitprop, and Destroy.

Presented as an immersive multimedia, multisensory

experience, the clothes were animated with period

music videos and soundscaping audio techniques.

China - Through the looking glass

An exhibition that explored the impact of Chinese

aesthetics on Western fashion and how China has

fuelled the fashionable imagination for centuries.

In this collaboration between The Costume Institute

and the Department of Asian Art, high fashion was

juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings,

porcelains, and other art, including films, to reveal

enchanting reflections of Chinese imagery.

From the earliest period of European contact with

China in the sixteenth century, the West has been

enchanted with enigmatic objects and imagery from

the East, providing inspiration for fashion designers

from Paul Poiret to Yves Saint Laurent, whose fashions

are infused at every turn with romance, nostalgia, and

make-believe. Through the looking glass of fashion,

designers conjoin disparate stylistic references into a

pastiche of Chinese aesthetic and cultural traditions.

The exhibition, presented in 2015, featured more than

140 examples of haute couture and avant-garde readyto-wear

alongside Chinese art. Filmic representations

of China were incorporated throughout to reveal how

our visions of China are framed by narratives that

draw upon popular culture, and also to recognize the

importance of cinema as a medium through which to

understand the richness of Chinese history.

CAMP: notes on Fashion

The Costume Institute’s spring 2019 exhibition,

Camp: Notes on Fashion (on view from May 9

through September 8, 2019, and preceded

on May 6 by The Costume Institute Benefit),

explored the origins of camp’s

Approximately

200 objects, as

well as sculptures,

paintings, and

drawings dating

from the 17th

century to the

present were

featured.

exuberant aesthetic and how the sensibility

evolved from a place of marginality to become

an important influence on mainstream culture.

Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp’”

provided the framework for the exhibition,

which examined how fashion designers have

used their métier as a vehicle to engage with

camp in a myriad of compelling, humorous, and

sometimes incongruous ways.

The exhibition featured approximately 200

objects, including womenswear and menswear,

as well as sculptures, paintings, and drawings

dating from the 17th century to the present. In

her essay, Sontag defined camp as an aesthetic

and outlined its primary characteristics. The

largest section of the exhibition was devoted

to how these elements - which include irony,

humour, parody, pastiche, artifice, theatricality,

and exaggeration - are expressed in fashion.

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Designers whose works were featured in the

exhibition include Virgil Abloh (for Off- White),

Giorgio Armani, Thom Browne, Sarah Burton

(for Alexander McQueen), John Galliano (for

Maison Margiela, House of Dior, and his own

label), Nicolas Ghesquière (for Louis Vuitton),

Marc Jacobs, Rei Kawakubo (for Comme des

Garçons), Alessandro Michele (for Gucci),Viktor

Horsting and Rolf Snoeren (for Viktor & Rolf),

Silvia Venturini Fendi, Donatella Versace (for

Versace) and Vivienne Westwood.

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The original Schläppi mannequins were conceived and

created thanks to the intuition of two visionary men:

Mr. Schläppi and sculptor, Lorenzo Piemonti. Starting

in the mid-1950s, the collaboration between these two

men, a dynamic entrepreneur and a visionary artist,

resulted in the creation of remarkable and evocative

forms that have endured for over twenty years.

Piemonti imagined silhouettes with distinctive and

peculiar stylized strokes, so far from the usual

anthropomorphic figures adorned with make-up, wigs

and soft and curvy shapes. He elongated and applied

abstraction to the bodies and, in doing so, created

iconic forms that simply alluded to human figures.

The artist invented the future of the mannequin: he

was the first to foresee an aesthetic that, some thirty

years later, has become the trend of our contemporary

sensibility.

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In 2001 Bonaveri acquired the Schläppi Brand, the

archives, intellectual properties and all of the existing

collections.

They then started the enormous exercise of

interpretation and editing of what turned out to be an

extraordinary treasure of imagination. This exploration

resulted in the creation of the first contemporary

Schläppi ensemble with a presentation of the 2200

Collection.

Through re-editing the existing collection and by adding

new poses, the new figures revealed a remarkable

ability to bridge historic and contemporary forms.

Working on the foundation of Piemonti’s original

creative insight, Bonaveri has brought the Schläppi

form into the present, making it a point of reference in

the narrative of global contemporary fashion.

Schläppi 2200 has partnered with some of the

world’s most important couturiers, offering designers

a unique vehicle for the interpretation of the multitude

of styles and range of fashion.

Yves Saint Laurent has a passion for the Schläppi 2200

collection: in the 1980s he staged a photographic

shoot of a number of naked 2200 mannequins,

positioning himself at the centre of the image. Since

then, the 2200 collection has always been included

for all of retrospective exhibitions dedicated to this

great French designer.

Given its popularity, Bonaveri chose the Schläppi 2200

Collection as its first candidate for their biodegradable

innovation. The new collection was launched as part

of the Green Carpet Challenge during London Design

Week at the BAFTA headquarters in London.

Two years later, in 2018, “The Commonwealth Fashion

Exchange”, an exhibition dedicated to sustainable

design from the Commonwealth’s 53 countries,

showcased Bonaveri’s biodegradable Schläppi 2200.

The inauguration reception was hosted by the Royal

Family at Buckingham Palace, by the Duchess of

Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and the Countess of

Wessex, Sophie Rhys-Jones. They were joined by

designers, artisans and leading figures of the fashion

world, including Anna Wintour, Edward Enniful,

Livia Firth, Nadja Swarovski, Neelam Gill, Nigel

Gosse, Ulric Jerome, Naomi Campbell, Stella

McCartney, Adwoa Aboah and Caroline Rush.

Bonaveri was the only Italian contribution to

the initiative with its signature biodegradable

mannequins exhibiting over 30 fashion creations

from the most talented Commonwealth

designers. After the exclusive private viewing

at Buckingham Palace, the exhibition moved to

Australia House in London.

“The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange” is

a project organized by the Commonwealth

in collaboration with Eco-Age, the ethical

fashion company founded by Livia Firth. The

organization aims to promote the relationships

between stylists and artisans, encouraging the

exchange of ideas, the development of skills

and favouring new global opportunities.

In additional to its appearance at Buckingham Palace

and Australia House, the Schläppi 2200 Collection

has been widely used for significant exhibitions around

the world. Recent exhibitions include “BVLGARI, the

history, the dream”, in Rome; “Pierre Cardin. Fashion

Futurist” in Düsseldorf and “Guo Pei: Chinese Art and

Couture” in Singapore.

The exhibition “BVLGARI, the history, the dream”,

curated by Chiara Ottaviano, historian and mass

communication sociologist, was dedicated to the

successful history of the Italian luxury icon BVLGARI.

Family episodes, commercial strategies and creative

intuitions outlined the narrative of the company’s

history, from its foundation up to the early 1990s.

Included in the exhibition are early pieces of jewellery

and creations from private collections. Bvlgari is an

emblem of a traditional Italian school, and yet has

been able to constantly renew and reinvent over time.

Its success is in no part due to its ability to remain

faithful to its unique and original style.

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The exhibition concept embraces the idea

of a “temporal passage”: installations over

arches and staircases are the setting for a

scene where mannequins are both audience

and actors. 75 iconic Schläppi 2200 figures

are silhouetted against magnificent and

monumental spaces. For the exhibition the

mannequins display a matt finish consigned

to only two significant colours, black and gold,

to emphasise the jewellery and garments.

By enhancing and defining the peculiarities of

Bvlgari, the exhibition displayed some of the

most emblematic creations of the brand: the

jewels recount the manufacturing excellence,

the taste for colour, the luxurious volumes and

the smooth lines typical of the brand.

“Pierre Cardin. Fashion Futurist” was the

first exhibition in Germany dedicated to this

experimental genius who’s avant-garde style

has left an indelible mark on the history of

fashion. Over 80 haute couture dresses, men’s

and women’s accessories, photographs and

films, form the narrative behind the unique

style of Pierre Cardin; from the beginning to his

most recent years, from androgynous looks to

sci-fi style, to elegant evening dresses. “Cardin

has created an unmistakable aesthetic.”

says Barbara Til, one of the two curators of

the exhibition. “He worked virtually threedimensionally,

like a sculptor, using cuts that

are developed right on the body and do justice

to the fabrics used”.

Pierre Cardin remains the sole owner of his

empire and is considered a pioneer of the

globalization of fashion, and along with his

haute couture creations, has earned his worldrenowned

reputation.

Cardin’s works were displayed on Bonaveri

mannequins: 65 figures from the Schläppi

2200 female and Schläppi 3000 male

mannequin collections – standing proud and

elegant –, in opaque white to further highlight

Cardin’s vast geometric vocabulary.

The Asian Civilisations Museum has presented

art through couture in a juxtaposition of

masterpieces created centuries apart. “Guo

Pei: Chinese Art and Couture” not only aimed

to show the importance and value of heritage,

but it had also been designed to give visitors an

overview of Chinese art history – imperial art,

export art and folk art.

The exhibition began with a dramatic display of

the iconic dress worn by Rihanna to the 2015

Met Gala: a homage to imperial China and Guo

Pei’s breakthrough to the international fashion

market. With 20 Chinese art masterpieces

from the Museum’s collection and 29 dresses

by Guo Pei, this exquisite showcase examined

the relevance and characteristics of Chinese

art, and how Chinese aesthetics and traditions

are being re-imagined for contemporary works.

“In this exhibition, fashion and history come

full circle. We see how the past inspires the

present, and how traditions are revived and

rejuvenated, and we see how export objects

and foreign ideas influence the local”, says

Jackie Yoong, curator of the show.

Guo Pei’s works were displayed on Bonaveri

mannequins. The mannequins had been

chosen for previous installations of the Chinese

stylist – such as the art and design exhibition at

NGV Triennial in Melbourne. The iconic Schläppi

2200 and Aloof collections displayed the

dresses at the Asian Civilisations Museum and

best interpreted the aesthetics and sensibility

of the artist.

There is also another side of this story, and

not a positive one. The unparalleled success

that the 2200 collection has had led many

companies at first to follow its style with similar

mannequins, and then to reproduce it in detail

to sell it as an original. Over the years copies

became frequent especially in the far east.

Bonaveri policies on this regard have always

been very straightforward: fight in courts, no

matter how difficult it might be to protect the

intellectual property. This was the case of a

law suit against an important Chinese mannequin

producer in a ground-breaking legal action. A ruling

by a Chinese court was passed whereby the Shanghai

company, and Chunfa Mannequins was ordered to

destroy its counterfeit mannequins.

The Shanghai court ordered Chunfa to destroy all

the molds and mannequins in stock, and to pay a

compensation to Bonaveri for copyright infringement.

This was a landmark ruling by a Chinese court who

asserted the copyright of a foreign company and

recognized the value of the research and development

carried out by Bonaveri and its trademark products.

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A pyramid of Schläppi with the exact same pose:

heads tilted slightly forward and arms along

the body ending in a whimsical hand gesture.

All wearing the unmistakable colours, textures,

and patterns of Missoni.

In Gallarate, the town where in 1953 Ottavio and

Rosita Missoni established their eponymous

company, there is the MA*GA Museum where

in 2015, the “Missoni, Art, Colour” exhibition

revealed the aesthetics and references, the

hyperlinks of the Missoni world with Modern and

Contemporary Art and its inspirations, weaving

together Missoni patterns and clothing with

artworks such as those by Wassily Kandinsky,

Paul Klee, Sonia Delaunay, Piero Dorazio and

Lucio Fontana - all with the common thread

of geometry and colour, two themes close to

Missoni’s heart.

Missoni’s origins and path parallel the birth

of Bonaveri at that time when, right after the

Second World War, ‘Made in Italy’ was in its

infancy with entrepreneurs starting their own

activities and businesses, laying down the first

stones of the enterprises of tomorrow.

Luca Missoni, Artistic Director of Missoni

Archive, talks to us about this exhibition, a bit

of the Missoni universe, and present and future

plans. He also recalls another exhibition that

took place in 2006, when Bonaveri was already

his favourite partner.

Missoni on the one hand, and Bonaveri on the

other.

We did two important shows together. The last,

“Missoni, Art, Colour”, which we also brought

to London, was in 2015, whereas in 2006, we

did the first one, “Caleidoscopio Missoni,” at

the Provincial Museum of Gorizia in the Friuli

Venezia Giulia region. We had been acquainted

with Bonaveri by then. In any case we had

previously met and we knew about their work

because of the importance of mannequins in

fashion. In our window displays and exhibition

set-ups we have always tried to use something

that had a contemporary, evocative feeling to it,

the one thing that works in that one moment to

present fashion. It is the one thing we actually

can’t do without, the one thing that is really necessary.

What is the balance between the clothes and

mannequins?

In a window a mannequin is just a physical support

for the clothes - it must resemble and have the shape

of a person, but it is still just a support. Then there are

various aspects and ways of presenting things in stores.

A store window can be just a passing thing, a seasonal

display that follows that kind of communication at that

moment. Our collaboration, more so than just for store

windows, has been in exhibitions, where mannequins

are as carefully chosen as if they were picture frames

for paintings in an art exhibit; in this case they become

more relevant for us.

Would you tell us more about that “Caleidoscopio

Missoni” exhibition back in 2006?

The show in Gorizia was focused on the display of

Ottavio Missoni’s patchwork tapestries, so half of the

exhibition space was dedicated to artworks hanging on

the museum walls. The rest of the space was a series

of kaleidoscopic installations evocating Missoni’s

colourful “put-together”, where we absolutely needed

mannequins that weren’t just simple mannequins but

performers, figures that looked like a photo taken at a

theatre: they needed to have some sort of movement.

We also needed a chromed mirror finishing because

we played around with the idea of the mirror and the

effect of actual kaleidoscopes that create multiple

colours and patterns. From this sprang the need to

produce mannequins with some kind of surface that

could reflect the surroundings, distorting them or

creating unusual or confusing reflections like carnival

funhouse mirrors. This is how we researched and

collaborated with Bonaveri at that time.

Was this collaboration already under way then

on shop frontlines, or was it your first time

together?

Let’s say that here we worked together differently

than before: doing an art exhibition is different from

ordering a series of mannequins for a store, it’s more

than a business relation with a supplier. In this case we

entered into the project together and Bonaveri stayed

with us as partners, to the extent that we published a

small brochure, as a part of the exhibit catalogue, with

mirror effects suggesting the mannequins’ surface.

Bonaveri has always been more than willing to

meet your needs.

At that time a sort of partnership was set up.

When we start thinking about doing an exhibition,

we somehow meet to talk about what the project

needs. This happened when we did “Missoni

Art Colour” in 2015 at MA*GA Art Museum. The

idea was to create two big pyramids to display

a large number of mannequins. We needed at

least 100 identical

We have always

tried to use

something that had

a contemporary,

evocative feeling

mannequins! Sometimes one does exhibitions

with different types of mannequins that vary

according to the context around them, the

modular rooms and the space plan. In this

case it was a large pyramid that recounted the

history of Missoni’s fashion from the beginning

to the present day. We wanted just to use the

same support element to give the idea that the

Missoni language is timeless and contemporary.

We found a mannequin that worked perfectly,

except we needed 100 of them! And it didn’t

mean that there were necessarily 100 available

right away! Andrea Bonaveri certainly met our

needs.

The pyramid was unforgettable also from a

scenic viewpoint.

In curating exhibitions, sometimes you find

solutions you didn’t think of at the beginning…

At first we were given only a part of the Museum

- some areas were not accessible because they

had been damaged by fire several years earlier.

We developed the project going further into it

and seeing what could be done in those spaces.

Little by little the museum became increasingly

more involved and expanded the space allotted

to us. The museum director, Emma Zanella,

in the end made available the entire museum to us.

Then the project with columns of light and fabric came

about – the pyramid was further expanded and also

the number of mannequins, which actually turned

out to be 100. The 6 months long exhibition was later

extended a few more months and Bonaveri readily

accepted this commitment.

After Varese, you went on stage in London.

3 months later we had the opportunity to recreate the

show at the Fashion and Textile Museum. And once

again Andrea Bonaveri was extremely willing to help

us out.

New exhibition projects in the pipeline?

We are always keen on showing the Heritage of

Missoni! We are also working on developing our stores:

many new ones are opening in the coming months

and years. These are new developments on our

traditional themes. It’s like if you enter a house with

many references to Missoni’s history and heritage and

Bonaveri mannequins will be on stage in the windows.

What countries are you focusing on?

First of all, the United States and the East - Asia from

Singapore to Japan including China. This is the next

area of our interest.

Some more news in the house. Your niece Margherita

as creative director of the M-Missoni line with a rediscovery

of the Missoni Archive.

After having created through many years the archive

to function as a means for conserving our products

but also for projects of communication and research

and development of new products, I must confess I’m

having a bit more fun now. We have the availability

and possibility to provide new ideas, as in the case

of M-Missoni, so that someone coming here feels that

the past is still present. Thus the development of M is

very tied into the Missoni graphic history and how it

was imagined through the years. Should we do another

exhibit tomorrow, it would be in that direction.

------

Bonaveri collaborated with Schläppi 2200 /3000.

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Concept: Emma Davidge, Creative Director of

Chameleon Visual

Art direction: Emma Davidge, Creative Director of

Chameleon Visual

Design & Layout: Tamsin Allen, Design Manager of

Chameleon Visual

Interviews: Caterina Lunghi

Texts: Nemo Monti

General coordination: Marzia Ricchieri

Translation: Lucy Scioscia and Marilee Bisoni

Wigs for Obsession and Twiggy

Peluca Studio

Make up for Twiggy

Peluca Studio

Advertising Campaign Photo Credits:

Lapo Quagli

Melvin Vincent

Gianni Grazia

Vincent Bousserez

Austin Hutton

Armin Zogbaum

Editorial Credits:

An Interview with Jason Wu

by Caterina Lunghi

Photo Courtesy Jason Wu

Photo Alessandro Garofalo

The Sculpting Atelier

by Nemo Monti

Photo Bonaveri archives

An Interview with Olivier Theyskens

by Caterina Lunghi

Photo Courtesy MoMu

Photo Julien Claessens & Thomas Deschamps

An Interview with Kevin Arpino aboout Adel Rootstein

by Caterina Lunghi

Photo Rootstein archives

Aloof

by Nemo Monti

Photo Melvyn Vincent

Photo Lapo Quagli

An Interview with Judith Clark

by Caterina Lunghi

Photo Courtesy Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity

and Craftsmanship

Photo Marco Kesseler, Alessandra Chemollo

An Interview with Jil Sander

by Caterina Lunghi

Photo Courtesy Museum Angewandte Kunst

Photo Paul Warchol

Photo Peter Lindbergh for Jil Sander’s Portrait

Obsession

by Nemo Monti

Clothes: Jason Wu

Styling: Emma Davidge, Creative Director of Chameleon

Visual

Wigs: Peluca Studio

Photo Lapo Quagli

Twiggy

by Nemo Monti

Styling: Emma Davidge, Creative Director of

Chameleon Visual

Wigs and Make up Peluca Studio

Photo Lapo Quagli

Photo Rootstein archives

An Interview with Sam Beadle, Wig Artist

by Caterina Lunghi

Wigs and Make up Peluca Studio

Photo Lapo Quagli

BNatural Sustainability

by Nemo Monti

Styling: Emma Davidge, Creative Director of

Chameleon Visual

Photo Lapo Quagli

A Night to Remember

by Nemo Monti

Clothes William Vintage

Photo Courtesy Eco-Age

An Interview with Dries Van Noten

by Caterina Lunghi

Photo Melvyn Vincent

Making the Impossible Possible

by Caterina Lunghi

Photo Courtesy Chameleon Visual

Photo Courtesy Louis Vuitton

A Conversation with Laudomia Pucci

by Caterina Lunghi

Photo Lapo Quagli

Milan Showroom

by Nemo Monti

Photo Melvyn Vincent

The Max Mara Point of View

by Nemo Monti

Photo Courtesy Chameleon Visual

The Met Exhibitions

by Nemo Monti

Photo Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Schläppi 2200

by Nemo Monti

Styling: Emma Davidge, Creative Director of Chameleon

Visual

Clothes and accessories: Emilio Pucci

Photo Lapo Quagli

An Interview with Luca Missoni

by Caterina Lunghi

Photo Courtesy Missoni

Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty

by Nemo Monti

Photo Courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum London

-------

Bonaveri is at disposal of the entitled parties as regards

all unidentified iconographic sources.

This magazine was made possible thanks to the work of

the many people who have contributed with dedication

and passion. A special thanks goes to all of our

contributors and to the many others, not featured in the

credits, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make

our magazine a reality.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be

reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any

form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,

recording or otherwise, without permission in writing from the

publisher.

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CANADA, UNITED STATES

DK Display

147 West, 25th Street

New York, NY 10001

Tel: +1.212.807.0499

info@dkdisplaycorp.com

UNITED KINGDOM

Blue Studio Trading Ltd

8A, The Piper Building

Peterborough Road

London. SW6 3EF

Tel: +44 20 73942813

info@bluestudiotrading.com

FRANCE

UP Distribution

43 rue Beaubourg

75003 Paris, France

Tel: +33 1 80 40 01 67

info@bonaverifrance.com

BELGIUM, HOLLAND

Store Concepts Mannequins en

accessoire displays

Vossenlaan 13

3633 Al Vreeland

Holland

Tel: +31 629243406

christel@storeconcepts.nl

AUSTRIA, GERMANY

Brigitte Oelmann GMBH

Kaiserswerther Str. 207

40237, Düsseldorf

Germany

Tel: +49.211.5571177

s.pabst@bonaveri.de

SWITZERLAND

Igloi AG

TMC Fashion Center

Thurgauerstrasse 117

8152 Glattbrugg

Tel: +41.44.7801313

dgottlieb@igloi.ch

GREECE

Im-Exporta

Stathmou 12, Thessaloniki 546 27

Greece

Tel: +30.2310.540687

jennie@im-exporta.com

CHINA

Bonaveri Shanghai

Ferguson Lane, Suite 703

378 Wukang Road

Xuhui

Shanghai, China

Tel: +86 21 6433 0599

patricia@bonaveri-hk.com

Bonaveri Shenzen

2A Dong Fang Yuan Bo Yuan

1 Zhijiao Street

East Qiaocheng Road, Futian

Shenzhen

China

Tel: +86 755 8298 1115

info@bonaveri-hk.com

SOUTH KOREA

In2-Display Co

#409 Riverhill Officetel,

110, Achasan-ro 78-gil

Gwangjin-gu, Seoul

143-802, South Korea

Tel: +82 2 455 9523

in2display@gmail.com

SINGAPORE

Mimi Tan’s Mannequins

297 Bedok South Avenue

#11-06 Bedok Court

Singapore 469297

Tel: +65.6445 4349

mimitan@singnet.com.sg

JAPAN

For Bonaveri, Schläppi, B By Bonaveri

Nanasai Co. Ltd

1-23-6 Yanagibashi

Taito-ku

Tokyo 111-0052

Tel: +81-3-6327-7740

For Rootstein

Yoshichu Mannequin Co., Ltd

General Manager/Overseas Division

Jay Morita

Yoshichu Bldg 6Fl

Takakura Oike Nakagyo-Ku

Kyoto Japan 604-8181

Office Phone: 81-75-223-1231

Mobile: 81-90-8214-6165

HONG KONG

Bonaveri Hong Kong

3F/35 Pottinger Street

Central Hong Kong

Tel: +852 2580 2053

info@bonaveri-hk.com

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BONAVERI

Via Salvi n. 3, 44045 Renazzo (Fe) - Italy

P. +39.051.6858911

bonaveri@bonaveri.com

BONAVERIMILANO

Showroom

Via Morimondo n.23A, 20143 Milano - Italy

P. +39.02.36736030

info@bonaverimilano.com

www.bonaveri.com

ADEL ROOTSTEIN

P. +39.051.6858911

rootstein@rootstein.com

www.rootstein.com

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