FOLLOW THE OBSESSION JOURNEY AT BONAVERI.COM AND @BONAVERIITALY
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In memory of Romano and Adele Bonaveri
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www.bonaveri.com www.bonaveri.com BONAVERIMILANO BONAVERIMILANO
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Palazzo Pucci, Firenze.
Palazzo Pucci, Firenze.
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THE HOUSE OF
AN INTERVIEW WITH
AN INTERVIEW WITH
AN INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN
ARPINO ABOUT ADEL ROOTSTEIN
AN INTERVIEW WITH
AN INTERVIEW WITH
AN INTERVIEW WITH
A NIGHT TO
AN INTERVIEW WITH
DRIES VAN NOTEN
A CONVERSATION WITH
THE MAX MARA
POINT OF VIEW
AN INTERVIEW WITH
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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
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.
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
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,
salesman so I can
a bit and see the
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
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
our growth. He
opened his first
stores with our
he even went
in person to
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
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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
Was this the reason you acquired the Swiss brand,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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
The story of
the essence of
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Guido, thanks also to these abilities and Bonaveri
unique know-how, today your company’s name is
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
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
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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
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.
because they really
look like real
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
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
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
that I find
*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
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
Let’s start from the beginning: London, Rootstein and
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
How did you get involved with Adel and her
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
“THEY WANTED TO
BRING SOME FRESH
BLOOD INTO THE
COMPANY TO SHAKE
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
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
“WE WERE MOSTLY
TO FEEL ‘OUT OF
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
collection made by several
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
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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
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
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
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
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 dress, the
it’s all equally
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
The collaboration with Bonaveri includes several
exhibitions and projects. How did your relationship
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
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
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
“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
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
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
curious and open
new ideas and
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
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
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
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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120 BONAVERI 121
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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
rooted in a
tradition of vibrant
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
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
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
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.
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
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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
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
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
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His ICONIC designs constitute
the work of an ARTIST whose
medium of expression was
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
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
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.”
“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
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“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’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
“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.
“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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
So what are you going to do for each of these
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
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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
It seems that feathers now are quite cool and
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
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
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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.
is the result of a
long and ambitious
Bonaveri in 2012
under the name of
“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
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
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
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
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
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
throughout all the
stages of product
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
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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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 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
- 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
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
It provides an impressive 40% reduction in CO2
emissions, 37% reduction of energy consumption and
56% decrease in water usage.
- 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
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
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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
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
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
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
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
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Each of the garments,
presented on Bonaveri’s
represented a world
first for fashion and
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BONAVERI 192 BONAVERI 193
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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
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
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
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
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’
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
Andrea: Schläppi is from the beginning of 1970.
Emma: So she is nearly 50! She’s still in the windows
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.
mannequins better that
anybody and he taught
me everything I know
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
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
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: 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
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
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
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
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
And such an original title, “A Fan of Pucci”. As
you said, Bonaveri the performer, the actor,
who demonstrates his admiration for the Pucci
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
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
also was open to
ethnic groups and
young people. ”
first job and they all really worked with spirit
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
to support young
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
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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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
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
from the classic to
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
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
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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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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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
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
200 objects, as
well as sculptures,
from the 17th
century to the
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
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In 2001 Bonaveri acquired the Schläppi Brand, the
archives, intellectual properties and all of the existing
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
The pyramid was unforgettable also from a
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
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
Art direction: Emma Davidge, Creative Director of
Design & Layout: Tamsin Allen, Design Manager of
Interviews: Caterina Lunghi
Texts: Nemo Monti
General coordination: Marzia Ricchieri
Translation: Lucy Scioscia and Marilee Bisoni
Wigs for Obsession and Twiggy
Make up for Twiggy
Advertising Campaign Photo 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
by Nemo Monti
Photo Melvyn Vincent
Photo Lapo Quagli
An Interview with Judith Clark
by Caterina Lunghi
Photo Courtesy Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity
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
by Nemo Monti
Clothes: Jason Wu
Styling: Emma Davidge, Creative Director of Chameleon
Wigs: Peluca Studio
Photo Lapo Quagli
by Nemo Monti
Styling: Emma Davidge, Creative Director of
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
by Nemo Monti
Styling: Emma Davidge, Creative Director of
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
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
by Nemo Monti
Styling: Emma Davidge, Creative Director of Chameleon
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
Bonaveri_Magazine_Final_Final.indd 284-285 31/01/2020 10:13
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8A, The Piper Building
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Tel: +44 20 73942813
43 rue Beaubourg
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Tel: +33 1 80 40 01 67
Store Concepts Mannequins en
3633 Al Vreeland
Tel: +31 629243406
Brigitte Oelmann GMBH
Kaiserswerther Str. 207
TMC Fashion Center
Stathmou 12, Thessaloniki 546 27
Ferguson Lane, Suite 703
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1 Zhijiao Street
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Tel: +86 755 8298 1115
#409 Riverhill Officetel,
110, Achasan-ro 78-gil
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Tel: +82 2 455 9523
Mimi Tan’s Mannequins
297 Bedok South Avenue
#11-06 Bedok Court
Tel: +65.6445 4349
For Bonaveri, Schläppi, B By Bonaveri
Nanasai Co. Ltd
Yoshichu Mannequin Co., Ltd
General Manager/Overseas Division
Yoshichu Bldg 6Fl
Takakura Oike Nakagyo-Ku
Kyoto Japan 604-8181
Office Phone: 81-75-223-1231
Bonaveri Hong Kong
3F/35 Pottinger Street
Central Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2580 2053
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Via Salvi n. 3, 44045 Renazzo (Fe) - Italy
Via Morimondo n.23A, 20143 Milano - Italy
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