Bonaveri: The spirit of the fashion exhibition

Ian Thompson
July 19, 2017

Bonaveri's mannequins and bust forms play an integral part in the narrative of the fashion exhibition, giving the event its sense of soul.

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Alongside the traditional runway shows, the fashion exhibition is fast becoming an important part of the global industry calendar. Museums, galleries, designers and brands are looking at ways to expand on the fashion narrative by hosting exhibitions that offer a glimpse into fashion's past, present and future.

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty held at New York's Met Museum in 2011 is one such example - a show that raised the bar for the fashion exhibition. Diana Vreeland, who served at The Met as a special consultant from 1972 until her death in 1989 pioneered the event, curating a host of successful exhibitions, including The World of Balenciaga in 1973, The Glory of Russian Costume in 1976, and Vanity Fair in 1977.

diana vreeland 1973 photo by harry benson
Diana Vreeland, NYC, Curator of World of Balenciaga - 1973 Photo Harry Benson

The Met has continued to produce important shows including Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy (2008), PUNK: Chaos to Couture (2013), China: Through the Looking Glass (2015) and Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011). Some of these fashion exhibitions have been hosted in the UK with other institutions curating their own successful shows. Present at many of these fashion exhibitions are Bonaveri's mannequins and bust forms, providing the backdrop for the garments and accessories on display.

Bonaveri's mannequins provide more to the fashion exhibition than mere props. They form an integral part of the exhibition narrative, contributing the soul and spirit of the event. Recently, Judith Clark used Schläppi 2200 mannequins for 'The Vulgar - Fashion Redefined' at the Barbican, Burberry hosted 'The Cape Reimagined' where bespoke pieces, inspired by Henry Moore's sculptures were displayed on suspended bust forms. More recently, Somerset House hosted 'Hair by Sam McKnight' using Bonaveri's Aloof mannequins.

Each of these shows has been designed around a unique subject, with Bonaveri's mannequins and bust forms able to assist in the delivery of a specific message for each.

Bonaveri has participated in a number of global events in recent years. Here's our top fashion exhibition list where you can see Bonaveri and Schläppi mannequins and bust forms at work.

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