The history of costume reinterpreted by Gianfranco Ferré’s fashion genius

The sartorial genius of Gianfranco Ferré and Marie Louise of Habsburg-Lorraine. The meeting point.


Always fascinated by the great women of history, the fashion genius of Gianfranco Ferré and the photographic art by Michel Comte come together in “Ferré and Comte/ DETAILS. Great interpreters between fashion and art ” – an event that looks towards the contemporary, inside one of the most prestigious and ancient palaces of Parma.

The creative universe of Gianfranco Ferré and the photographic art by filmmaker and fashion, photographer Michel Comte come together for two exhibitions that are part of the many initiatives for the bicentenary of the arrival of Marie Louise of Habsburg-Lorraine in Parma, former Empress of France and Duchess of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla.

“Ferré and Comte DETAILS. Great interpreters between fashion and art” will unfold in the halls of the first and second floor of the Palazzo del Governatore in Parma from September 30th 2016 toJanuary 15th 2017.

The first floor will be dedicated to the exhibition “Gianfranco Ferré and Marie Louise, unexpected similarities”, curated by Gloria Bianchini and Alberto Nodolini in collaboration with the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation. The second floor will be completely dedicated to the installations by Michel Comte for the “Neoclassic” exhibition curated by Jens Remes in collaboration with Alberto Nodolini and Anna Tavani.
“Gianfranco Ferré and Marie Louise, unexpected similarities”, created thanks to the fundamental contribution of the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation, offers a wide selection of clothing collections of High fashion and Prêt-à-Porter, the result of a research project designed to detect “unexpected similarities” between some of Ferré’s style variations and the passions, tastes and times of the “Good Duchess”.


An exhibition based on the details of the history of costume reinterpreted by Ferré’s fashion genius. This is what will be highlighted in the 60 beautiful garments that will be on display, accompanied by the preparatory sketches.

The exhibition aims to create an emotional and philological journey at the same time. Divided into distinct areas, it unfolds a story, not only characterized in historical and temporal terms, but conceived to focus on the tastes, passions and interests of the time, and therefore, on the character of Marie Louise.

Gianfranco Ferré lives his collections as a constant reminder of the fashions of the past. In an aesthetic similarities game, the dresses on display clearly show how Ferré dialogues with neoclassical culture, seizing the essence of the dress, from Joséphine de Beauharnais, Napoleon’s
first wife, to the “Good Duchess” Marie Louise, Napoleon’s second wife.

However, when looking back at the past, Ferré does not work on the full style, but on the details, that once distorted, are enhanced and made contemporary.

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“As the City of Parma, we wanted to launch a challenge by looking at this projected beyond the issue of time. The project by Gloria Bianchini and Alberto Nodolini highlights the inexhaustible possibilities that come from the courage of not stopping at the surface of things, or the first three results on Google, or the title without reading the article. This way, the most innovative among the great designers of Italian fashion and the strong and fragile Duchess who “lived in an  era greater than herself” can find a meeting point. My most sincere appreciation and gratitude goes to the curators for their ability to represent Parma’s not always obvious intelligence and generous heart,” said Laura Maria Ferraris, Councillor of Culture for the City of Parma.


  • Ferré and Comte/ DETAILS. Great interpreters between fashion and art
    Palazzo del Governatore
    Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi , Parma
    September 30th 2016 – January 15th 2017.
    michael-compte-photographer marie-louise-of-habsburg-lorraine