The Poetry of simplicity. Fashion and design according to Monica Bolzoni/Bianca e Blu

Poetica del semplice. Moda e design secondo Monica Bolzoni/Bianca e Blu, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Roma


From 14 Dicembre 2021 to 27 Febbraio 2022


Place: Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea

Address: Viale delle Belle Arti 131

Times: da martedì a domenica dalle 9 alle 19. Ultimo ingresso 45 minuti prima della chiusura

Responsibles: Anna Di Cesare

Ticket price: intero € 10, ridotto € 7/€ 5, cittadini UE di età compresa tra i 18 e i 25 anni € 2. Gratuito under 18 anni, docenti e studenti UE delle facoltà di architettura, di conservazione dei beni culturali, di scienze della formazione e dei corsi di laurea di lettere e materie letterarie con indirizzo archeologico o storico-artistico delle facoltà di lettere e filosofia, portatori di handicap e un accompagnatore, giornalisti, guide turistiche, soci ICOM, dipendenti MiC, Lazio Youth Card solo il giovedì

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On Tuesday 14 December 2021, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea opens an exhibition dedicated to Monica Bolzoni and her landmark brand and performative space Bianca e Blu to detail her thirty-year experience as a fashion designer, with the aim of conceptually exploring the process that has inspired her vast creative experience. 

The poetry of simplicity is the key ingredient that has nourished and energised Monica Bolzoni’s work, an atypical figure in the history of Italian and international fashion, giving life to a personal style achieved through making highly discerning choices consistent with her free and independent personality. The aims of her research are the archetypes of femininity, in accordance with her precise study of modular forms to arrive at the development of a contemporary, sophisticated and concise canon of elegance that celebrates the real female body. 

The exhibition, curated by Anna Di Cesare, is a further step along the pathway to enhancing the archives started some time ago by the National Gallery, with the aim of promoting an intersection of interests that rightly characterizes cultural offerings. The acquisition of Monica Bolzoni's paper fashion archive (sketches, publications, photographs) by an institution such as the Galleria Nazionale represents a significant recognition of the cultural role played by fashion design. Moreover, it is an important step in the current debate now taking place concerning questions about fashion archives, increasingly real archaeological records of the present and a shared collective heritage. 

The fashion archive is the catalyst for a number of creative dynamics and the activator of imaginative processes, sign posts for an exhibition route that highlights the influence of Monica Bolzoni’s work within the context of Italian and international fashion. A female point of view, her independence as a designer and her brand Bianca e Blu. 

Working from fables and literature as the starting point for the ‘dress of thoughts’ concept, a perfect summation of the poetry and inspirations of Monica Bolzoni, the exhibition allows us to get in touch with the narrative aspects that form the grammar and syntax of the highly unique fashion of the designer’s vision. 

The game, the modular dress, the geometric forms and colours as values – themes that Monica Bolzoni has developed throughout her entire career, rejecting excessive concern with style in favour of design and planning as a personal and artistic hallmark. The design is the plan: playing and creativity that blend with technical research and innovation that give life to pleasing and functional garments, but always and invariably immediately recognisable through the fundamental value of the simplicity of their design. 

The various rooms along the exhibition route honour one or more themes dear to the symbolic vision of the designer, the ‘total look’ is broken down into its constituent parts to offer an artistic and emotional handing back of fashion design.  From iconic garments to a selection of shoes and hats, from feathers and collars to delicately hand-painted gloves, Fashion Designer Monica Bolzoni’s creations are intertwined with documents from the archive: a magnificent body of work that contains articles, sketches and fashion editorials, all gathered throughout her years as a designer.  Fabrics and their textures, the setting for her research and experimentation such as PVC, jersey, nylon and lenci are also included, which reveal her affectionate and emotional relationship with the planning process. 

As Monica Bolzoni describes them, her cherished garments, thought up with the intention of them being complementary and interchangeable, challenge time itself through the framework of sustainability. A luxury of simplicity. This is also found in the explicit basic concept and the focussed attention upon the uniform revisited notion, with which the designer toys with our set ideas by subverting the given symbolic order. 

We rediscover various collaborations that Monica Bolzoni has inextricably linked herself to in the art world through images and clothing on display created especially by the designer for performances by Vanessa Beecroft, Letizia Cariello, Fanny & Alexander, Claudia Losi and Cesare Viel. 

Monica Bolzoni and her fashion design unveil a unique point of view and investigation into the fashion thought and planning process, that especially today in the here and now, offer essential food for thought on design, planning and creativity as the grammar and syntax for the future. 

The exhibition avails itself of the generous and valuable contribution of the students of Accademia Costume & Moda (ACM – Academy of Costume and Fashion) who alongside Monica Bolzoni, will contribute throughout the exhibition’s entire setting up stage. Furthermore, the ACM will be actively involved in the programme of events open to the public on the major themes of the exhibition. 

The catalogue book collated in 2018 by ECAL / University of Art and Design Lausanne, printed by Rizzoli and curated by Davide Fornari e Régis Tosetti, with a critical text by Vittoria Caratozzolo, contains a wide review of images, events and contributions that have accompanied Monica Bolzoni’s professional career path.  Some of the photos, taken especially for the book, are displayed in the exhibition.