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exhibition > Gianfranco Ferré. Design Principles

A piece of the history of Italian fashion is on display at the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles in the exhibition “Gianfranco Ferré. Design Principles”, curated by the Gianfranco Ferré Research Center of the Politecnico di Milano.

The exhibition explores Gianfranco Ferré’s unique approach to fashion design through a selection of drawings and iconic garments, offering visitors an immersive experience enriched by a digital connection with the Ferré archive in Milan.

Gianfranco Ferré (1944 –2007) received his degree in Architecture from the Politecnico di Milano in 1969. One of the great masters of Italian fashion, he stands out for his unique approach to design. Sourcing from the heritage of architectural composition, he merged a rigorous technical process with a rich poetic, building an original language along those two dimensions that Blaise Pascal had defined “esprit the géométrie” (i.e. geometric knowledge) and “esprit de finesse” (i.e. artistic knowledge).



Date and time: Wednesday, February 8 |  6:00 pm PST 
Venue: Istituto Italiano di Cultura
1023 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles

6:15 pm – 7 pm Presentation and Panel Discussion
7 pm – 9 pm Opening Reception


The curators of the exhibition, Paola Bertola, professor of Design at the Politecnico di Milano, and Rita Airaghi, Steer Advisor of the Gianfranco Ferré Research Centre introduced the exhibit. The remarks were followed by a panel discussion with Dennita Sewell, fashion expert and professor at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, and with David Paul and Nick Verreos, Co-Chairs of the Department of Fashion Design, Fashion Design Advanced Study, Film & TV Costume Design at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles.


Presentation available on the Institute’s Youtube channel




paola bertolaPaola Bertola

Professor, School of Design Politecnico di Milano

She teaches in the MSc in Products Service System and Design for the Fashion System and has also been teaching in several Polimi joint programs among which “Data-Shack” with Harvard University, and “Data-Life” with NYU. She focuses on design driven innovation as a key driver towards sustainability for Cultural and Creative Industries. Twice awarded with the ADI “Compasso d’Oro” for research (2001-2011).


rairaghisqRita Airaghi

Steer Advisor of the Gianfranco Ferré Research Centre

Always by Gianfranco Ferré’s side in his professional journey, Rita Airaghi served as the brand’s Director of Communication. After Ferré’s death in 2008, she created the Gianfranco Ferré Foundation, fully committing herself to the implementation of its goals: archive preservation and promotion and dissemination of Ferré’s cultural, artistic and aesthetic values, with a particular emphasis on the training of young designers. She served as Director of the Foundation until December 2021, when the Foundation and the Politecnico di Milano unveiled the new Gianfranco Ferré Research Center, following the Ferré family’s donation of the archives and the Foundation headquarters to the University. She is currently a member of the Steering Committee of the Research Center.


dennita sewellsqDennita Sewell

Professor at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Fashion expert, she curated the two exhibitions Gianfranco Ferré Designs and The White Shirt According to Me: Gianfranco Ferré, presented in 2016 by the Phoenix Art Museum


paul verreossqNick Verreos and David Paul

Co-Chairs of the Fashion Design, Advanced Fashion Design, and Film & TV Costume Design programs at FIDM.

They are co-founders of the fashion label, NIKOLAKI, which has been worn by celebrities including Heidi Klum, Katy Perry, and Beyoncé, and their NV Nick Verreos line has been sold on QVC UK, QVC Italy, as well as other home shopping networks. Together, they have co-authored four books including “A Basic Guide to Pattern Drafting” and “A Comprehensive Guide to Men’s Flat Sketching”. They are currently consulting producers on Bravo’s Project Runway.

Nick Verreos has a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and an Advanced Fashion Design degree from FIDM. He is a Red Carpet Expert, star of Project Runway, and his YouTube Channel, “Fashion School with Nick Verreos”, has over 340K subscribers and 10 million views.

David Paul is also a graduate of UCLA, with B.A. in Theatre Arts and an MFA in Costume Design. He worked in entertainment and fashion styling for over 20 years, designing costumes and working on shows such as Queer Eye for the Straight Girl, Passions, Undressed, and numerous other productions for MTV, ABC, FOX, Nickelodeon, and the WB. He also worked alongside André Leon Talley and Lisa Love for Vogue, styling for Kate Hudson, Heidi Klum, Twiggy, Vanessa Paradis, and Heather Graham.




Special thanks to the Department of Fashion Design, Fashion Design Advanced Study, Film & TV Costume Design at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles.

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  • Organized by: the Gianfranco Ferré Research Center with the Historical Archives of Politecnico di Milano
  • In collaboration with: Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles