To celebrate turning thirty, Italian sportswear brand Stone Island has put on a retrospective celebrating the label's history, research and experimentation.
Curated by British creatives Simon Foxton and Nicholas Griffiths, and hosted by Fondazione Pitti at the atmospheric Stazione Leopolda in Florence, more than two hundred military- and workwear -inspired garments are on show, including archive pieces, recreations and three new pieces specially created for the anniversary. The exhibition essentially retraces the countless treatments, coatings, finishes, garment-dyeing processes and advanced technologies that have been the brand's focal points from its inception to the present day.
Visitors are greeted by 'The Vertical Army', a three-level parade of mannequin clones all wearing the legendary 'Pure Metal Shell - Silver' parka. The army serves as a backdrop for images of Italian footballer Marco Tardelli's iconic goal celebration from 1982 - the year Stone Island was born and Italy won the football world cup.
The exhibition is then split into a number of rooms, proving just why Stone Island sees itself as a 'laboratory company'. 'Coatings' deals with treatments and dyeing techniques, then there's the Reflective room, the Chromatic room, the Steam room, Stone Island Shadow Project, Meshes, Knit Research, the Paper room, Special projects, the Thermosensitive room and Motion Scrapbook - each offering a unique insight into the processes behind the designs and fabrics.
At the same time the release of a photographed edit of the brand's archive, a book entitled 'Archivio '982-'012', further illustrates the story of Stone Island. Containing more than three hundred iconographic images, it shows a unique approach to design, that finds inspiration way beyond the realms of fashion.