‘abiti da lavoro’ (workwear) exhibition at the Triennale di Milano


When preparing for our recent Field Trip to Milan, we stumbled across an exhibition from the Triennale di Milano in 2014. We’re gutted we missed it, but we thought it worth exploring virtually on our return.

abiti da lavoro, Italian for work clothes or workwear, was an exhibition dedicated to the creation of uniforms for imagined jobs. Curated by Alessandro Guerriero, founder of Italian design group Slide, the exhibition brought together 40 international artists and designers to create workwear for a selection of imaginary roles and (possible) future careers.

What we were most interested in is the concept of designing uniforms for jobs that do not, as yet, exist. The exhibition also aimed to challenge the predisposed prejudices that we have towards certain uniforms. As Guerriero puts it, ‘It used to be that when you saw a blue jumpsuit you immediately thought, “Oh, that’s a mechanic,” or a pinstripe navy blue suit and tie, “He’s in finance.” ‘Roles, and indeed the suggestions of designers for those roles, ranged from the mundane to the romantic – from an apron to a ‘cloud hunter’s’ uniform.

Designers who were tasked with the project included Issey Miyake, Faye Toogood and Gentucca Bini (whose workwear we’ve featured in the past). Here are a few highlights from the exhibition:

Images courtesy Triennale de Milano