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April 06 2011

The label showed at AltaRoma in January and conquered the audience with an assertive style – far from the trends of the moment – and a very individual hybrid of both retro and post-modern accents, adding a touch of irony to every garment. Taking inspiration from the style of the splendour of The Eternal City, and of the elegance typical of the divas who once flocked to the capital, (es)*Artisanal proposed thus a multifaceted woman who likes to play with her own wardrobe and recount a complex, eccentric, exuberant and intriguing life. Behind (es)*Artisanal is Fabrizio Talia, a designer with many important collaborations under his belt, one of the names of the panorama that is Italian fashion, worth keeping an eye on in the years to come. We meet the designer.

Why did you decide to venture into the project, (es)*Artisanal? What inputs and personal aspects inspired it?

F.T. The (es)*Artisanal project came about from a personal desire to demonstrate that art is closely linked to an expert artisanal skill. (es)*Artisanal also expresses the necessity to communicate through a item of clothing, an object which represents us in the multiple facets of our daily life. The collection is the result of researching how to make every piece unique, in order to escape those rules in the market that have flattened and standardised the general aesthetic meaning.

What was the experience of showing at AltaRoma like?

F.T. Rome is the perfect setting for this concept, which aimed to bring an artisanal tradition to clothing in a fashionable, new way. The same designers, who were working in small tailors’ during the ‘dolce vita’ period for movie stars and the big couturiers like Capucci, also worked together for this project.

Can you tell us about what you sent down the runway?

F.T. I affiliated this idea of couture to the ambition of creating heterogeneous looks which spoke of a universe of female emotions, which won’t expire when the trends do. Each garment tells a different story, each look was finished off with a different hat that defined its identity.

What are the icon references?

F.T. I’m inspired by Edith “Big Edie” Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale, cousin of Jackie Onassis. I feel that they symbolise the incarnation of “diva forever” which is what I’ve tried to represent with this (es)*Artisanal project: a custom linked to the costumes of a time where it’s more and more difficult to distinguish the subtle line between past and present.

You shared the final applause with somebody else. Who is he and what is his role in your line?

F.T. Justin Smith, who accompanied me onto the runway, one of the most excellent hat designers of his generation, winner of many prizes, for example last year he won the British Fashion Council Young Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year. He really put the cherry on top of the cake, making it possible to have a show of characters.

Interview conducted by Stefano Guerrini ©