Earlier this year we have featured Italian designer Sylvio Giardina‘s FALL/WINTER 2013-2014 collection, where the melody of Leo Delibes’ Lakmè opera acts as a background to the eternal seduction game in the movie “The Hunger”, and sensuality properly merges with dark atmospheres, the collection drawing its inspiration from the density of this emotional and narrative context and from the proportions unique to the style codes of the 40’s and 50’s fashion.
We loved how the designer entirely played on the harmonious fusion of iconic and artful classic references and of edgy and subtly provocative formal solutions, the new pieces that combine classic and sartorial textiles – such as tweed and gabardine – with materials and codes typically associated with fetish clothing (vinyl, mesh, neoprene).
We caught up with the man behind the brand for a little Q&A on his unique style, sources of inspiration and the one piece every woman should have in her wardrobe.
INSPIRATIONIST: How did your fashion adventure begin? Was there someone in you life that made a difference to influence you to go into designing or how did you know this was what you wanted to do?
Sylvio Giardina: I have discovered fashion in a fortuitous way. Although, I am pretty sure that my passion for design and my vivid imagination contributed significantly. I have always been drawn towards a creative job, something that allowed me to convey my way of communicating. Creativity must be trained: if you regularly work it out, ideas naturally come to life and follow one another by association until they reach their goal.
I: What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
SG: I remember it very well! Oh, yes! It was a wedding dress for a friend of mine. We were both very excited and very, very worried, both for the importance of the dress and for the upcoming event. As the work progressed and the result came closer to my idea, I felt more and more encouraged and satisfied and in the end, I made a fabulous dress and everyone was happy, including the bride.
I: What are your favorite colors to work with and why?
SG: I prefer colors expressing purity and mystery, those indistinct shades that can be interpreted in different ways.
I: What makes your style stand out from the crowd?
SG: The search for a new silhouette is the philosophy of my work. The classic body shapes are overturned to create new ones, inspired by nature and far from the clichés dictated by fashion rhythms. The dresses – although they undergo major experimentation – never lose sight of their main function, being wearable, and this is the starting and meeting point to look for a balance between creativity and production.
I: Could you describe your perfect client?
SG: I don’t have an ideal client. I love women and I appreciate them for their differences, both aesthetic and intellectual, and they can all be my clients.
I: Top career moments so far?
SG: After graduating in fashion design and working in a haute couture atelier in Rome, I founded the “Grimaldi Giardina” brand with a partner, which – upon invitation by the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture and recommendation by Monsieur Emanuel Ungaro – has been showing in Paris inside the official haute couture calendar for several seasons. After many years devoted to research and constant studies, in October 2010 I left the brand to launch my own “Sylvio Giardina” label.
I: Fashion is a competitive industry –have you ever had moments when you wanted to quit?
SG: I probably think about quitting every day. Working in fashion is truly hard and challenging, especially in Italy and in this very historic time, but at the same time it is my vital essence, my constant incentive and I could never do anything else.
I: How much does travel influence your designs?
SG: Traveling means opening up, discovering and as Saint Augustine says: “The world is a book. And those who do not travel, read only one page.” Without trivializing it, I believe that the world and society are indeed my most important sources of inspiration. Music, architecture, cinema, dance, theatre: everything can suggest an image to be reworked and transformed.
I: Do you think make-up and hair make a difference on a model when promoting the designs? If yes, why?
SG: The image of the woman wearing your creations is fundamental. A dress doesn’t merely exist as an object but comes to life through the wearer, in its completeness, so make-up and hair-do are very important to highlight the style of a fashion designer.
I: What is the one piece you think every woman should have in her wardrobe?
SG: A mannish tailored blazer. I am fascinated by women who dare, who “mix” feminine outfits with pieces from the man’s wardrobe. In my creations, there’s always been this duplicity. Before it was subtle and sometimes visible in the cut or shape of a pant; now, after years of research, I have completely translated it, altering fashion canons and bringing to life a new aesthetic concept.
Images © Sylvio Giardina
See Sylvio Giardina’s FALL/WINTER 2013-2014 collection here
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