Aiming to say something new
IUAV graduate Luna Mazzolini presented ‘Calorbianco’, her capstone accessories collection during Fashion at IUAV 2014. Designed for SS15, the collection is not only the culmination of three years of university work, but also three years of experiences and discoveries. Driven by a strong interest in anthropology, Luna researched the traditions of faraway populations. Lath mar Holi, the celebration of the Hindu festival of Holi, particularly held her interest. With its accurate and at times strict rules of design, Luna’s collection evokes the sense of freedom and joy this event celebrates.
‘Calorbianco’, which translates as ‘white heat’, is an alchemic term, which refers to the maximum temperature a metal can withstand before it turns from liquid into gas. At that point the metal in liquid state produces a burst of white light.
A love for handcraft helped Luna in the realisation of the accessories, while her art and photography practice inspired their design.
The collection is near minimalistic in shape and overall appearance; its preciousness unveils gradually, in the colourful richness of its details. Each piece unveils beautiful peculiarities within rigorous geometric forms.
The progressive discovery of Luna’s collection leads to an intrepid journey in a land faraway: a sight of distant cultures through very western glasses.
Modeconnect has chosen to make this journey hand in hand with Luna, to discover the cleft and gems of the fascinating territory she hiked over for this project.
Luna, let’s use your collection as a starting point. Can you describe it to us?
Calorbianco comes from the union of art spray painting on leather and geometric cut-outs. It takes inspiration from the fascinating works of artist Myriam Dion and from Elisa Strozyk’s wooden dowels carpets, in a game of peek-a-boo of colour and texture.
The shapes are mostly geometric, with clean and squared lines softened by hints of curves. The effect I wanted to achieve was that of a stream of colours unravelling in several directions, drawn by the construction of the object. Texture is designed individually for each accessory in order to emphasize its structure, while colours, in the shades of purple, orange, red and dark blue, evoke the Indian festival of Holi Lath Tues, documented by photographer Steve McCurry, and the work of artist Katharina Grosse.
What was the goal you wanted to achieve, while designing your collection?
My intent was to create a collection, which could enclose everything I had learned during my three years at IUAV University. I wanted to close my BA with a collection summing up all my experiences, aiming as well at creating pieces that could be used in everyday life. University is first of all the place to experiment, with no commercial concern, but I was rather orientated to the world after the university; so, in this last project, I tried to mix my creative instinct with a gaze at the market.
So you have looked at the market, while designing the collection?
My collection is not born with a plan to market, but this aspect is not completely absent from my design. However, the process that led me to the final development of the collection is expressly based on my personal creative choices. This last period has been a very positive one and with this collection I wanted to express the joy and curiosity about the world and the new things that I felt I had.
These feelings poured into the techniques I used and in the artistic choices I made. I wanted to create my story, starting from the beautiful stories on my mood board, trying to say something new.
You mentioned some artists and photographers. Can we say that art in general is your main source of inspiration?
I am interested in everything that is human activity: art, culture and craftsmanship. In recent years I have realized that we humans are in the world by chance or luck and that we have to build a life worth living. The chase of happiness is our most important goal, but this happiness is momentary, and our mind leads us to control it, sometimes even repress it, hiding some parts of ourselves to the world. So I always try to translate this tension in my projects and to communicate my thoughts through my designs.
What about personal experiences? Is there something in your personal life that has influenced your designs?
Last summer (2013) I worked as assistant facilitator at “Evil under the sun”, a festival of contemporary art run by Fiorucci Art Trust on the isle of Stromboli, and curated by Lucy McKenzie and Milovan Farronato. My job was to give technical support to artists and attend the events. For his performance, the artist Bernie Reid used stencil to spray-paint a Persian carpet on the floor of the terrace of the house that hosted the event. To speed up the time, the artist asked me to help him, and so I got the chance to take part in the actual realisation of his work of art. It was a very powerful experience, which prompted me to start using spray on various surfaces, more three-dimensional and dynamic than walls.
Is the collection as you planned it to be at the very beginning?
Initially, I imagined a very different collection. The texture that I wanted had to be a mix on a single surface of spray painting and cut-outs.
I wanted to control the effects by flattening them on one level. Trying to make the samples, I realized that it couldn’t work. I experimented with other techniques and, a million samples after, I figured out what worked better.
When I design I get a thousand different ideas, and I wish I had the chance to try them all; but often I have to stop at the first result that convinces me, when perhaps there might be others more compelling. I think I could design forever, if I had no deadlines to respect.
What advice would you give to someone who is about to design a final collection?
First of all, find a theme that you like. If you do not really like something or you feel it is not giving you satisfaction, it does not drive you to work on it with joy and dedication. Then do research as much as possible about the topic you are focusing on. And not just on the Internet: it is useful, but very limiting as a research tool.
Books provide a complete different feeling that can help you develop different aspects from the ones you had in mind. Do not leave anything to chance; oversee all the work. Do not let others solve your problems, instead experience difficulties first hand. Understanding difficulties is the first step for solving potential problems. And if you do it by yourself, it’s way more satisfying.
You seem to go against the tide by saying to research on books instead on the Internet. Where do you do your research, then?
Most of the time I go to the library, the Marciana in Venice is definitely my favourite. You can consult extraordinary books, ancient and modern. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the right book, the one you are looking for, but during the search you acquire a lot of information that can turn useful for further developments … or for another project. And the location, right in Piazza San Marco, is really magical.
What are your plans, now?
I would like to continue studying. I don’t think I’ve pulled the best out of me and feel I need the help of someone more experienced to take it out. I would try to do an MA abroad. The world is so extraordinary; it’s worth trying to see as much as possible. I am fascinated by people who have had the courage to leave their former lives and undertake long journeys to discover the world and themselves. Their stories are truly amazing.