Julieta: a dialogue on style, fashion and beyond (Lamberto Cantoni / extracts)


“I start from the matter out of which dresses are made… one can surely say that my way to interpret the profession as a fashion creative is very dependent on the textiles that I manage to find. First of all I define myself a researcher of prestigious meaningful textiles. When I find a cloth that inspires me, I feel that the shape of the dress will not be difficult to create. But perhaps I could also define myself a regenerator, as for my dresses I also uses recycled textiles. I often marry them with original textiles from my land, Angola… textiles like this…”

The rough handmade fabric pieces that she shows me are of an unusual beauty. When associated to the colorful slightly vintage silks, they give to the shape of the dress such a captivating effect that I equal it to the perception I get from historical avanguard artworks. The creations of Julieta are contaminated with fragments of textiles that recalls of her origins. They swing the perceived feeling of the fashion-object in an emotional and sophisticated dimension, that I would place in between ‘alienation’ and ‘surreal’… the stylist bring us back to a time when the handcraft was still dominating the fashion practice and the clothes symbolized the distinctive status of persons.

“… I feel a tailor before all. And a tailor is essentially an artisan. It is required a manual artistry, sensitivity for the material, taste for the uniqueness in the dress execution. I like of course to also reflect on the gown forms . For example, I do design, I imagine silhouette .. .but I am not attracted by fashion as an obsessive novelty seeking. When I have found the right fabrics I am more interested in creating a sort of ” ideal form ” inspired by them, to which I remain – as much as I can – faithful over time. With this imagined form, I then fulfill a whole series of small variations that allow me to adapt it to different customers. The order of these changes is dictated by the quality of the fabrics that I find and by formal adjustments of an experimental nature. That is, these are adjustments that depend on the interaction between personality of the client, the apparel material and my imagination.”

My challenge is that of mixing all of these dimensions, giving to them the right regulation so that the harmony of my creation will be preserved. I believe that beauty has such complex rules that they are not so easy to list. At the same time when one is at work and experiment, the effects of the rules are recognisable enough to allow me to understand if I am going beyond the aesthetic or if I am on the wrong path. Such rules help me to perceive if I keep in grace and harmony or if I am going beyond. For me grace and harmony are values to be preserve and I do not consider fashion in the trivial sense of the word.

The first harmony note that must interest a fashion designer has to do with the body and the personality of the client. The ideal dress needs to be in harmony with a person who live, feel, move and needs to express. This is the fundamental level that gives sense to the work, and makes grace close to beauty. Each person has her own individuality and thus require solutions that force me to make variations, to choose a different mix of colours and textiles.

I am attracted by the harmonious beauty, I am open to sudden and creative experimenting…. The woman that I prefer is the one that respect the rules of good taste, without giving up her own distinction. My style could be defined a revisited classic . I believe that today fashion should fundamentally mean freedom. My ideal client is a woman who wants to feel free to be elegant but not a prisoner of trends set by the mass fashion needs” … ” The classic implies memory and the respect for the symbolism of a dress … the classic has a value of representation which makes it valuable for people. But in order for the classic to preserve this value, it can not remain identical to itself. The world changes, people change . To preserve the memory of certain clothes, we must make an effort to make them presentable in our lives today … ” Through creative repetitions I think I have shaped my own particular style, from one side respectful of my origins and on the other, open to this new world that has welcomed me . “

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