Between lights and shadows, muse Diletta, in a fashion story wearing experimental pieces by Iria Chover shot by Marco Giuliano and styled by Anca Macavei.
Tell us a bit about you, your background. What made you start your brand in nowadays context?
Since a very young age I was involved with fashion and design. As a kid I used to model in fashion shows during the kid’s fashion week of my hometown, and it was so much fun! I loved it! Being surrounded by all these beautiful pieces and vibrant energy. My parents also used to bring me to interior design exhibitions and art museums, I used to paint all the time and study colors. When I was only 14 I did my first internship, at ELLE magazine Spain. So, I guess everything organically pointed towards dedicating myself to fashion. I’ve just always felt very attracted to it. I think the pandemic pushed people further towards introspection, with everything slowing down, people had to reflect about themselves, get to know themselves better, acknowledge how important identity is. I did that too and it made me realize I have the need to express my creativity with freedom. Then I had a couple collaboration propositions and I thought, well, this is it, I’m going to start my own project. I think there’s an increasingly bigger space for young and independent designers who focus on slower fashion, and I truly believe there’s a public interested in this as well, so now seemed like the perfect time to dedicate myself to my own brand, though I still have a lot of learning ahead of me.
Madrid, Florence, London, Paris and New York, you’ve lived and designed in all of these places. How did all this shape you?
Overall, I think moving to different cities like that helped me build up an extensive visual archive in my imaginary, by exposing me to such different concepts of beauty and design. I’d like to think some of that bleeds into my work, consciously or not. Each place offered me a different approach to design. In Paris, I learnt a more technical approach to the garment’s construction. Then I moved to Firenze to pursue my studies at Polimoda where I connected more with my own identity as a designer. And living in Brooklyn and working for Marc Jacobs was what most impacted me professionally, I think it’s my favorite city so far, it’s the city where I felt most like myself, NY allows everyone to be themselves.
Patterns inspire you, the Spanish road network is rather emblematic, is this what influenced you in your design?
Spanish road network is certainly characteristic! But I would say that what often influences my design is Spanish underground culture. I think we as people have always been very creative and daring, and we socialize a lot outside, our streets in general are always crowded, so Spanish “street-life” is also emblematic. I feel like young creatives in Spain have managed to channel all the frustration of the recent crisis by collaborating and mixing Spanish folk heritage and street culture with contemporary references. It’s giving birth to a very interesting creative scene, with a strong and unique identity. There’s many talented visual artists, video-makers, art directors and stylists from Spain that I admire and I hope to collaborate with one day.
In the Bourgy-line collection, did the phenomenon of gentrification affect you closely or have you simply liked it graphically? Does the cut out textile represent a street map or a cage?
Yes, indeed, the cut out textile represents the map of Brooklyn in real scale, I found it very interesting graphically but above all it was my way to talk about urban planning and gentrification. I’m very much interested in politics and the anthropological side of fashion, so my research often focuses on social matters.
I think fashion and the design process can be a great vehicle to learn, analyse and internalize topics but also to indirectly open a debate. Gentrification for instance is a very complicated subject… it has not affected me directly but it’s very evident when you walk around some neighbourhoods in Madrid or Brooklyn. The idea of renewing a neighbourhood itself is not necessarily wrong, the problem for me comes when in the process you’re changing the character of a neighbourhood and the people that live and have their small businesses in the area often see themselves forced to leave their own neighbourhood. So in my collection garments are overlapped with data graphics and maps, reproducing the image of urban planing and somehow being eaten and being subjected to a transformation.
Your brand is very 90’s street-style like especially in styling reference. Can you tell us more about this?
Definitely! 90’s street style is always within my references, I don’t think so much about it in a logical way, it’s simply an aesthetic that resonates a lot with me, which with I identify, minimal but at the same time edgy or rebellious and nonconformist. 90’s fashion and street style was a reflection of what was going on at the time and has a lot to do with today’s context: The 90s were years full of turbulences that exposed the great disorders and imbalances of our modern society. There was a lot of uncertainty that served as a claim to initiate a change. A lot like the current situation.
Do you think that fashion is made to dream or to just express yourself?
I think it can do both. Fashion has a lot to do with self-expression and identity but the narratives and universes built around it can for sure make you dream and transport you to the creator’s imaginative world. I think more and more fashion is about telling a story. We all love to listen to a good story, right?
How do you cope with new challenges in your work and life?
This might sound like a cliché, but I see challenges and difficulties as opportunities to grow and learn. I like when my work challenges me, it makes the whole experience very rewarding and I feel I deliver better work that way. The way I get through new challenges is by buckling down and being persistent. But I also practice yoga and meditation, which helps me clear my head and reconnect with my authentic self.
Any future plans you would like to share with us?
Right now I’m working on an exciting collaboration with a Spanish upcycling company, it’s still in the early stages at the moment, but that might be the direction I would like to drive my brand towards. My ultimate goal would be to build a project that goes beyond a fashion brand, with a circular system, building a community with common values around it and make a transition into ethical and totally sustainable ways of making fashion, using technical and innovative materials that are in harmony with nature but without compromising my urban aesthetics . That’s very challenging and I have a lot to learn in the process. So I’m going step by step, trusting my intuition.
Photography: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Fashion: Iria Chover / @iria__chvr
Interview: Silvia Valente / @silviavalentevi
Editorial Assistant: Inga Lavarini / @ingalavarini
Styling Assistant: Sofia Knv / @sofia.knv
Model: Diletta at Next Models / @dilettapaci_ @nextmodels