We’ll cover the cold of these distances. Claudia and Mara in a fashion story shot by Marco Giuliano and styled by Anca Macavei with garments from the F/W20 collection of Angelo LaBarbera.
Can you share with us some insight onto Angelo La Barbera.
I was born in a small town in the inlands of Sicily, Enna. Later on I moved to Milan where I graduated at Politecnico di Milano in Fashion Design, after that, I moved to London where I continued my studies with the MA Womenswear at London College of Fashion while also I had one of my first experiences in Fashion at the brand Sharon Wauchob. The MA acted as incubator for the brand ‘La Barbera’, where I could nurture my practice as a designer and develop my identity, allowing me to create the Brand organically.
What about your creative process, how do you start working on a collection?
I like to think about the creative process as something fluid, where ideas fold and unfold. I enjoy observing people and the society around us, I try to maintain the process as genuine as possible. I take pictures of what I find sparks my curiosity, I read books, I play with fabrics and shapes, I doodle, I take notes of ideas or simply word combinations that are intriguing, I go to art exhibitions…
Most of the times there is an idea that act as a stimulus and makes me jump back and forth between research, drawing and 3D development. The challenge is to maintain that idea genuine and at the same time ‘to contaminate it’ to create innovation and a unique point of view. The unpredictability of this process is what makes it beautiful and allows for creativity to really take place.
Can you tell us more about the inspirations behind your brand and your FW/20 Collection showcased here in our pictures.
‘La Barbera’ FW/20 Collection is called ‘Oggetti Quotidiani’. It is the first result of the brand’s study regarding the connection of people and objects. It all sparked when I was walking among the streets of London, I was just walking and observing the people passing by. I was taking notes and pictures of them. I started asking myself some question and speculating about why someone was dressed in a certain way, carrying that exact object in that position, so I started to think about the multiple ways the ‘object’ and the ‘subject’ where influencing each other. So I started building an archive of pictures I have been taking around my trips in London, Paris and Milano. Looking for common threads and everyday objects that were portrayed in these pictures. I also began studying a group of documentary photographers such as Elliott Erwitt, Vivien Mayer, Letizia Battaglia, Diane Arbus…
It is about portraying everyday life in its serendipitous moments. The beauty stands in the unpredictability of these moments and in the irony that they create.
You are born in Italy but London based, how much are your creations a reflection of your current life and surroundings?
I like to think about my designs as a blend of my ‘Italian’ and ‘English’ perspectives, in a way. Both cultures and experiences helped me to grow as a designer. I love mixing the idea of freedom of expression typical of the London atmosphere with a more ‘classical’ and also ‘romantic’ idea of fashion from an Italian perspective. This translates into my design recipe looking for functionality and at the same time adding that ‘quid’ that makes a garments special and desirable.
I grew up with a strong perception of the ‘made in Italy’ as a value to be proud of.
Since the early stages of my fashion studies in Milan, I was taught of the making districts that are all over Italy and how each one of them boast a great history and experience in the making of a certain product. As a next generation designer, it is essential to keep alive Italian heritage and the craft linked to it, that is why this collection was thought as a celebration of craft collaborating with Italian companies and artisans.
Which are the key concepts you want to portray when people see or hear your brand name?
‘La Barbera’ focuses on the analysis of the relationship between objects and people. This intangible affection, this synergy between object and subject as a process of mutual becoming is at the core of the brand research. Nurturing a new definition of materialism based on emotions and affect. The aim is to create outcomes that can be treasured and are a constant reminder of the story that is behind them. Craftsmanship and Italian tradition are at the centre of the brand values which are combined with constant research of materials and new techniques to create luxury products that set aside from the fast pace of today’s fashion system.
What do you think is a fashion designer’s biggest struggle today?
Today’s fashion system is going at a very fast pace and it is hard to keep up with that rhythm. Ending up with designers struggling to hold on and customers buying garments superficially. We are visually bombarded by the objects that are constantly around us. Today an object becomes viral because of their visual qualities, tomorrow is already forgotten.
At this rate, there is no incubation time for ideas. Time is becoming a luxury that designers are losing. Time is essential to preserve innovation for a creative enterprise.
The rising sun
Photography: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Editorial assistant: Inga Lavarini / @ilavarini
Set design using: Gravity Backdrops / @gravitybackdrops
Claudia at Wave Management / @claudiarosielukomska @wave_management
Mara at Fashion Models / @mararogojanu @fashionmodel.it
Garments: Angelo LaBarbera / @angelo_labarbera