You mention in your manifesto that great changes are born rather out of discomfort than passion. Can you give us an insight into Palmatic Studio, how did it all come about?
Palmatic Studio seeks to turn the concept of “dressing” inside out. It’s not about a garment that by laying atop a human frame defines and expresses a style. Rather, the reverse is true, the style is powered by the energy, shape, spirit and emotions of the wearer. I like to think of Palmatic Studio as a second skin, an extension of the human form, a synthesis where style and substance converge. The collection is versatile, performative, it is emotional and above all it is highly personal. The style is what you choose it to be. From a design perspective while the collection is informed by an elemental simplicity it’s not at all about “basics.” It’s informed by a charismatic tension between a series of opposites: simple and intricate, subtle and strong, a gamut of contrasts that result in harmony. The aesthetic is free flowing; in constant movement – it is both easy and dramatic, regal and transgressive, rigorous and relaxed – the final interpretation comes from the attitude and emotions of the woman who wears it. The pieces are both soft and rigorous– a modern sensual, and intimate version of body armor.
What’s the story behind the name of the brand?
A women’s power is at the core of our brand’s DNA and we have chosen the palm tree as the iconic symbol of female strength. Palms don’t just survive environmental challenges; they thrive on them – from the lush tropics to the dry deserts and to the bustling metropolis. Even where there is apparently no form of nourishment they grow and become icons of resilience. Every palm is exposed to the elements, this is how it is born, and this is how it lives. The “Palmatica” woman grows with the ability to resist the blows that life has in store for everyone and just like palms, they have learned to resist the winds of life by dancing together. A “Palmatica” woman bends but does not break. She is not self-conscious, her aesthetics are minimal, her essence is elegant, and she wears her clothes like a second skin and manages to remain faithful to her own nature and her own charm. There are many types of palms and our styles are named after the various species, all different from each other, just like female bodies, perfect in their diversity, their unique characters and personalities. Palmatic women don’t compete – they interact and reinforce each other and with their proximity they create the strongest ecosystems.
You launched your brand with a ﬁrst collection various intense textures of pure black capable of absorbing all energies of a stylised body, with occasional display of dusky earth tones. What is your relationship with black vs color? What should we expect next from you?
The colors of the collections are almost nonexistent but still rich in tone with an occasional glimmer of semi-metallics. The fabrics are gossamer thin, illuminated by a touch of gothic romantic lunar light. A monochromatism à la Rothko, applied to the body like a state of being and powered by the mood and the expression of the wearer.
The designs are modular and deceivingly simple, transformed by infinitesimal adjustments in prints or in cuts and like the minimal cortex, create the recognisable codex of the Maison. Black represents my inner and dark soul; the use of black as a way of taking color to its extreme, almost eliminating it; for me it’s the key to give word to volumes and shapes.
From where did you draw inspiration for your last collection showcased here in our pictures? A scenery, a mood, a sound?
The elegance and mystery of nature in nighttime. Dancing til dawn. The passion for adventure the insatiable curiosity of discovery, the tendency towards rule breaking. Second skin, always, all body shapes and silhouettes, strong personalities that are also very romantic. Dusky colors, both dull and intense punctuated by intriguing transparencies. Silhouettes and poses informed by movement, freedom and dance.
How do your memories aﬀect you as a designer?
More than memories, I would say that there are some very strong impressions that have influenced my designs. The legacy passed on to me by my grandmother and her sisters – the five Fendi sisters who together grew the brand for over 6 decades – definitely inspired the idea of collective female strength at the heart of Palmatic. They used to say that “we are like the five fingers of a hand; we are stronger when we work together” and they created a model of female collaboration and leadership that was totally disruptive and unheard of at the time. In terms of my own experiences – I was lucky enough to grow up in an inspiring world of eclectic contrasts – my mother is an architect and engineer, and my father is a DJ. Visiting building sites with my mom I learned to appreciate structure. Specifically, I am inspired by architecture that is bold, graphic but also subtle and one of my favorite architects is Zaha Hadid. I’ve been surrounded by music my entire life and music is an ongoing passion and a strong protagonist in Palmatic, it inspired our logo which who’s round spheric shape recalls a disco ball, a cd, a vinyl. Finally, I am inspired by legendary costume designer Piero Tosi who created the wardrobe for iconic Visconti films. I was lucky enough to meet him while I was studying fashion at university and am fascinated by his love for textiles, his passion for research and how he would use his costumes to give more power and personality to the actors he worked with. Creating something that makes the wearer feel more powerful and special, this is a beautiful quality that inspired me a lot.
What’s your vision of the future?
I am very optimistic about the future. The Palmatic collection doesn’t express optimism in a conventional language of bright colors and rainbows and that’s the point. For me, optimism is about strength and it’s about fashion that inspires women to find their power from the inside out and express it in a very personal way.
Total Eclipse of the Sun
Photography: Marco Giuliano / @marcogiulianoph
Styling: Anca Macavei / @ancamacavei
Fashion: Palmatic Studio / @palmaticstudio
Interview: Iro Bournazou / @irwb
Video assistant: Francis Brinkman / @francisbrinkman
Editorial assistant: Inga Lavarini / @ingalavarini
Styling assistant: Mariana Parodi / @mariaanaparodi
Soundtrack: Megahast3r – Drawing Turtles
Model: Maresz at Women Milan / @maresz_miciula @women_milano