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Source: Marco Ciabatti
Interview by Joanna Pietrzyk, Editor for International Cooperation at Fashion Culture Project
Marco Ciabatti will take a part in the 4th Edition of Fashion Culture Project representing Polimoda. In this short interview he is guiding us through inspirations and process of making his final collection.
Joanna Pietrzyk: What was the concept behind your graduate collection?
Marco Ciabatti: In terms of work craftsmanship plays a big part in the way I create my collections.
During my free time I like to go to flee markets, I also enjoy going to the museums and galleries for inspirations.
My Italian background is fairly important in my work process.
In my graduate collection, I applied variety of elements: starting from the Ex Voto pins on the breast, to the religious details, from tailoring technique to the main fabric (wool) that I used: Casentino fabric. This fabric is made in the city where my mother and her family come from – Stia. There is continuity to sewing tradition in our family; my grandmother was working in the factory where she was repairing faulty pieces of the fabric. Production was taking much longer and it was far more expensive back then, so at the time they weren’t allowed to waste even an inch of fabric that definitely could teach us appreciation for the work and effort of everyone involved in the production process.
J.P. What are your key inspirations, fashion icons etc. is there anyone you would be particularly keen to work with on your future collections?
M.C. I can partially answer this question with a quote by one of my classmates:
“We live in a world in which our identity and our personalities are constantly challenged, but clothes can communicate it for us”.
I went to Art School when I was 14, my main subject was “Fashion and Theatrical Costume”, so Polimoda afterwards felt naturally like the right choice.
Doing my BA definitely broaden my perspective on the subject, and made me more determined to establish my own visual language.
While studying, I met amazing and inspirational people from all over the world.
My interest in vintage, historical and ethnic clothes became a more obvious part of my research while studying, and definitely helped me to establish my own current style.
I developed strong interest for the sartorial tradition, experimenting with different uses of fabric, applying it to menswear, womenswear, sportswear and accessories.
My recent collection was inspired by Saint John the Baptist. He is a patron of Florence, Tailors and Wool Makers, which all together relates to my key interests and sentiments.
The under garments are inspired by vintage tailored garments with addition of functional modern sportswear (like the front split jackets instead of being split at the back).
My work is based somewhere in between the past and the present: I like to search for the modern elements in the “old” through objects, pictures, paintings… studying materials, shape, cuts and volumes, adding a touch of modernity through art, of everyday life.
Phoebe Philo and Alexander Wang are my favourite designers in terms of womanswear, but I really would like to work with Stefano Pilati, Alber Elbaz or Kriss Van Assche.
I also really like brands such as Juun J, Siki Im or Umit Benan.
J.P. How did your collaboration with H&M came about?
M.C. My collaboration with H&M was actually the result of collaboration between the brand and Polimoda.
We were asked to do kids collection; it was real fun project to work on. I teamed up with Alessandra Bonciani from Fashion Technology at Polimoda. At first I worked on the collection by myself, choosing inspirations and developing all the process: (sketches, fabric-print, accessories, collection building, fabric choice etc.) then we started to work together. She is an amazing pattern maker and after lots of trials with the muslin fabric we obtained all the right shapes and cuts.
Our idea matched really well with the concept of H&M, they liked all the details ex. socks and pins that I made for the outfit, shoes that were hand-painted, also print.
It was first time for me and Alessandra, doing a team work, which gave us great example what the real job would feel like.
J.P. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
M.C. I would like to start my own brand, but now I want to learn as much as possible from the more experienced designers.
My dream has just started, I hope it will continue. Time will tell.