Text by Barbara Laneve
For those who still dream of a better future for fashion, on Thursday, the 28th of June in Rome, there will be the opening of RE-ACTION, an exhibition curated by A.I. Artisanal Intelligence.
It twill be held at Cinecittà Studios, which will be a sort of base camp, an operational area in a completely reinvented space in the famous cinematographic studios.
In this base camp young designers will experiment a contemporary style that combines artisanal research with sportswear, uniforms and outdoor apparel. Creatives have overcome the aesthetic idea of an useless beauty. They feel the urgency of creating a kind of fashion that bridges the gap between those who are worried about their future and those who live in a virtual dimension, made of alienation and online shopping.
There will be talks and workshops where designers will analyze today’ situation, looking for a solution for a better level in production. Gain is to have a healthier future for fashion, that means that it’s not just about romantic craftsmanship, but also about using an adequate technological know-how and research. They work like hackers, researchers, anthropologists and tailors. Selected designers have got the know how to adapt new technologies in order to solve problems and to define a new economy for fashion.
In A.I. RE-ACTION we will see different stories coming from designers from different countries, with their own traditions and cultures. This is the case, for instance, for GR10K, which works with the aesthetics of military and work uniforms, with high priority to production sustainability. Another designer is Alfredo Grassi, which comes from his family company which has been producing work uniforms since 1925. Grassi’s “Re-Action” goes through textile research and new production processes solidly based on the history of the company.
In the exhibition there will be some precious items coming from their archives.
ALAMA has pursued a reinvention of historical-ethnic kind, working on the jewels made by the Masai women who live at Kilimanjaro. The brand is the contemporary expression of a sustainable design, based on the memory of ancient signs and elements. The use of natural materials, of recycled plastic and of other materials that can be found in Tanzanian markets does not limit the creativity of the craftswomen in the making of the jewels.
Another example of reinvention is the tailor’s shop which was founded in 1961 by the grandfather of Michele Canziani. Together with his partner Stefano Ghidotti, Michele gave new life to the workshop through the new project called M140, an idea of contemporary heritage expressed by a combination of styles and fabrics.
The brand embodies a new spirit of a Made in Italy production, based on an aesthetic vision that rediscovers old-style, tailormade, elegant male pijamas combined with the fine technology of outdoor apparel.
M140 production is definitely genderless, with a cool mix of items and fabrics.
The source of inspiration of Aigerim Kairat is a 1984’s image of his father, who was a soldier in the Russian Air Force, bailing out of his aircraft after being hit. Kairat comes from Istituto Marangoni (Milan). In his work the designer expresses the run away feeling, the conquest of freedom. The uniform, symbol of hierarchies and roles through stripes and ornaments, is here re-designed to get out of isolation by generating meaningless signs. The garment is the material expression of refuse of imposed roles, with decorations that create new connections, highlighted by the use of red in sign of protest.
Italian knitwear in all its refined artisanal tradition is what Vitelli uses to create two main collections and two limited editions every year. Its work is based on the expertise of the craftsmen from Vicenza and on high quality yarns such as Cariaggi, Loro Piana, Zegna Baruffa and Linea Più. Inspired by contemporary youth and by the new Italian style, Vitelli starts from the so-called Italian Cosmic Movement, a pacifist and anti-ideological movement from late eighties, of people who used music to get out of the dark atmosphere of the Years of Lead.
The brand will presents a special project for Re-Action.
Paratroop units are a source of inspiration – as a reaction to claustrophobia – also for the Claustrum collection by Nicola Spinelli, from the NABA Academy (Milan). His work is based on the escape from the maternal protective obsessions that generate phobias. The irrational fear that creates a sense of oppression is a problem experienced by many who live in urban areas and it leads them to refuse relationships with others. Spinelli’s street style expresses this refusal to understand with covered faces and oversized garments, made by using a fine technology.
Giorgia Andreazza’s work is inspired by the fear of the uncertain future: her garments are mutant and transformable, a kind of post-modern uniforms to face the difficulties of the historical moment we are living. Hybrid materials from the military field, like bulletproof and cut-resistant fabrics, hoods and balaclavas, become the envelopes to protect us from our daily odysseys. The female “Re-Action” of Valentina Ortiz, from the Polimoda School (Florence), is expressed by a collection accompanied by the motto “I’m not your dream girl but only my own”. The feminine and assertive street style seems to push women who do not feel accepted out of their anti-social rooms where they retire into themselves. The collection is inspired by the “Sad Girl Theory” of Audrey Wollen, the young American artist who interprets women’s sadness not as an act of submission, but as the result of self-awareness and self acceptance.
It’s very interesting to see in Binghua Mao’s the traditional knowledge he acquired by his family, a generation of fishermen from Zhousan, an archipelago in the chinese sea. Binghua Mao comes from IED (Milano) and his work is a proper tribute to traditions with a peculiar project that puts together natural and uninterrupted grey-blue of the sea and sky with bright and artificial colours of fishing instruments. Tools become garments, where nets and hooks have new purposes, by creating a romantic representation of the link between past and future. Nomadism as the expression of a necessary need to move over is the focus of the collection by Alessia Panza and Giorgia Pizzella, both students at the IED (Rome). Designers have created proper tools to survive in the surrounding world: textures and materials are used in a new way, to build shelter garments and to create a boundless connection between the individual and the environment.
They also express the refusal of any imposition that may block connections and the importance to feel our own culture, history and memory as a weapon to fight contemporary chaos. The younger talent of this edition is Erica Curci, who presents EXUVIA, a production project with biomaterials production.
Bacterial cultures and vegetable and protein substances are used to generate new fabrics that look as much similar as possible to skin tissues. Spaces inside the tent are arranged in such a way to let visitors follow the evolution of work. Body’ skin is the last way to modify in order to change its protective function, just like designer makes garments to modify use of materials or change our image.
Tent itself is the symbol of the base camp and for “A.I. Re-Action”: it extraordinarily turns into a piece of haute-couture outdoor garment. The project is from FieldCandy by Chiara Cola, an Italian fashion and textile designer, based in London.
The exhibition will be held at STUDI DI CINECITTA’ – Set Antica Roma, Via Vincenzo Lamaro, 30. Opening it’s on thursday, the 28th of june, from 4 to 9.30 PM and will keep open the 29th and the 30th from 4 to 9 PM, and the 1st of July from 10 AM to 4 PM.
Entrance by booking only at www.altaroma.it.
A.I. RE-ACTION Exhibition OPENING: 28th of June from 4 to 9.30 PMStudi di Cinecittà – Set Antica RomaVia Vincenzo Lamaro, 30 – Rome