We are so proud to interview this amazing Italian fashion designer, his vision is absolutely inspiring and his story it’s worth to be told! “I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by women, all working in creative production within the fashion industry, my grandma was teaching me how to knit while my mum was sawing my carnival costume. I remember I was very fascinated by how clothes could transform you into the better version of yourself.
I attend a fashion studio since an early age, there I got to learn all the kind of embellishment techniques as well gain a good hand while painting and dyeing fabrics. My formative years of sculpture at the School of art for ceramic in Faenza (my home town) and in Turin at the Academy of Fine Arts established my skills, there I noticed how linked was my work to the body so then I decided to follow with fashion. I also had the occasion to assist few artists, such as Milena Altini as absolutely formative as it proved a milestone in my artistic evolution.
Nicola Bacchilega is a state of mind, it is a kind of meditation for me. I don’t even know exactly when my brand has started as for me it comes natural to produces beautiful dresses. The process of developing a collection is very similar to art, which for me doesn’t means only concept but also the essence of Italian culture as artisanal level of craftsmanship taken to an higher level thanks to personal experimentation of new techniques. It’s very challenging as I’m still at the beginning but very determinate and ambitious.”
What’s the concept of your latest collection? My latest collection “Ad Maiora” which translates from Latin means “towards greatest things” want to express the desire of emancipation, it’s a subconscious reflection of my self. Through the idea of a fictional muse ’The Golden Overwoman ‘ a reinterpretation of the term ‘Übermensch’, which translates from German to ‘Overman’, and refers to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s conception of a man who surpasses the conventional human behaviour and strives for values of emancipation. The golden ceramic prostheses glazed with fine gold are symbolic shields that not just protect the body, but also indeed reflects light, which represents the sun and is the origin of divinization.
The style is a combination of the transgression of the 70s and Romanesque references blended in order to deliver a contemporary collection. The colour spectrum comes from my childhood dreams and the significance of marine life.
I always had the dream of making a total ceramic outfit, which without a shadow of a doubt represents my aesthetic, myself, my fears, my strength, the desire of perfection and emancipation. The Overman is nevertheless an interpretation of who I am aspiring to be in life, a strong and confident person that needs all of those shields in order to drive towards the greatest things.
How do you choose your materials and fabrics and how do you work with them? I am very curious when it comes to choosing materials, I try always strive to find new techniques, am very experimental and I focus on the importance of quality. Most of the fabrics I did use in my collections comes from am hidden place next to my hometown in Italy, there you can find surplus from factories which produces pert-a-porter brands but I also had the chance to be supported by Italian fashion suppliers, thanks to them I was able to work with very high quality materials such as leathers, feathers and natural fibre fabrics. Some material sources comes also from other countries, for instance last year during a design stint in the Orika mountain (Morocco) I found those beautiful mineral stones, very folkloristic though, I build up on my mind a beautiful neckless and start selecting stones, then I created a beautiful collar neckpiece made with encrusted minerals. I love using materials I found while travelling.
As a recurring homage to my tradition, my designs aspire to sculptural ideals and in the past have included self-made ceramics, but I have also branched out to explore other techniques in detail such as leather crochet, innovative knit and macramé, hand dyeing and embroidery applying self-made synthetic resin sequins.
What inspires you the most? Cultures and their unique feeling I always get when I get the chance to experienced it.
Last year I went for a design skin in Marrakesh, I literally felt in love with the atmosphere and the incredible leather craftsmanship, this is where I came up with the concept for the AW17 collection “NO ID.” which takes cultural referencing to new heights. There I have worked and collaborated with some craftsmen for the realisation of few pieces.
It’s unbelievable how I still got inspired even from my own culture I wish one day I will be able to travel the world and discover new perspective which I will translate into my work.
How does the place you live in affect your design? At the moment I’m working all over the place but luckily receive great support by few fellow artists in Italy and UK that let me work in their studio La Vie Bohème
I’m based in London and here is where things happens, exhibitions, museums, networking and possibility to collaboration are the most affective things that inspiring my design.
My collection always relates to a personal journey that transcends beyond the mundane, into a vision of the future, where art and style move to the realms of fantasy.
What’s the future of fashion according to you? Nowadays it is so important to have an unique identity as a brand and as designer and also have a strong concept but it is not enough. The importance of artisanal and craft is coming back to be more and more important , sustainability is the key for a successful brand and of course quality.
On the other hand technology will have a strong impact in term of manufacturing, 3D printing and new ways of fashion sources like recycling material are being discovered, in this way there is going to be less and less waste in fashion. #ETHICALFASHION
What’s your next project? I’m currently working on few projects at the moment. one of them will see a collaboration with a performance artist which I love but I can’t say anything yet, am very superstitious . Also I’m working on my next collection AW18 and already on the SS19 which will cover themes such as feminism, social issues, LGBT, politics, racism and sex. I truly believe fashion make statements and through wearing it you are fighting for who you are, we all should be proud of ourselves.