INTERVIEW WITH THE DESIGNER CRISTINA CUCINOTTA:
When did you become interested in fashion?
The allegorical language intrigues me and I appreciate the reality described with a critical and ambiguous eye, therefore after completing my studies in Graphic Art, admiring the visionary works of Bosch, Dürer and the aesthetics of Jodorowsky, I understood that the way to follow it was in some ways different from what I had undertaken. I continued my creative journey at the Academy of Fine Arts and over time I was able to find my identity through the language of fashion.
Is there, or has there been, someone or something that has influenced your work?
As a child I drew Madonnas with the appearance of my mother, eccentric, very blond and rich in details. I think this was the first step towards fashion. It was a way to keep two people linked despite their conflicting relationship, my grandmother and my mother, very important figures for me and who have influenced my life, but in constant contrast, the sacred and the profane.
What is your starting point when working on a new collection?
I have always felt the deep sense of a lack that only art and fashion can fill. I think of a new collection when my sense of frustration becomes so strong that I have to somehow alleviate it with creations, which take on a cathartic sense. It is like a story that starts from the labyrinth of memory and drawing from memories, transforms and re-elaborates them in a positive sense.
How would you define your aesthetic?
My work is based on the investigation of human sentiment and on the meditation of distant elements, through a primordial representation. In my collections there is a pop – gypsy mood, I like to show an intimate aspect. When I think of a leader, I think I want to raise a hymn to life in constant connection with the past. Every time it is as if it were Sunday: the sound of the bells, in a hill road, at the intersection in front of the icon almost faded by the sun, there are fresh flowers, I look at it and with the most beautiful dress I head towards the descent . Suddenly everything becomes like an Eden, in which everything remains suspended, intact, the past becomes present in the middle of a load of colors. The abstraction of martyrdom, understood as torment, but also as the fragility of the human soul, is inserted in this context, conceived to jump over opposites in the continuous search for good as the final goal of our existence: error and possibility, good and evil, closure and opening, rebirth.
How are your ideas born?
My work is continually influenced by everything that gives me a sense of reflection, by what can enrich the human aspect, by genuineness, by truth. For me it is a sensory journey that develops through color and above all thanks to those elements that refer me to a moment of extreme purity; go back in time looking at the same scene once again, but with different and aware eyes, perhaps without naivety and with the certainty of being able to show themselves without hesitation.
Are there recurring features within the collections?
In my aesthetics the concept of emptiness is repeated, of the lack of distant times, of things that change over time, of people who give us and then take something away from us. There is a way of representing things clearly, a lost paradise where everything is pure and colorful, the vision of my reality, which allows me to change shapes and colors.
What do you think of the fashion world today?
The world of fashion goes so fast that sometimes the real perception of things is lost, the human aspect is lost. I love genuineness and maybe this is why I often don’t appreciate the representation of a distorted reality.
What do you think is the future of fashion?
We live in uncertainties, but positivity must remain solid at the basis of everything: thoughts, projects. Currently things are not at all simple, but an innovative language has nevertheless been found to present the collections, based above all on ethical and environmental sustainability. Digital is a fundamental medium in every phase of the design up to its presentation. This sort of slowdown is helping us to better understand the future of fashion, to better evaluate our choices and to take into consideration aspects that did not seem important before. Moreover, what does not kill us strengthens us.
What do you think of the Italian sartorial tradition?
I feel a great nostalgia for those who were able to invent something that did not exist before. The Designer was once above all a tailor and has managed to transform fashion into a system. Italy is known in the fashion world for its refined style, attention to detail and innovation, which have given life to products that last beyond fashions and trends. In this precise historical moment, the pandemic is helping us to reflect well on what is not lost, looking back and trying to bring back the vision of those who made history before us.
Do you have any plans for the future?
Keep doing, creating and above all not stopping, even when things seem to be going in the wrong direction. The main project in life is to stay true to yourself.