INTERVIEW WITH THE YOUNG DESIGNER FABIO LONARDI:
I’m Fabio Lonardi, I’m a fashion designer and illustrator. Born and raised in Turin, I have been familiar with the artistic world since I was a child. After moving to Milan, I began my studies at NABA, New Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. Attracted and fascinated by the world of aesthetics, graphics and materials, I deepened my studies in the Fashion Design sector, graduating and still working in the fashion sector.
How and when did you get interested in fashion? What is your first memory related to fashion and the desire to create?
My interest in fashion was born from my childhood. I was the only boy in my family. Being surrounded only by women and girls, my vision has become more and more empathetic and linked to the increasingly feminine world. My family has always been linked to the world of design of any kind. I think my interest was mainly influenced by my maternal grandmother. Being a seamstress, she passed on to me an interest in modeling and tailoring.
My first memory related to fashion dates back to when I was 8 years old, I was helping my grandmother to mend family clothes, I pricked my finger with a needle and she herself told me: “This is the job that goes into the blood”.
How would you describe the aesthetics of your brand?
My brand itself has a totally artistic and feminine aesthetic. Each of my collections takes shape and character individually, due to a singular artistic research and not of any kind. All of my different capsules are a collection of works of art. I like to think that each of them represents my path of growth and technique, thus defining my artistic / design period. What unites my collections are certainly shapes and materials. I tend to play with them a lot, giving vent to creativity and the birth of new textures. I prefer technical materials, with which it is always interesting to experiment at the level of textile manipulation, color and printing. Great importance in my collections is given to the world of graphics and textile printing. Being a fashion illustrator, I love being able to insert different graphic prints within my collections, which are digitally and / or hand made with traditional techniques.
What was the first garment you designed?
The first garment I designed and made dates back to 2015. It was my last year of studies at the Aldo Passoni Art School in Turin, within the Fashion and Costume faculty. It was asked to individually design a dress linked to the themes of recycling, using paper as a base material. My project was related to the natural world. The sculpture dress represented the flower of the viola. I played on the name, shape, color and meaning that was attributed to the violet – La Viola del Pensiero. It was made entirely by me, formed by a structure, a white fence corset, covered with different layers of paper mache hand-painted by me.
When you work on a new collection, where do you start from?
Each of my collections is born by means of two different factors. Through an artistic current to which I am attracted at that precise moment and by myself. Up to now I have created 3 different collections, each of them uses two spheres, the graphic / artistic one and the psychological / mental one. In my first Prism capsule collection, great importance was given to Line Art and to the meaning of the line itself, of the importance that it has obtained throughout history. Together with it I did a study related to Neon Art and colors. So I decided to combine these two worlds. In the second Almost Poor capsule collection, on the other hand, I decided to tie myself to the theme of Arte Povera and different materials, studying in turn prints and graphics that could represent the same artistic current in graphic form. Regarding my most recent capsule collection (my thesis project) Codex – Twin Souls, I wanted to insert myself 100%, tying myself to my childhood and showing my twinning bond in the form of an inner and psychological graphic study, creating thus a graphic encyclopedia that made it possible to create a collection of graphic prints inserted inside a capsule of outerwear, entirely hand-printed by me.
What are your main references and where do you draw inspiration from?
My inspiration is based a lot on illustration techniques, my sketchbooks always have an evocative part that is very important to me, the drawing. For some, inspiration occurs through in-depth image research. In my case, in addition to the image, my own drawings hold great value. I always do a search for contemporary artists / illustrators. I love to blend different artistic styles and try to give shape to texture and style in my imagination, thus forming a moodboard of drawing and images that can allow me to give birth to a new collection.
Describe a typical day of yours, when you dedicate yourself to fashion.
Working in the fashion industry, my day is perpetually bombarded by the world of art and design. I’m not saying to live 100% immersed in fashion but a good 60% is linked to it. The simple motivation of always wanting to do image and artistic research in itself brings me back to this sector. In my case, dedicating myself to the fashion world is perhaps more linked to the level of inspiration than to anything else. Through the internet and the social world, nowadays all this is even more feasible.
As a designer, how would you define your role in society?
As a designer, I believe I totally detach myself from the aesthetic and artistic ideals of today’s society. Many times in the past my own bosses have been rejected or deemed too forced. They were outside the canons not only aesthetic but also in common use. In my case, as I think I have suggested, I love to combine art and fashion. The dress is not born only to be worn, it speaks for itself and tells something. As the one who decides to wear it tells it. In my case, almost always every garment becomes a sculpture. In today’s society, comfort and simplification win from the start, there is no practical time to wear a sculpture dress.
What is your motto?
One of my favorite mottos is Omnia cum tempore (Everything has its time).
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received is: Don’t focus only on something, expand your horizons.
What aspects of the fashion industry would you like to change?
The fashion industry for years now has been working through seasonal collection and consumerism plans. If collections were limited annually perhaps, more importance would be given to each individual collection. Each garment has a well-founded studio behind it, both in terms of modeling and craftsmanship. Perhaps we should re-evaluate the importance of the work behind an entire collection and its subsequent timing of consumerism.
What’s in the future of your brand?
For the future of my brand I see a great desire to learn and experiment. Currently I should still continue my studies, which will surely help me in the future to deepen aspects that I have certainly not yet addressed within my small brand. Certainly fundamental parts will remain the pictorial and graphic art, which still continue to inspire me to this day.