INTERVIEW WITH THE YOUNG DESIGNER MANUEL VENDITTO:
I was born between the sea and the sun of the beautiful Naples. Soon I will finish my studies at NABA (New Academy of Fine Arts), an academy that has given me many theoretical and practical acquisitions to be able to develop my garments to the best of today.
I like to call myself progettista di moda because my role is to always come up with new ideas and then realize them. I am attracted to everything related to the fashion world, I like to know my work in all its facets, there are a thousand ways to communicate through fashion and I try to exploit all my potential to be able to always succeed in the best possible way.
How and when did you get interested in fashion? What is your first memory related to fashion and the desire to create?
I would start by saying that there was no real specific moment in which I became interested in fashion, rather an instinctive process limited to an indefinite time. It was instinct that led me to visualize ideas, shapes, colors which then became the first sketches. Now smiling, I remember that the first drawings I created them thinking of dressing Lady Gaga, and here with hindsight my tendency towards the costume, the scene and the dream that today I define Couture was born.
Couture compared to prêt-a-porter is the perfect metaphor for a dream, in which there are no compromises, limits and above all question marks. It is the chance to live the fairytale.
How would you describe the aesthetics of your brand?
Aesthetics is certainly the main element of my philosophy; I define myself as an esthete because I believe it is important to be able to recognize beauty and I have always been fascinated by the multiple forms of nature, by that mostly objective and perfect beauty. Just think of the flowers and their colors, shapes or details that leave you amazed. This is exactly what I try to bring back to my clothes, the amazement of beauty assisted by an almost tangible soul.
Another important element for me is surely the dream, which is always present in my creations, through the colors and fabrics; one of my favorite fabrics is in fact velvet, the “magic” fabric par excellence. My last two creations were created with this material and the inspiration was precisely magic, the gods linked to the moon, the one who inspires my ideas to the maximum. So I would definitely define my aesthetic as “dreamy and magical“.
What was the first garment you designed?
The first important piece of clothing I designed and then made was an Egyptian cotton dress inspired by “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”; I remember very well the excitement and high expectations of wanting to see it finished and I also remember crying when the work was finished. It wasn’t easy, it was my first dress and I probably had to focus more on the method and knowledge of how to make a dress, rather than making something complex for a neophyte. In truth, in complicating my life a little, it was nice to rely on the stars in the search for any valid solution to transpose my plan into reality. Obviously, all this was also possible thanks to the help of competent friends, ready to help me without discouraging my ambitions; at the end of that story, however, I managed to hold my dress in my hands just as I had imagined …
When you work on a new project, where do you start from?
My biggest sources of inspiration, in which I always take refuge when I need to start a new project, have always been two: reading and photography. I have always found in them the answers to be able to start creating, and I have a truly extraordinary relationship with photography; I really photograph everything in my life, the memories and images imprinted or sought after are the fuel for each of my new starting points. I also love reading a lot because in books the imagination is less defined and becomes more personal, reading allows you to imagine a story and dress it up with your own personal aesthetic standards.
I admit that lately I’ve been getting very close to the world of cinema, which has given me emotions previously unknown to me, which have also moved the beginning of my next project. I want to underline that each of my new projects is always accompanied by a musical track that accompanies me throughout the journey, music really helps me a lot to shut myself up in my world and then start drawing.
Tell us about your new capsule. What are your main references and where do you draw inspiration from?
My new capsule collection, which I plan to show in September, is something very important and personal to me. It is the first to turn to the male world and I honestly did not think I would ever design a collection also dedicated to men … and instead, here I am to tell you about this project! It will be a man / woman poetic tale influenced by multiple themes with the ability to love and fall in love unconditionally as inspiration at the base. I started with films that reinterpreted mythological themes in a contemporary key (Greek myths like Apollo and Hyacinth and Cupid and Psyche) and directors who were the first to touch the concept of freedom of love. There are therefore strong references to the classical world, from the Greek gods to poets such as Sappho and Leopardi.
Regarding the design, it is a capsule outlined by ethereal colors and close to the divine world, or at least how I imagine it; the main colors will be white, gold and silver. In addition to my capsule I am also working on many other projects in sharing with other creatives, I strongly believe in shared creativity and I think that in 2021 it is important for me to work on my strengths, leaving me free to delegate other aspects of the creative process to a team .
Through the union of talents solid and perfect castles are built, alone I don’t know if I can say the same thing … creativity is sharing.
The past will leave what it has the duty to leave, but it is also its duty to be looming and hungry, as long as you continue to feed it of course. Sooner or later we will stop having the presumption of being able to understand everything a priori and to be able to define every grain, the immense who knows will come to make us understand it or not make us understand anything.
Describe your typical day, when you dedicate yourself to fashion.
My fashion is what I live so in reality it is always alive. My dreams begin by living, meeting new people and realities. I think this life is the right metaphor for wonderland, bizarre things happen all the time and even the dark moments are fundamental to draw new forces that gradually translate into fashion, my fashion. I thank all the people I have loved and whom I love, who are and are no longer there, but above all I thank those who gave me the “chance” to collapse and discover the indestructible strength of my dreams when I got up.
As a designer, how would you define your role in society?
Fashion can really do a lot, it’s a political act. I feel a bit like the John Lennon and Yoko Ono of 2021, I always try to share and create something that can make us reflect and give the ability to never stop dreaming, whatever our age. Fashion is my megaphone on this company, through which I express myself and share my ideas. Personally, I find that nowadays we should overcome the outdated vision of the fashion designer as an out-of-the-box artist and wanting to start a journey in the world of fashion, really try to understand what it means to be a designer in today’s world.
What is your motto?
“Velle est Posse”: Where there’s a will there’s a way.
What aspects of the fashion industry would you like to change?
Surely the speed of producing in a hurry, many brands have lost their soul, even aesthetic, in order to produce and sell without limits.
What’s in the future of your brand?
Once they told me; waiting increases pleasure … I wait without wanting to see the future. The best things come when you least expect it, a cliché but always truthful …