Interview with Mario Costantino Triolo | an all-round stylist

on September 14, 2019 by Giulia Fucile Leave your thoughts
Ritratto Mario Costantino Triolo

In the eyes of the future, in the hands of antique Arts and traditions of the past: Mario Costantino Triolo tells us everything in an exclusive interview. A designer, a tailor, a creator that knows that fashion does it!

As we all know, a story must always be told from the beginning. What was yours, your start to the fashion world? “I’ll never get tired of, nor ever stop saying it! My beginning was my family and above all, my Grandma. We started to create costumes together for events and themed parties for a famous disco club, and she always insisted and taught me that before you’re able to design a garment, you must have the basic knowledge to be able to realise it. I made her suffer because I thought I could challenge the force of gravity by just touching a piece of textile, but rather…it wasn’t really like that: complex constructions require complex study, modelling, cutting, splints and so much more. After that first experience, I worked in fashion companies between Carpi and Bologna; I’d never produced and elaborated a prototype, it turned out to be a difficult and complex process, but my tenacity, my stubbornness, my curiosity and continuous longing to involve myself in the game brought me to overcome the obstacles that presented themselves…I was there!”

Your clothes are real and true creations, alive with style, Art and craftsmanship. Which aspect and phase of your work do you like the most? “To not have limits! The market unfortunately presents many which makes it very difficult. I always try to find the right compromise between wearability and idea, between wearability and madness. I don’t always succeed and that is the worst detriment for any creative because you understand that you’re not truly free. A painter encloses himself in this studio, he’s alone in confrontation with his canvas; creating a piece of clothing is completely different to that, it’s the exact opposite! There are so many, so many people who work in the field, so many hands, so much competence…at least for me as I’m occupied with all the creative processes, from first sketch to the final manufacture, keeping the entire production line under control.”

Do you remember your first creation? And the emotion you felt in that moment?Yes, of course. I started by dressing my friend Gaia: for me she is a goddess, a source of inspiration since forever, a visionary projected according to the times. Still today she keeps me in line regarding certain things, you could say she’s a kind of mentor to me. Anyway, I produced for her a peplum entirely draped by hand, although made pretty badly I’ll admit: it was inspired by my hero who at that time was John Galliano, then becoming Alexander McQueen. They were the good and the bad, I loved them both.”

What makes a garment or accessory truly exclusive, in your opinion?“The research, the link to Art, to history…I’d say that when it has something to say, it will say it. Today with the invasion of improbable personalities who generate collections, it may seem like the “story” doesn’t interest anyone anymore but actually, it’s right there where the “magic” and exclusiveness are hidden. The designers that know it, who cut and sew, have been put aside…but the moment will return, actually it’s already coming!”

For you, elegance is… “Something innate. A dress for me is an armour that makes women feel strong, secure, even in their imperfection; hence elegance is about how to wear, it’s how to use that armour.”

Knowledge, expertise, know-how (and how to do well!): what do you want to communicate through your Art that’s so strong and tangible in the objects you realise? “Lately I’ve had a lot to do with young people who had just left school: they worked for me as assistants, and let me be clear that I have nothing against schools! However I think it would be favourable to understand well what their focus was: making fashion means many things, and many youngsters are attracted to the styling aspect, but then realise that it’s not for them and this made me reflect. My Grandma was right: you need to “know how” first, accustom yourself to the tools and then create. So craftsmanship is definitely one of my prerogatives and the mix between history and Art is another: I love to “mix the cards”, extend my competence and my experience day after day.”

What absolutely can’t be missed out in a Mario Costantino Triolo creation? “Definitely love and passion!”

Today the bond with home territory is very important for many designers: how and how much do your roots and your origins influence and have presence in the things you create? ““So much! My heart is Calabrese, my stubbornness is Calabrese. Calabria is a magic place, too underrated whereas it actually has a huge potential in terms of workforces, from which I already have had immediate tangible effects. Some years ago I created some truly exclusive garments embroidered by hand, which got noticed immediately by the way I was able to render contemporary elements extrapolated from antique methods.”

Your clothes bring us back to tailoring, to the beauty and substance of unique creations, in contrast with the voracity of homologous “cooked and eaten” mass fashion. How can new makers insert themselves into the fashion world today without suffocating by the competition of multinational or large brands? “In these years, in certain situations, I have felt deceived and exploited; now I’d like to elaborate new approaches. I reiterate that unicity of persona is crucial in producing unique projects and clothes: in my opinion this is the key and obviously also being a serious person who believes in their potential without ever setting limits. The “cooked and eaten” fashion doesn’t interest me, I find it “ridiculous and useless” not in stylistic terms but as a concept and for sustainability. What sense does it have to open a wardrobe and find 1000 garments inside that are all anonymous and devoid of spirit? A well-made garment, even after being closed in a wardrobe, will be able to speak simply hanging from its hanger.”

We’re curious…are there any projects in the works or for the future that you could fill us in on? “Other than collaborations, with a friend I’m developing two new important projects (that have been long-time dreams): the first will see me working on the creation of two new exclusive “Mario Costantino Triolo” lines; the second project, very ambitious and linked to the first, will be looking at training. That’s enough, I’ve already said too much!!”

Photo credit Sosud

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