From an early age they begin to ask us what we want to do when we grow up. Astronauts, chemists, philosophers, fashion designers … Not all of us have clear ideas. Indeed, they often change over time, they vary with us. Sometimes it is the same life, it is the choices we make that lead us to a profession, in that direction. Or not, we have already sewn our future on ourselves. We carry it in until it comes out, it becomes present. “As a child I already had an innate passion for fashion. I emptied my mom’s closet and imagined I had my own shop. “ With the words of the fashion designer Ambra Castello our first Talk about begins, a very special interview, which sees as protagonists, together with her, Chiara Quatrale, founder of the eponymous jewelry brand, and Chiara D’Ascanio creator with Francesca Lucentini of Dalu Creative Lab, a brand of bags obviously made in Italy.
The roles are confused in the name of a free confrontation. A meeting made of reflections and stories that put the profession of fashion designer at the center of the speech, of Talk about. A job that often coincides with a lifestyle, which becomes the same life. That is made of constancy, perseverance, predisposition to risk. Creative or entrepreneurs? Both, creative entrepreneurs. Because having a brand is challenging, it is doing a business.
Like Ambra, Chiara D’Ascanio also reveals to us “fashion has been with me since childhood, I had fun dressing up my brother for my imagined fashion shows. And then I grew up and chose the Academy; I felt the need to sew, to touch the fabrics, to train manual skills up to the trip to Spain and my love for theatrical costumes “.
But each story is unique, it is in its own way, just like that of Chiara Quatrale: “This work found me and I was able to welcome it, it arrived at the moment when I was ready to face it and to carry it forward. I always liked to observe but not as a protagonist, rather out of the choir. I love to do research; creating is a form of very strong expressiveness that allows me to tell my imagination. “
Between similar and different aspects, between ways of being more or less different, the conversation takes an increasingly interesting, ever more intimate turn. The ice has now broken, the distance canceled.
Creativity is something complex. Sometimes almost dangerous. It is the freedom to express yourself in full, it is a fuse that keeps us alive, but that never goes out. It is a ferment, continuous. What relationship do you have with creativity? And how do you manage to live with your work as a fashion designer?
Ambra Castello: “The activity takes all my day, all my days. Monday, Tuesday, Sunday… they are the same thing. As soon as I wake up, my thoughts are already there, fixed on my project and on my clothing brand. If I want to disconnect, I have to impose it but in the end the mind always comes back. I often have many ideas and managing them is important because I have to take care of everything, priorities are necessary “.
Chiara Quatrale: “I have a conflictual relationship with almost urgent creativity; she saved me and I am grateful to her. It gives me the opportunity to express myself and above all to research. It is explosive, it always looks up: until I see and feel that the shape is perfect I do not give peace, I investigate a lot but I also learned to give myself some limits. Creativity must meet synthesis at some point, otherwise you risk being dispersed, having excellent ideas without focusing them. It’s a difficult exercise.”
Chiara D’Ascanio: “I’m not alone, it’s easier for me. We are two and Francesca is my opposite. As a couple we managed to find our synthesis, our balance. The creative process is a process: it is long, needs to be elaborated and needs to be summarized “.
We are the daughters of a generation that has increased the pace of its steps, to become a marathon runner. Do you challenge or keep time? Make crafts that need a lot of time. We wait for a famous phone all year round but few are prepared to do the same for a dress, a bag, an accessory or a jewel …
Ambra Castello: “The time and constancy that I have dedicated to my project, to my research, to the processing that I use for my creations is what made me choose to launch my own brand. I believe that after this lockdown, there will be a partial or radical change: a return to the least, but better. We will give importance to what we buy. To date we have been shocked by a high price, wary and wondering why, but nobody has ever done the reverse reasoning, wondering why a product costs so little.”
Chiara Quatrale: “The attitude towards time is destined to change. The time that we necessarily have today has led us to reflect and will make us reflect. The things we create tell stories, they must make sense, they must mature. A great quality is always accompanied by a great care but also by doubts, we must make a difference. I had the time to question some aspects, to understand what I want to tell. Before, they felt us in this crazy vortex, of continuous urgency, of always being on the piece … time for me is thought. And there is a need to think more, to create something authentic. Fast fruition brings with it not very spontaneous attitudes. I chose not to follow the canonical rhythms imposed by fashion and seasonality but to add content to my container .”
Chiara D’Ascanio: “An artisan creation that needs time. Long time. And time is luxury. What we do is a luxury. I think people will soon understand this, they will come to perceive this added value.”
What task never fails in your life as a fashion designer?
Ambra Castello: “In addition to creating, I have to carry out all the brand’s business activities. So there is never a daily and constant check of email and scheduling of activities. During the day things change, some urgencies and priorities also. It is necessary to organize things well, management is important ”.
Chiara Quatrale: “Enriching my portfolio of images daily with everything that conveys a feeling to me, conveys something: I find it, let it settle and then … it usually comes back”.
Chiara D’Ascanio: “Embroidery, the continuous contact of sensory research beyond the visual one. A gesture that must be repeated, always trained.”
Talent never goes out of style. As a young fashion designer what message do you want to send, to get readers?
Ambra Castello: “Pay more attention. Spend more time on a product as if it were a person, just when you know a person. It is always wrong to stop on the surface, it is necessary to understand before judging. The same is true when you come across a product, we have to go to the bottom. And choosing fashion not as a form of approval but rather of differentiation: I buy a product, I pay more but only I have it.”
Chiara D’Ascanio: “I would like to convey to the consumer the work and culture behind the product. The needle, the thread, the calluses that never leave us. All the care we devote to the bora in our case, to all handmade embroidery. I believe, however, that a countertrend is developing, a sensitivity above all as regards the issue of sustainability “.
Chiara Quatrale: “We had the opportunity to understand what we like and don’t like; we stayed face to face with ourselves and we did the math. I believe there will be a strong need for identity, to feel unique and represented. We start from what we are, from color, from creation, from what we choose for ourselves. From the desire to differentiate by interiority and not by fashion, trend “.
A first Talk about that makes you think. Professionals, voices, creatives, entrepreneurs, fashion designers. People who make fashion fashion.