This is a series of portraits I've just completed for the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, which is Italian for the National Institute of Italian Fashion. All of the illustrations were seen alongside interviews published online on the Camera Moda website.
"The Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (The National Chamber for Italian Fashion) is the non profit making Association which disciplines, co-ordinates and promotes the development of Italian Fashion.
The Association represents all the highest cultural values of Italian Fashion. It aims to protect, co-ordinate and strengthen its image, both in Italy and abroad."
The portraits include: Alessandro Dell'Acqua, Andrea Panconesi, Andrea Pompilio, Angela Missoni, Angelo Flaccavento, Beppe Angiolini, Dean and Dan Caten, Fabiana Giacomotti, Gabriele Verratti, Lavinia Biagiotti, Renata Molho, Renzo Rosso, Simone Marchetti, Stefano Beraldo and Tomaso Trussardi.
They are all hand drawn in pencil and ink, with digital colour added. Scroll down to see some of the portraits in more detail, and find out more about the process.
DEAN & DAN CATEN
Interview from Camera Moda with Dean and Dan Caten, of Dsquared:
"A mix of formal and streetwear that’s winning over the younger generation. Headquarters in Via Ceresio with a new top floor panoramic restaurant. For twins Dean and Dan Caten, designers of DSquared2, fashion is the reflection of a cosmopolitan spirit, a melting pot of knowledge and creativity transcending boundaries. Just like them: born in Canada, living in London, made in Italy. Just a few hours before their runway show tomorrow at 9.30 am, we interviewed them exclusively for our website."
What is a fashion designer today? Your personal definition.
A fashion designer is a person who knows how to keep ahead of the trends, who can see the signs and knows in advance what will be cool in a few months. Today, being a fashion designer means so many things, even knowing how to have fun with styling.
Working as a duo and consolidating a creative vision. Do you ever disagree? How do you split up your roles?
We are more than a duo: we are identical twins and this definitely helps us in our professional life. The creative process is never interrupted. Sometimes we disagree but when something doesn’t convince either of us, we prefer to find an alternative solution.
Of the social networks, which one do you think has the most potential for growth?
We’re very active on social networks, we have a Facebook profile and we are constantly tweeting. Our fans like to follow us even in our private lives. Out of the social media, maybe the one with the most potential for growth at the moment is Instagram because it communicates through images. It’s a similar language to ours and is easy and immediate.
Ceresio 7 looks out over the skyscrapers of new Milan. In the geography of the city, which areas are the most interesting at the moment?
One of the most interesting areas now is definitely Porta Nuova. The buildings of new Milan have changed the skyline of the city making it more interesting. With the restoration of the former Enel building and the opening of Ceresio 7, we also feel that we have contributed to the revival of this area rich in history and tradition.
What would you like to see in the future of fashion, and Italian fashion?
We expect to see a great deal, especially from the younger generation. To our youngest contributors, we always say: The sky’s the limit! Believe in your dreams and you will achieve them.
"Patchwork and colour patterns, ethnic designs e art-déco abstract features. All so beautiful that they end up in the permanent collection at the MoMA in New York. Missoni knitwear is a style known and used as a reference worldwide. And Angela who's been the brand's creative director since 1996, captured its legacy with passion and innovative talent."
Genuine beauty interprets the spirit of the time. Is this a definition that you share?
The formal, aesthetic concept of silent beauty in accordance with the spirit of the time. I do not think therefore that that’s beauty instead, I rather see it as a quality that is intrinsically linked to the essence of being, to its own spirit, intelligence and personality. Real beauty therefore goes beyond ages, while beauty associated with the outward appearance or the exterior can have a reference to time.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Inspiration is simply unpredictable: it is an experience or a memory that come back, a film, a photograph or a work of art, an image, a sound or a shade, a trip or a vista. It is a chain of suggestions, an unpredictable re-design of creative imagination and / or unusual approach of what is known. The mosaic of images that make up the board of a fashion designer mirrors his or her mental process after all, the process of his or her associations is often not linear.
Major brands have signed collections for important low-cost chains. How do you view these partnerships?
Positive as they confer emphasis to the brand; I think they are excellent means of communication and transmission of fashion.
Being a woman in a business world. Are there still stereotypes and challenges?
Stereotypes sadly persist and there are still many challenges to face, but women seem determined and project themselves into the future and of course, especially over the last forty years, have stated their talent and consolidated their power in the business world. I believe, however, that nothing must be taken for granted so better information is crucial to raise awareness. It is still desirable that new laws are made and enforced to protect women’s rights in life and at work.
What would you like to see in the future of fashion, and Italian fashion in particular?
Cohesion, a community of intent, complicity. More space to the ideas and initiatives put forward by the new generations. More initiatives and structures that make the interaction, consultation, study of the fashion world possible; we need a much more complex and detailed system than what you one imagines from the outside, which should share andbequeath the younger with a wealth of experience and expertise.