Saturday, 24 March 2012

the Pretiosa

Well, living in Florence for more that a year makes me realize more and more how proud the fiorentini  are for their rich leather technicians heritage. The leather goods of all the major brands are produced here. "The Row" a pure-american-marketed-brand,even though produced in New York factories, have their handbags produced in Italy but this is not the only example.

More than three are the famous leather bespoke shoe makers here in Florence(among them Roberto Ugolini mentioned in my last post) and if you happen to walk by their stores, you will see them create shoes and bags with their own hands every single day.

So when I read about "La Pretiosa" bag, I thought that if I wasn't living here maybe I wouldn't appreciate this bag as much as I do now. It is a special edition, 100% handmade (only created in 99 pieces) and it is based in Leonardo Da Vinci's Atlantic Codex (yes apparently he designed fashion items as well). The bag is created by the Florence-based Gherardini brand and what is even more impressive is the fact that Lisa Gherardini is said to have been Leonardo's inspiration as the famous model for the "Mona Lisa". She was living in Florence's San Lorenzo area, only steps away from the leather markets.

click here to see how "La Pretiosa" was crafted and visit the Gherardini site for more info about the bag.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Alan Buanne Q&A

I met Alan almost a year ago as we practically lived next to each other. Well the fact that we both studied at Polimoda made it all easier to know each other better.

This interview was nothing but easy for me as we spent hours and hours discussing his first collection. I was there during the creation and editing of his book and even though now we live in different cities, we still find time to discuss our fashion careers ( the making). So, this interview is my way to introduce you to his work as I was lucky enough to have as a neighbor one of the most talented shoe designers of polimoda.

1. Alan, you are quite international. Born in Australia then moved to Italy, Dubai and now London. How has all these years of experience in different job positions have formed your professional personality? 

 The benefit of being able to experience different parts of the world has allowed me to develop an innovative approach to my work and philosophy. For example, it now makes more sense for me to design collections for multiple seasons and break the traditional rules of sticking to Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer. Half of the world is never in the same Hemisphere and is always in the oposite season, this gives me a chance to think for the modern day man and woman - the kind who wakes up in the morning in Sydney and is working later that night in LA. 2. Why a shoe designer? I love the world of shoes - maybe it's in my DNA, as I am the third generation of shoemakers now or maybe it's just because I choose to. There are many things i like about my work but far from any end result, I seem to be at my best when I am creating shoes.
3. While in Florence you interned at Roberto Ugolini's - a very well known bespoke shoe maker- where you created shoes with your own hands. Do you believe that bespoke is the future or is it just another trend? 

I have to say nothing tops the experience working alongside Roberto Ugolini and being able to make my own shoes. The world is developing so quickly, and as mass luxury brands saturate the market, the interest in artisans and new luxury products are offering a refreshing option to customers and it's an incredibly exciting time to be part of that recognition. It might be a cycle, a come and go thing but what people are simply appreciating is the real value and craftsmanship from a pair of well fitting handcrafted shoes.

4. What are you working on now and what are your plans about the future? 

At the moment I am in London Interning at Nicholas Kirkwood, so I am learning in a really great environment and experiencing a new way of working. 2012 will be the start of building my professional career,vehicular is a very exciting and adventurous stage to be at in a career - anything can happen. For the time being, however, I am concentrating on what is here and now in front of me and taking on the challenge of the new city.

all pictures courtesy of Alan Buanne


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fashion lover but most of all style seeker