Vanesa, it is a great honor to be able to interview you. I have known your work for a long time. You are an amazing fashion designer, teacher, and creative director. Your legacy in Argentina continues to expand both nationally and internationally and your designs have traveled to numerous places and spaces, presenting your collections in cities such as London, Berlin, New York, Milan, Korea, and, of course, Buenos Aires. Additionally, you have been interviewed by magazines such as Ohlala, Rolling Stone, Marie Claire, Viva, among others.
D: Could you tell us a little about yourself, your background, and how you got into the fashion world?
V: I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1988, but I consider myself a bit Correntina because my dad is from there. I studied Fashion Design at the University of Palermo in Buenos Aires and graduated in 2010 as a Fashion Designer and Producer. I must say that before starting my studies, I didn't really know what being a fashion designer was all about, and it wasn't something I always dreamed of (not that style of having dressed Barbies). What I did like was music and acting. So I dreamed of being in a video clip; I just didn't know how.
I grew up in the 90s, and MTV was all I watched on TV in the afternoons after school. Well, that and Chiquititas. In 2006, I got my first job at Catalogue magazine. It was a place that fascinated me with the world of styling. I was only 18 years old at the time, and I worked there while I was studying. My initial foray into the fashion industry revolved around the realm of styling and photography. I struggled to find the clothes I wanted to wear for photo shoots, so I made the decision to create them myself.
D: One of the distinctive features of your designs is the use of fabrics with unique prints and patterns, which have become a trademark in your colelctions. Could you share with us how you select these textiles and how the process of creating the prints goes?
V: Yes, there is something about creating fabrics that I always find challenging. I started in 2012 with "Paraiso Google" and decided to incorporate google searches and photos into everything. I believe that humor and chance play a crucial role in the creative process of my textiles. They shape the mood of each collection and often lead me towards a darker, more vibrant side. It heavily relies on my mood because, even unintentionally, my collections always carry a personal touch. The approach I take in designing prints varies significantly for each project, but generally, I create digital collages. For this particular collection, I collaborated with an artist named Jess Bianchic who contributed special illustrations for the "Queen of Hearts" collection.
It's a fusion of my own prints and her artistic touch. We are exploring soft shapes and drawing inspiration from anime, as well as incorporating hand and nail prints. It's a departure from my usual approach, but I enjoy experimenting with different styles. This time, we are capturing the Japanese inspiration in its true form without any alterations.
D: Something I love about your work is the sophistication of the construction. It's like you blend this dreamlike, almost princely style, with a casual and somewhat theatrical touch. How do you feel about this description? How would you describe your own style, and what are your main sources of inspiration, both past and present?
V: Thank you for your kind words! I truly appreciate it. Yes, I love theater, and in a somewhat subconscious manner, I tend to create looks and garments that are perfect for performances. I find the blend of reality and fiction fascinating. As a result, some of the pieces I create are exclusively meant for the stage, and sometimes it's even challenging for me to envision them being used in any other context. It's always a delightful surprise when my clients find inspiration in these garments and wear them for various events such as weddings, book launches, birthdays, and more. I find it incredibly fulfilling to witness the creative transformation that occurs when the garment becomes a part of someone else's story.
I want the garment to inspire you to go out, to make you think about how to wear it, to enhance who you are, or to allow you to invent your own unique style.
The style of my collections is eclectic, daring, encompassing elements of classic and super modern aesthetics. It thrives on contrast, and the term "disruptive" has been resonating with me lately. I believe it's this concept that rescues us from the predictability of algorithms and challenges our expectations. However, there is always an element that defies those expectations, transforming it into a completely new idea or design.
D: Do you feel that your Argentine roots impact your work in any way? We'd love to know how they influence your creative process, if at all.
Yes, that's definitely true! Today, as I was riding my bike back home, I noticed an advertisement on the street and found myself pondering, "Are Argentine women solely portrayed as objects of sexual desire?" It's something that has been on my mind as well. I believe it's a characteristic of being part of Latin America. When I was a child and teenager, I struggled a lot because I didn't fit into those traditional expectations, and I never felt comfortable in that predefined role as a woman. That's why I believe my collections play with the concept of feminine beauty, exploring the idea of dressing for oneself, for fun, and to create a unique persona, rather than solely for the purpose of seducing others.
In addition to that, being in Buenos Aires has always been a great source of inspiration for me. It's a bustling metropolis, the capital of our country, yet there is still so much to be done and improved. This contrast is deeply embedded in my work—finding innovative materials, creating garments, repurposing forgotten materials, and assigning new value to them, because many things simply don't fit into conventional molds. I also consider how to market and showcase my garments, always thinking about the best way to present them.
Furthermore, as I mentioned earlier, I often travel to the north of Argentina, to Goya, where my dad lives. It provides me with the opportunity to immerse myself in a town with different customs, breathtaking rural landscapes, and a variety of shades of green. The carnival celebrations in that area are particularly enchanting. There's something truly Argentinian about that region, and I absolutely love it.
D: I would love to know more about your new collection "Ropa Presente" and how you find yourself in this moment of your life if you want to share!
V: The collection is titled "Reina de Corazones" and it's a part of the "Ropa Presente" statement. I have a deep appreciation for writing and take pleasure in giving titles to my collections and individual garments. I chose this title because each outfit is carefully crafted with attention to materiality and texture, intending to challenge the role of artificial intelligence, where everything appears digital. The concept behind the collection is to create garments that blur the lines between existence in the physical realm and being solely seen on a screen, leaving viewers uncertain about their tangible reality.
I have a keen interest in emphasizing the value of craftsmanship, so in this collection, I embarked on a new experiment with hand knitting. It was a technique I had never explored before. The outcome has been remarkable: we've been inventing our own formulas by blending different types of wools and conducting stitch tests to achieve the desired effect.
We have created haute couture dresses that are entirely hand-knitted; they exude the regal essence of queens from a deck of cards.
Additionally, we showcased a dress that mimics the appearance of paper, adding an element of surprise and intrigue to the collection.
Upon reflection, there is a significant element of playfulness woven throughout this collection. We provided a sneak peek of the collection at the Trimarchi Design Festival in Mar del Plata, where I had the privilege of being among the guest speakers. During the event, I decided to present three models to showcase the collection. One of the models surprised the audience by playing the flute during her walk, creating a truly delightful and memorable moment. It was a beautiful and unique experience.