Interview with Meo Fusciuni

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Who is Meo Fusciuni? A perfume magician, I might say. A herbist, which understands human emotions. A bold character, which pours olfactory memories into a bottle of fragrance. And, guess what – he’s starring in our May interview. So take a sit and feel chilled out while reading this beautifully poetic post…

What inspires you most while creating new perfumes?
“Our collection tells our life, our travels, our poetry and all that life hides every day. At this time, after creating the trilogy of travel and the cycle of poetry, I am facing the triptych of mysticism and therefore after Narcotico follow two other works inspired by the mystical human and beyond. At first I decide only the theme of each project, but then it is the case, the life and the dream to dictate my path and construction of each olfactory scent, it is important to continue to seek, in yourself and in the journey, both in the physical and spiritual world; to create and think of a new scent is the delicate moment for me, where my sensitivity to each event is very strong, are very intense moments of listening, about the smells and the emotions I feel. Passed this stage very poetic, Federica and I begin to translate this work in material and images, to tell the world about the new job.”

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How do you pour in different memories and moments of your life into a bottle of perfume?
“It is a process that at the beginning of my journey I did not know , but after has become a natural process, now, all times in my life, I try first of all to recall a perfume, a smell. I’m not a classic “nose”, I am a chemist and herbalist doctor, with a very strong passion for anthropology and aromatherapy, the plants was for me only therapy for the body and man’s mind, but today has become a conduit for the dream. So what was very strange for me has become normal, enclose memory life in a brown bottle of perfume. I’m just at the beginning of my journey and I still have so many things and secrets to discover in my work, in life I love research, always.”

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Do you agree that the language of smell is one of the strongest of all?
“I agree with you. Unfortunately, the sense of smell is the least developed sense in humans, but I think it is the most mysterious. The olfactory memory belongs to everyone and it is wonderful to think that the same perfume can cause a person a nice way and another a negative feeling, the path of our memory is closely related to the smell and the sense of smell, about this we work together  the University of Psychology of Bologna about this a very interesting project, telling the connection between smell and memory, between scent and our whole life, as a room full of pictures.”

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As a “perfume magician” and professional herbist, do you think that a specific smell can be an aphrodisiac?
I never thought of creating an aphrodisiac perfume and ever I decided to create fragrances for men or women, all our work is oriented without sex. I think the sensuality of a perfume I belong to the person wearing it, but if I have to give a name in my collection is Notturno, because his metamorphosis on the skin is very sensual and mysterious.

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Can you tell us a bit more about your latest best-seller, Narcotico?
Narcotic is the first chapter in the cycle of mysticism, is a much important because it marks my transition to the use of raw materials very strong. It’s a very emotional work, tells about our connection with the sacred and the memory of the emotion most intimate of each of us. Born in the streets and in the churches of Palermo, it’s a physical and mental journey through holy places and transfigured the smell, of the human soul. A scent full of meaning, a scent that becomes ritual and in its evolution smell is very mysterious and should be listened quietly, leaving him speak…

Meo Fusciuni are available at Concept 21 Store.

Interview with Brandon Stanciell

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Brandon Stanciell photographs women and men, using nature as the main props. For Design & Culture by Ed‘s April issue, we’ve caught up with him – here is the interview you don’t want to miss!

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You’re calling your self “The Man Who Loved Flowers”. Is there anything behind your enchanting title?

Maybe it’s not too enchanting, haha. The name is inspired by a short story by Stephen King titled, “The Man Who Loved Flowers” I like to believe that my camera is the hammer the uses and the women whom I shoot photos of are “Norma” it’s kind of weird. I also refer to the women as being the actual flowers in my work. I love flowers. Theres a more deeper meaning to it I guess.

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 I guess it’s have to be this day,(April 28th 2014 to be exact haha)
when I shot photos of Agne. That was the day It kinda all started. It kind of started on accident to be honest. We went to the poppy fields to take photos, it was so windy and cloudy we didn’t think they’d come out good. Got home, uploaded the photos to the computer and fell in love.

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What do you usually want to convey to the viewer of your photographs?

When viewers see my work I want them to see more than just a photo. I want them to look at every detail. Try to feel or smell the flowers. Not  just “a model with flowers”, but a painted portrait of flowers ya know.

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I discovered your work thanks to “Thinker of Exquisite Thoughts” on Instagram. This work tells us so much. How can you describe it?

– It’s the beginning of a new series I’ve been working on. Its a reference to Shel Silverstein’s “The Thinker Of Tender Thoughts”  , staying true to oneself when face to face with society. It’s also a self-presentation of how my thoughts/art work start off for the love of flowers “Thinker of Tender Thoughts” then grows into something more beautiful more interesting, as I start to understand the love of flowers “Thinker of Exquisite Thoughts”. SPOILER ALERT: There will be a part three, possible 4 so watch out for that…

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Your photographs are characterised with diverse, beautiful casting of models – is it also connected to your vision?

Yeah I’d like to think so. Most the “models” I work with are friends or coworkers (I use to work at American Apparel) people I see often, that have something about them I just couldn’t shake, so I had to photograph them. They’re all a huge help and I appreciate them for dealing with how weird I work, walking around in neighborhoods and shooting In someone’s front yard, shooting in front of apartment complexes. We do a lot of walking so it’s a workout too haha.

More on http://www.valleyhoodlum.us

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Interview with Gabriela Coll

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Gabriela Coll Garments focuses on the way of dressing and the value of garments, while working through series. Each series is the result of concrete imagery, they do not follow any season or have a fixed number of pieces, and are always permanent – their accessories, bags, shoes and clothes are hand-made. In their Serie 1, which is composed of 15 garments, the calm, beige colour dominates. Plus, the garments are really one-of-a-kind… and since it’s the beginning of March, I would like to present you an interview with Gabriela herself.

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How the brand of Gabriela Coll Garments appeared?
It was just about making the decision; I’ve been always involved in different projects, so it was quite organic to bring it all together in Gabriela Coll Garments. My education was in fine arts, and there was a moment when I applied all those processes to Gabriela Coll.

 What is your favourite material which you oftently use in your designs?
The nobility of the materials is one of the aspects that relate all pieces in Serie No.1. Of course, nobility can be understood in different ways, for me it’s about where and how they are made, how they look, how you work with them, their properties, how they evolve through time…The materials I actually work with most are natural leather and cotton, which I use for developing the pieces while I do prototypes. These plain materials relate more with the stage of seeking that might be even more interesting than finding. Lacquering them is also about keeping that presence of not defined, it has to do with the attractive part of prototypes more than with finished pieces.

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I love the form of your bags and shoes – what inspires you while designing the accessories?
I design each piece separately, I don’t work with a concrete influence or theme, the pieces are the reflection of my imaginary.
One of the aspects I focus on while developing the accesories, are the very basics: how you sew things and how the pieces are constructed. I want the pieces to be easy to understand. The Babouche, for instance, is made without a shoe last, thus, the making is essential, or in the Long bag you can easily understand how both pieces of leather work together, I think this makes them appealing.

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How could you describe the Gabriela Coll woman?
For me this doesn’t exist. I do garments; even though of course I believe in garments as part of the construction of oneself. In this regard I like how the architect Sáenz de Oiza compared architecture with people in an interview. According to him, architecture, just like people, is defined by its structure, but also by the decorum. I consider clothes part of this decorum. This is very important because decorum is the scenery one can build to appear in front of the world.

Any big projects for this year?
Working on the second series, which I’m really looking forward to.

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More on gabrielacoll.com

Interview with Tina Burgos

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For February, Tina Burgos is the person that inspires me. She’s the owner of Covet + Lou, a place and e-shop in Boston, where curated objects meet lables like Rodebjer and vintage Dries Van Noten. So, here is a very special interview for you…

How did the idea of Covet + Lou appeared?
I’ve always had a career in fashion. For 10 years I co-owned a small boutique, called Stel’s, in Boston. For various reasons, including the birth of my twins, we closed the shop.  Still desiring to own a retail shop while having more flexibility to spend time with my family I developed the concept for Covet + Lou.

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What inspires you most while you choose and curate the items in your store?
Most of the buying decisions I make are based on my own personal aesthetic.  I am trying to maintain a carefully curated selection while expressing the Covet + Lou lifestyle.  Much of what I stock in the shop represents items I myself would wear and put in my home.

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Covet + Lou is supplied with very eponymous, silent labels – Kapital, Ace & Jig, Gabriela Atigas are just to name few. Was it hard to find these niche, but bold labels when you started?
I’ve always been a champion of independent, under-the-radar designers.  In many ways, this is the creative talent that keeps the fashion industry interesting and moving forward.  Over the years, Stel’s fostered and developed many of these collections.  So I relied on my past relationships to land these brands for Covet + Lou.

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I love your VINTAGE category – where do you find these treasures?
Even though it takes so much work, this is my favorite category!  It’s amazing to me what people deem as trash. I diligently hunt thrift stores, estate sales, antique malls and flea markets for my pieces.  There is a wealth of mid-century product in the Midwestern states and more traditional, colonial items in the New England area.  At some point in the near future I’d love to head to the Southwest and see what amazing things I can find there.

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What do you appreciate most in clothes you wear yourself?
There has to be the perfect balance of form and function in anything I wear.  My days are extremely hectic as I run the business and manage my family.  So in addition to wearing clothes that appeal to my sense of style, these items have to be versatile and comfortable enough to work in a variety of situations.

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More on covetandlou.com

Inteview with Abigail Doan

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In late January, I’ve met up with Abigail Doan (@lostinfiber) on Instagram – her moody, calm feed made me feel interested in her specific approach to art. As I learnt later, Abigail is an environmental artist and writer who divides her time between NYC, Eastern Europe, and Tuscany. Her work as a fiber artist offers a unique view into the materials, methods, and life cycle of handmade textiles, slow fashion garments, and related environmental issues. Doan’s most recent curatorial projects include Fete for the Senses as reviewed on Trendtablet, (Re)Fashioning Fiber in NYC, and Fashioning Self and the Environment at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn. And now, specially for Design & Culture by Ed, Abigail agreed for an interview… so here is our little collaboration!

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How do you explain or describe your mood and approach to textiles and slow fashion garments?

I am first and foremost an artist expressing aesthetic ideas that share territory with art, design, fashion, and textile traditions. For this reason, I hesitate to categorize objects, as I am attracted to the material exchange between realms and the subtle details that are unexpectedly revealed. Slow for me is basically about cultivating a connection to place as well as an understanding of self in relation to the environment. Immersing ourselves in the art of slow fashion might allow for deeper connections, more efficient flow, as well as identification of softer tools for implementing change. Local wisdom is certainly part of this equation as well as increased sensitivity to the cultural experiences and conditions/talents of people’s globally. (here are her fashion inspirations from her tumblr)

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In three words, describe your work.

Connective, place-based, tactile.

On your Tumblr called Lost in Fiber, you show a lot of beautiful, cozy handmade textiles and artifacts. What is the idea behind posting these images?

I keep several Tumblr archives as a way to demonstrate visually intuitive connections between objects, places, textures, textiles, and sculptural wearables. Lost in Fiber is a new skin on a previous project that explored ideas related to fashioning self and the environment. The site’s featured images are meant to spark the imagination while also archiving ideas relevant to ongoing research and collaborations with others. I often intersperse images of my own work and travels in order to illustrate an overall narrative of creative process and like-mindedness.

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While searching your site (and Instagram feed) I noticed not only NYC, but also places like Tuscany and Eastern Europe’s countries. What do they mean to you?

I have my principal studio in NYC but my family and I have ties to Bulgaria and Italy. I decided early on to try to live and work in these places so that my children would also cultivate connections and memories (nostalgia) for these landscapes and their unique histories. I recently returned to NYC after five years of living in Sofia growing a small family foundation that works to cultivate cultural outreach and educational efforts in Bulgaria. This was a tremendously valuable experience for me as it allowed me to further explore slow crafting methodologies in Eastern Europe as well as connecting with artists and designers in these regions who are (re)interpreting traditions and contemporary phenomena in eye-opening ways.

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Last, but not the least, you have also another Tumblr called Thracian Threads and as I am Polish, I see a lot of Slavic inspirations behind it. Is it so?

Yes, it is true. Thracian Threads is a stash of images that I started collecting and documenting while living in Bulgaria and traveling to neighboring countries. I decided to focus on the idea of Thrace as a way to get back to some of the core traditions from the region and the rich history of these ancient crossroads, particularly in relation to costuming and the handmade. Thrācia in Latin is derived from thrāssō, meaning to trouble or stir in Ancient Greek. Let’s just say that I want to stir things up a bit – slowly, thoughtfully, and across our perceived time and space borders. This is what my currently project Lost in Fiber 2015 will be all about.

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Thank you Abigail  for this lovely interview. If you are interested in her art and want to immerse into her mood, check her sites:

abigaildoan.com
abigaildoan.tumblr.com
lostinfiber.tumblr.com
thracianthreads.tumblr.com
abigaildoan.blogspot.com