5.09.2013

UP CLOSE WITH AREA BARBARA BOLOGNA

I'm eternally indebted to my blog for letting me cross paths with some of the most amazing human beings on this planet. Beloved readers, meet Barbara Bologna. She's the brains behind her eponymous avant-garde line that I have been raving about for quite some time now. Hailing from Arcola, Italy, Barbara epitomizes the modern-day renaissance woman synergizing various fields of art such as theatrics and photography and her phenomenal conceptual collections. Here's our long-overdue tete-a-tete over the net about her current collection entitled Genesis.
What was your Spring Summer 2013 collection all about? What was the inspiration behind it?
Genesis SS13 was born from a clear vision of a man and a woman who were walking towards me in a total grey area of cement and dust. I saw their mouths moving but I heard only a whisper.

Where do you usually draw inspiration for your collections? 
I get inspiration from everything that surrounds me, sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously as well as from my perception of the art of music and theater. Also, it doesn't always come from something that I can only see.
Do you have a ritual that you do before you start a collection?
Yes. Each time I need to loose something, an object, a memory of something, tears, as if I needed to create again an emptiness, a new empty page.

Which is more difficult to conceptualize - menswear or womenswear?
I think, personally speaking, it is more complex creating for a man rather than a woman, perhaps because I am a woman, even if it sounds banal saying it. It is more complex to work through an idea for someone who is your opposite.
Can you describe your aesthetics? Who wears Area Barbara Bologna?
My aesthetic is constantly changing every collection. I like to think that many different types of people can wear Area Barbara Bologna, not only a particular type of person.

You don't normally do conventional runway shows. You oftentimes prefer theatrical presentations. What is the story behind this?
I was born into the art world, and a daughter of the theatre. It is physiological for me to communicate through these forms that are parts of me and my life. There is always something that I need to communicate, a sign, a concept. I find that art, music and the theatre are the means dearest to me which I am able to express myself better with what I wish to say.
If there's one thing you can change in the fashion industry right now what would it be? 
 Fear, perhaps fear should change. The power of daring to risk, at the moment it is almost predominant, paralyzes the creativity and the desire to change something.We should stop being afraid.

If you didn't end up in fashion where would you be now? 
I really don't know, perhaps in a theater. But fashion for me is my new home.
You are currently based in a small town in Tuscany. Why do you prefer staying there than a big fashion capital like Milan?
I need silence to create. I live here because I prefer staying in a small town like this.

What is the thing that you love most about your job as a fashion designer?
Having visions constantly, and having them every six months.... It is foolish, fast, stressful, emotional, but it fills you up with what you are and I can continue existing through a dress, a particular material, an accessory. Even when the visions are over and other new ones come, a part of me stays inside that dress, that accessory, I would think, almost forever.Without a doubt, Barbara Bologna is one of the few designers who I absolutely adore and look up to. She bravely marches to the beat of her own drum and strays away from anything conventional and commercial. On top of this, she has a heart of gold that makes her even more admirable. I really am excited to meet her in Italy this summer. I'm hoping that I don't go into fanboy mode on our first encounter or else it would be a disaster!
For more info on this amazing Italian brand check out Area Barbara Bologna's website.

All photos courtesy of Area Barbara Bologna