ALESSANDRO VIGILANTE: WINDOWS THROUGH THE BODY

With the highly performative ATTO II BODY REBIRTH that appeared on the Milan fashion scene, the designer launches his brand with a careful thought on the concept of “body-dress”, through its fragility and strength, looking for the definition of the contemporary being.

CAN YOU PLEASE TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR CAREER UP TO TODAY?


My story with fashion began in 2004 at the IED MODA LAB in Milan, where I graduated with honors. I took part – and won – in several competitions, including MY OWN SHOW organized by IED and Vogue Italia that gave me the chance to make my first fashion show with 12 looks, thanks to the support of Franca Sozzani and an important fashion brand.

An amazing experience that pushed me to the desire of learning this profession in all its forms.

I have worked for Dolce&Gabbana for seven years, where I was responsible for the collection in every single aspect, up to positions of high responsibility. I worked not only on clothes, but also on the structural base of the collection, starting from jersey garments, leather, tailoring, up to embroidery. I learned the professionalism, the speed, the method, the seriousness of this work and its organization.


In 2014 I accepted the proposal of Gucci in Rome with the new direction of Alessandro Michele. I accepted because of my necessity of growing and experiencing something different; I was responsible for the special projects VIP and Celebrities, which means being responsible for the clothes in events such as the red carpet at Cannes and Venice Film Festival, the MET, the Lacma festival, the Oscars and the Golden Globe Awards. A very creative experience lasted only a year, after which I decided to return to Milan. Once there, I dealt with the prêt-à-porter thanks to the collaboration with Philosophy by Lorenzo Serafini. I was his right-hand man and together we created 16 collections in 4 years. Thanks to him, I discovered every aspect and every dynamic that leads to the creation and construction of a brand, rekindling in me the necessity of making myself creatively independent.



Photos by Valeriya Polivanova and Marcello Arena



YOU HAVE OFTEN SAID THAT YOUR MAIN INSPIRATION COMES FROM THE WORLD OF CONTEMPORARY ART AND ESPECIALLY FROM THE WORLD OF DANCE.... DOES YOUR CREATIVE ACT ALWAYS START FROM A REFLECTION ON THE BODY?


Yes, my inspiration comes firstly from the observation of a body in motion, a shaped body, vibrant and expressive whatever body it is.

I was a professional contemporary dancer for a while and it's still a great passion for me, so I naturally use it to nourish my creativity.

The body is central in my whole research; many designers do aesthetic exercises around the body, I “live the body” instead and through its vital force I try to make a dress come alive.

Our personal story is written on our body, as well as our efforts, our sufferings, our fragilities, our impulses and our needs. The body has always spoken to me and this dialogue is my main creative impulse.



Photo by Carlo Banfi



"The expression of consciousness, strength and fragility tells the story of our existence and that’s our beauty"

UNVEILED OR REVEALED BODY? HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR THE BODY TO KEEP ITS SECRETS?


When I design a dress, I try to reveal the body, to give it the chance to express itself through clothes, which I consider as a second skin, defining and highlighting it in its purest essence.

I try to bring out its intimacy and eroticism and I do it by removing fabric, framing backs, revealing legs through rounded curved vents and creating wide necklines.

My entire collection is crisscrossed by cutout details that are like windows through which the body reveals itself telling us its story.

It's like a rebellion against the act of hiding the body under layers of fabric that has lasted for years, a form of protection and denial, an easy way not to feel uncomfortable with your body.


Photo by Marcello Arena



I think that showing our bodies is an act of power; it's a way to show that our personality wins over everything; that's why I think my creations are for self-confident people, who are aware and not afraid to declare it.

This doesn’t mean that the body can’t keep secrets any more, hide unexpected things or that it can no longer arouse the desire to be discovered.

Every breach to the body is balanced by a rigorous covering: a bare back corresponds to long sleeves that sometimes even covers the hand, as well as a high neck corresponds to a below the knee skirt. It’s a game of balance and adjustment that explains the variety and complexity of the body.

Keeping secrets is important and when it comes to sensuality and eroticism it’s fundamental to stimulate the curiosity allowing a glimpse using fabrics such as silk georgette or very fine stretch nylons.



Photos by Marcello Arena and Valeriya Polivanova



IN YOUR COLLECTIONS THERE ARE OFTEN PRECISE SCULPTED FORMS THAT MAKE US THINK OF CUTS AND FRAGMENTATION... ARE THEY SIGNS OF FRAGILITY OR STRENGTH?


In each of us, there is both fragility and strength and I believe it’s this duality that defines us. When I design, I want to convey the complexity that belongs to us.

Extremely precise shapes and clean cuts on my clothes are always a way to declare a point of view, which in my case is the freedom of self-assertion.

Dressing in an extremely clean, rigorous and graphic way with designed cuts corresponds, in my opinion, to a confident personality that isn’t afraid to show the body, what it has lived and openly declared.

The expression of consciousness, strength and fragility tells the story of our existence and that’s our beauty.



Photo by Marcello Arena



YOUR FASHION SHOW WAS SPECTACULAR AND IMPRESSIVE. DO YOU THINK YOU WILL KEEP THIS FORMULA FOR THE FUTURE?


Creating the perfect mix where fashion and dance meet has always been a goal of mine. I was pleasantly surprised by the power that this fashion show transmitted to the public and I thank the many people who collaborated to make it so successful, namely my wonderful team composed by the art director, the choreographer Laccio, the light designer Jacopo Ricci, dancers and models. It was great teamwork.

We did want to convey the idea of heterogeneity and inclusiveness through a diverse and mixed team of models and performers with many different personalities, ethnicities and ages. A whole that reminded me of dance companies in theaters that have always inspired me, in particular the group of the choreographer Pina Bausch.

I don't know if I will continue to present my collections with this precise formula, but I'll certainly keep the link with dance.



Photo by Marco Pionato



WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE REVOLUTION OF THE FASHION - ALMOST MANDATORY - TOWARDS THE DIGITAL AREA AND VIDEO MAKING. HOW DO YOU IMAGINE ITS FUTURE DEVELOPMENT?


The video production that during these years of pandemic replaced the classic live fashion show, certainly gave new creative impulses and generated systems of fashion communication that are different from the traditional one.

In my opinion, live fashion shows are irreplaceable from an emotional point of view, even though video-making created new ideas and provoked interesting reflections on the fashion system.

Videos created a sort of language that involves an inspiring joint creativity, which gave an extra push to some brands and an unexpected opportunity of expression, but the atmosphere of a live show, you know....


Photos by Marco Pionato



WHAT KIND OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE PEOPLE STARTING OUT TODAY? WHAT IS THE FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT HURDLE TO OVERCOME?


This is a wonderful job and it's everything I've always dreamed of.

My advice for those who are starting out today, whether they are stylists or even creative directors of a brand, is not to be afraid to speak up your mind and search for your own opinion in order to explain it as accurately as possible.

Don't make compromises with the demands of the public, but believe strongly in your message and never stop communicating it in a clear, simple and strong way so that it can be received correctly.

Passion and motivation are necessary and fundamental elements for the creation of our own language and career path.


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For DareClan


Images provided by: Alessandro Vigilante