Sometimes looking in the mirror is not easy because you can see your deepest thoughts and your most hidden emotions. In front of the mirror it is impossible to pretend to be someone else. For this reason, Giulia has always loved mirrors. See reflected her image that travels in different eras. She looks at her craftsman's hands that end with wonderful creations. There is a deep respect for fibers, materials and nature. Mercurioargento is a beautiful story.
I didn’t have much knowledge of contemporary fashion through my family and my secondary school, so I had to create my own inspirational imaginary and create my personal culture of Art.
Who's Giulia Pistolesi?
I am a craftsman. My father was also a craftsman in the old Florence of the '70s. I first learned to handle leaf gold and saw the art patina, the one that could make an ancient object to perceive as an ancient object.
My fascination for the ancient led me to restore in Florence and then to work as a restorer. For 15 years, my eye has felt the thin veil that sets over time on works of art. This has laid the foundations for one of the fundamental elements of my work: the sense of time. The switch from renovation to artisans of tissue was made for game, and I realized that following this road I could be completely myself. It was some kind of electrocution.
Mercurioargento is the name of your brand, where does its meaning come from?
Mercury and silver are two noble metals treated with glass to become mirrors. The first one is toxic while the second is healing. I always loved ancient mirrors, there was a time when I looked for them everywhere, in the market, from the second-hand dealer, and they fascinated me with their mysterious oxidation and the idea of how much life they had reflected. I used to enjoy making it around the frames of baroque and sign Mercuriosilver. Then when I started working with the tissue, I didn't want to change that name.
I wanted to experiment textures, transform fabrics and work with colors. I felt I really had colors and textures sensibilities as I am a very visual person. Textile is a way of imagining a story.
You can transform an object belonging to the past, such as a gorget, in a contemporary object. How did this project come about?
The georgette has a perfect form and whoever invented it has a genius intuition. If I were just an executor, I would have done them better finished and more loyal to the original, but my artistic sense led me to overwhelm them, and so an idea of a slippery, wasteful, fluorescent, futurist, but already used.
Tell us about your Toxic Fashion project and your connection to your sustainable
The Toxic Fashion project was born from an idea by Anne Veck, British hair stylist.
You saw my pieces and you realized that we were traveling aesthetically and ethically on the same wavelength. I use only recovery tissues, cut them, rip them up, reassemble them; Anne Veck was looking for clothes to match his hair that suggested the idea of a future that was already used and I was doing it for her.
Toxic Fashion is a creepy, poetic video that tells the fashion industry misdeeds and the terrible repercussions that this is having on the life forms of the entire planet (our
understanding) in terms of survival and dignity.
Mercurioargento has a style near theatricality with a thorough attention to the
scenery. What is the message you want to send to those who look at your
In my creative act there is no intention of the spectacular of my bosses. The result of what I do and how I do it comes out of my hands in an unconscious manner: it is my taste, which is the most intimate part of me.
When you realize your works how long does it take you the process of the
selection of the materials and the study of them?
My best ideas are coming up at the bus stop, at the queue at the supermarket, and a few minutes before I fall asleep. I never do preliminary drawings, every piece is conceived and shaped in my head.
Gestation can be very long, sometimes weeks and weeks before putting the new project together. The selection of materials is limited to what is available at the moment: broken necklaces, finished codex, leggings, already lined and lysis, I also have the use of umbrellas, one of the disposable emblems these days. More rarely, I use vintage and ancient tissues. What matters is not so much the kind of cloth I use, as the idea of the drawing in my head.
What or who inspires you when you create?
My inspiration channels are multiple. The first of all is the mannequin, the human figure. Around this theme, I start to weave a small universe of elements that bring back to nature, sometimes in its most primal, sometimes conceptualizing it, sometimes with animal accents.
And then, then there's time, the past and the future. If you find that in my creation there is something oneiric and future, the cause lies in my concept of time. Time spent is like a memory of a very far future, never from the present. As Socrates already had the present, it does not exist because it has already passed, and
because the more I look for it, I only face the past and future.
What is the era a fashion designer who mixes present, past and future live in ?
I live here, in this shadow area between the past and the future called present.
Are you working on any special projects right now?
I feel like this is a good time for me. My cosmic optimism leads me to hope for the future despite the difficulties and uncertainties of this period. My bosses go around the world with long 40-year-old at customs. Something's in North Carolina now, something's in Zurich. I can't anticipate anything, but for a self-taught like me, the point I've come to has already a huge meaning. I never thought I could do half of what I did and what I'm doing. I wish you luck and a bright future to all of us... that is what we need it.
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Interview & Article by
Vivian di Lorenzo