Let us introduce you Daniele Colasante, a young fashion designer, as volcanic as the region where he was born, Campania. Daniele is a raging flood and wants to find his place in the fashion industry, challenging it with his creativity and inspiration. Observing his grandmother’s clothes, accessories and listening to her stories about the factory and the tailoring ignite a fire in Daniele that is impossible to extinguish.
MICROSMOS is a capsule collection inspired by something that might seem minor: insects and their nature. A hyper-reality that wants to move away from the period we’re living in. The shapes, lines and transparencies of the clothes recall the natural kingdom of insects and their life: fighting in order to survive.
Passion, sacrifice, dedication and a little luck are what you need to face this beautiful and fascinating world, but at the same time also difficult and tiring.
Hi Daniele, you are a young fashion designer very determined, right? What do you think you can bring as an addition to the fashion system?
I’m Danele Colasante, 26, I live in Naples and I attended the Fashion Design faculty at IUAD, short for Naples Fashion Academy, where I graduated in 2018.
Ambitious is the adjective that best suits me because I absolutely want to achieve the goals I have set for myself, whether they are easy or not, so I work hard in order to achieve them. Passion, sacrifice, dedication and a little luck are what you need to face this beautiful and fascinating world, but at the same time also difficult and tiring.
In the fashion system I want to show myself, my thoughts, my vision and my will to aim higher and higher and that I will slowly succeed and prove myself.
When was your passion for fashion born?
I’ve always been a pretty energetic, curious, open and creative guy with a lot of hobbies like video games, comics and wrestling, but my biggest passion is fashion and I’m giving my all to make it my dream job.
My love of fashion started in my teens thanks to my grandmother. I remember being enchanted by her clothes and accessories, listening to her stories about the factory and tailoring, observing every little detail.
Growing up, my interest grew more and more and so I decided, with the support of my family, to enroll in the IUAD and start a new course of study that has allowed me to learn a lot, to see fashion at 360°, deepening the entire creative process, from design to the creation of a collection. I don’t think there is anything more beautiful, rewarding and exciting than bringing an idea to life, creating something that once existed only in your mind, through trials and errors, efforts and sacrifice. Making clothes is what makes me feel alive.
Tell us about the "MICROSMOS" project.
"If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos." - (Edward O. Wilson)
MICROSMOS was born from the study of nature, eco-sustainability and its small inhabitants: insects.
These fascinating and distinct creatures can teach mankind a lot about how to protect the planet and preserve humanity. They fight to survive, building up a future together, working as a team, unlike humans who, without a common enemy, divide and destroy each other. It all started last year, the fateful 2020. I was at home watching a documentary about insects and while I was getting lost in this extravagant but disturbing micro-world, it lit a spark and I decided to create a capsule collection. It was a way to distance myself from the chaos we experienced and unfortunately we are still experiencing, trying to give some color to those dark moments.
These are clothes made with recycled materials and 100% natural fabrics such as linen, eco-leather and organza.
Volumes, colors, textures and transparencies recall the shape and structure of some insects, creating a union between the world of fashion and that of nature.
Do you want to take us to a new world or stand still in this real world?
Both. The garments I design and produce aim to push the viewer to go a little further. I try my best to portray what I have in mind, my ideas, creating a combination of extravagance, essentiality but above all consistent with the concept.
Being firmly planted in the real world helps me understand what my limits and struggles might be; it helps me ponder my choices and allows me to follow a “defined” path.
How would you describe the woman Daniele Colasante speaks to?
The woman I am addressing is eccentric and out of the ordinary, but at the same time she is elegant, sometimes even minimal; very attentive to details, eager to wear peculiar garments, a lover of contrasts, both in colors and fabrics. She is a woman who is not afraid to dare, to stand out from the crowd, instead she tries to create her own identity while being versatile in her clothing.
Sometimes it is the saddest moments that gives an urge to create, to experiment and give life to something "beautiful" and innovative.
Do you draw inspiration from the most chaotic moments in life?
Absolutely. Everything we’ve experienced, everything that surrounds us and every day of our life teaches us something and can be a source of inspiration. Perhaps it is the saddest moments that give me an urge to create, to experiment and give life to something "beautiful" and innovative. When I design a collection I always think of an important message to convey, be it social, ethical or emotional, with the aim of raising awareness and creating a strong bond with those who look at my garments.
How has your creative path changed after graduating from IUAD (Naples Fashion Academy)?
IUAD prepared me in the best possible way for work, teaching me a lot of practice and increasing my desire to create. From the second year there, I started throwing myself headlong into various competitions and fashion shows, so that I could put myself on the line, fill in my gaps over time, and try to improve myself more and more. When I finished university, with the (IN)sanity thesis project, I had the chance to take part in events and competitions, such as the Milano Fashion Graduate, and I also travelled overseas, exhibiting my clothes at the Keqiao Fashion Week in China. In this world you never stop learning new things and above all there are continuous challenges, difficulties but also great satisfactions that make you grow both humanly and professionally.
Tell us about your experience at GDD FASHION WEEK
2020 was a very peculiar, unexpected year that completely turned us all upside down, stopping the whole world, undermining every certainty and security, but despite everything I still put myself on the line. It was a good experience because in events like that you get to meet lots of people with whom you can share your passion for fashion, experience stage fright together and observe the details of other contestants' garments. All the organizers of GDD are young, very creative and eager to make a great presentation of the participating stylists, putting us at ease and giving us the visibility we deserve. It wasn’t easy, we had to take into account and respect the anti-COVID19 rules, we had to wear facemasks, and stay six feet apart, but they were intense days, full of rehearsals, shooting and fun, which formed me a lot. Moreover, I also won two quite important prizes that will increase my work experience, so I’d say that I’m more than happy.
How far do you think this combination of fashion and digital will go?
Nowadays, technologies and everything digital have become essential elements of fashion, influencing and contaminating one another. On the one hand, everything is faster, more immediate and more accessible. Just think of the possibility of seeing the fashion week shows around the world while you’re comfortable on your sofa at home, or the fact that you can renew your wardrobe with a simple click, or rather tap. Everything digital helps us up-and-coming designers, it allows us to have more visibility, and helps us spread our materials in order to immediately show it to everyone. But of course, it has his “cons” as well. Obviously, at a time like this, during a global pandemic, improving technology has been crucial, but it has broken down emotions, and those are what make us alive. I hope that one day we will be able to find the right balance, giving it the right value.
I have a lot of fashion-related projects and, since I have not yet created my own brand, my creations are mainly aimed at competitions, events and fashion shows that allow me to gain visibility and create a solid background. Amongst the goals I’ve set myself, I want to work for a famous brand or stylist as a model maker or in a style office so that I can gain more experience. I would also like to attend a master's degree in high fashion so as to be more specialized and ready to register my brand.
To know more about her work, click here.
Interview and Article by
Designer: Daniele Colasante
Photographer: Sara Francola