Friday, November 22, 2019

Bellagio Italy: An Interview with Designer Pierangelo Masciadri

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It was a good day when I arrived in Bellagio Italy, located on Lake Como. Everything was so beautiful! A highlight of the trip was meeting world renowned designer and artist: PIERANGELO MASCIADRI.

His designs are so unique, it was amazing to visit and see his works of art.  Pierangelo believes fashion can be a vehicle to transmit cultural messages in a more spontaneous way. I 'm excited to share his story with you. Thank you Pierangelo for your time and contribution for an online interview.

When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a fashion designer?

I don’t consider myself a fashion designer, but I consider myself an artist who “uses” fashion in order to spread culture.

How long have you been designing, and how long did it take for your first collection to be released?

I’m a designer for more than 40 years. I started as creative stylist designing in particular patterns for ties for the most important brands, such as Armani, Lanvin, Christian Dior, Gucci, Prada, Versace… Since 1995, I design only for my maison, creating patterns for ties, scarves, bags, shoes, jewels and other fashion accessories. I created my first collection in 1995 on the occasion of an important art exhibition on “The Goths” that took place at Palazzo Reale in Milan. About how long it takes to release a collection, it’s hard to say because each collection is different and there aren’t fixed timelines.

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Did you learn to design on your own, or did you attend a fashion design program at a university or college? 

I studied at the Fine Arts Academy of Brera in Milan, specialization in commercial graphic design and I graduated with first-class honors. While I was studying, I also painted canvas taking inspiration from the relation between men and nature and I took part in several art exhibitions.

What is the main source of inspiration for your designs ? 

The main source of inspiration for my creations is art, that I freely elaborate, in all its aspects: from painting till sculpture, from architecture till archaeology, without forgetting the music. I think that fashion is a perfect vehicle to convey and spread art and culture.

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Who is a person in your life, or in the fashion industry-that inspires you the most?

Since all my creations are an homage to art, who inspired me the most and continuous to inspire me are the great artists of the past and also my love for archaeology.

How do you want customers to feel when they wear your designs?

I’d like my customers to feel happy to show and convey the beauty of the Italian art and culture.

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What advice would you give to upcoming designers who are trying to make it in the industry?

The advice I’d like to give to the upcoming designers is to work hard with dedication and determination, but above all with passion and enthusiasm, trying to create something that could distinguish them.

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I know several of your designs have been worn by presidents and celebrities: Can you tell us more details?

Sure! The American Presidents wore my ties. President Clinton wore one of my ties the day he was elected in 1992. The tie was an homage to the Optical Art, artistic movement that I developed during my studies at the Academy of Brera. I’m so glad that one of my most important creations is an homage to the Optical art and knowing that the image consultants of President Clinton chose this tie gives me great satisfaction: the pattern of this tie, that sends a message of movement and change, was properly chosen to express the change represented by President Clinton, after years of Republicans holding the power.

About President George W. Bush, I personally chose the tie, on request of the Texas State Senator Jane Nelson during her visit to my shop. The Senator asked for a tie that could bring good luck for the reelection of President Bush and I chose a tie in homage to the Roman Mosaics with a very classic look. I’m glad that President Bush decided to wear the tie during the most important moment of his electoral campaign, that’s the first TV debate against Kerry.

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The tie I gave to President Obama, thanks to the US Consul General Robert Miller of Consulate General in Milan, is an homage to Bellagio and in particular to some decorations in Art Decò style. I selected this tie for President Obama because Bellagio is the town where I have my two shops and because it is a town very close to the United States and to the visit President John Fitzgerald Kennedy paid during his trip to Italy in 1963. With this gift I wanted to express the friendship and brotherhood between our two countries and I was touched by the thank you letter he sent me.

Among the famous people who wore my creations there are also Bill Gates and H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco. For Bill Gates I designed a collection in homage to the Leicester Codex by Leonardo Da Vinci that he had just purchased. I created this collection for the last three exhibitions of the manuscript in Italy (in Milan at Palazzo Reale, in Venice at Palazzo Querini Dubois and in Rome at Accademia Valentino) and Bill Gates, in a letter, expressed his admiration for the interpretation of the Codex. For H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco I created a collection in homage to the dolphins, taking inspiration from mythology (the Myth of Arione), from Aldo Manuzio and from frescoes of the Bridal Chamber by Andrea Mantegna (Ducal Palace in Mantua) and from the grotesque by Giulio Romano (Palazzo Te in Mantua).

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I’ve had the pleasure to meet in my two shops in Bellagio, Lake Como, Sandra Day O’Connor, who purchased a silk poncho in homage to Beato Angelico, and the Hollywood actors Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel, who purchased a silk poncho and matching clutch in homage to the New Paisley and a tie in homage to the Roman Mosaics. Among my admirers there are the actors Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, the Princess of Dubai, the top-models Tyra Banks and Paulina Porizkova, the lead singer of The Cars and the singer Gloria Estefan.

Your daughters work along side you: explain  their role in your fashion business

My daughters, Laura and Silvia, work along side me both from the stylistic and creative point of view and from the management point of view. They will be the future of the brand!

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Can you tell us more about the fabrics used in your designs?

Silk is the fabric I use for my creations: I use only the Como silk, the best silk produced worldwide and manufactured following artisanal techniques. Besides the silk, I use genuine leather for the production of handbags, shoes and belts, working with the best Tuscan artisans. About the jewels, I use Murano glass, collaborating with the best glass masters.

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I visited your beautiful shop in Bellagio! Where else in Italy, can we shop your collections?

Creating exclusive collection in limited edition is my philosophy. My creations are for sale exclusively in my two shops in Bellagio and only the customers who have already purchased in the shops, can buy online. This makes my creations even more unique!

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If you find yourself in Northern Italy, do make your way to Pierangelo's shop in Bellagio.  Follow his design works on Facebook and Instagram .

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