Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
On Monday morning in Vicenza, 100 designers from countries as diverse and far away as Lebanon and Uruguay were sitting in a circle, to recap, sing their praise and regroup, as the 2015 edition of the ORIGIN PASSION AND BELIEFS trade fair smoothly wrapped up. Carefully selected by the NOT JUST A LABEL team from their ever growing family of, presently, over 18.000 talents, they had flown to the Veneto region of Northern Italy three days prior for the chance to meet, right there were the heart of Italian manufacturing beats, via aptly named speed dating sessions and much more, 100 matches in the Peninsula’s most distinguished suppliers. With their booths side by side with that of silk craftsmen – the worms were there; we did pet them –, or a majestic weaving machine that might just date back to the time of the Lady of Shalott, even the more bashful creative spirits were tempted to explore, as did we. Many of them young enough to be children of the internet, they are proof of millennial nomadism – take Sandra Meynier Kang, who grew up in France and moved to Seoul, or Natalia Sushchenko, born in Siberia and based in Barcelona – and just how much in the digital age geographical distances have crumbled. That’s not to say that they’ve forgotten their heritage: Marit Ilison for one, who lives and works in Estonia, crafts her beautiful coats from upcycled vintage Soviet blankets. But an effortless sentiment of kinship and affinity, however various their styles might be, defines the NJAL tribe. For a generation often faulted with self-absorption, trying to find their feet in an industry notorious as one of the most competitive, that’s already quite the revolutionary result.
Focused posts will follow, but here’s a sneak peek – above, designers Katarina Zlajic from Montenegro and Nixi Killick from Australia, where she was brought up in a circus, are wearing their own work. There’s more pictures of it after the jump – along with some from other booths, like the trompe l’oeil sky-dress by Muslin Brothers, conjoined shoes by Carolin Holzhuber, and “corrupted” tapestries by 8 Cuff.