In a few days I talk again about a brand discovered at ‘Fa’ la cosa giusta‘ in Milan, that is anyway what I had promised myself to do at the end of March at the return from the fair. After Esthéthique, it is up to Rovida Design but for two particular reasons: the first is because the owner, the textile designer Laura Rovida, produces her own garments in mini-series with the hand loom like the old days and the second is for the her recent cooperation with WWF as part of the Spiagge Plastic Free campaign.
Since June 3, hundreds of WWF volunteers have been involved in a summer marathon cleaning the coasts from north to south Italy to free them from the invasion of plastic; among the recovered materials, some ‘mysterious’ disks that for some days have invaded the Tyrrhenian coast and which were then recognized as filters of purifier coming from the Sele river. Laura herself has collected many disks on the beach in front of the Oasis of Burano near Capalbio and, given her propensity to reuse, has thought of turning them into pins on which to embroider on: “Their network structure reminded me of the textile structure of gauze fabrics” explains Laura “so the most natural thing was to embroider on and I immediately thought of the pink flamingo, my great passion, whose silhouette I reproduced on every pin, in silk, as an alternative to the seagull that is the icon of the sea”. Then Laura contacted Fabio Cianchi, director of the WWF Oasis of the Maremma and together they started the project; the pin is kept in a small case, also made of recycled materials and can be received in exchange for a small donation to the WWF Oasis of Burano (visitor center) and Orbetello (Casale Giannella) or bought directly at the Laura Rovida workshop in Capalbio Scalo (on the designer’s website you can find the complete address) or received by mail by contacting Laura directly at her e-mail address.
The creation of the pins is in perfect line with Laura’s credo, who, with her work at the handloom, combines the passion for handwork with the eco-sustainable commitment; already in the post of March, talking about the designer, we found fascinating that her studies of philosophy at the university had ‘moved’ on the handloom, completing the circle somehow, because “weaving is a bit like philosophizing”. Laura had also told us that she was, she is a birdwatching enthusiast, passion that gives also the title to her latest t-shirt collection, inspired by the beloved flamingos and by the trips they make in the Mediterranean, long journeys that lead them to rest on the lake of Burano. Taking part in the nature walks with Fabio Cianchi, first mentioned as director of the WWF Oasis of Maremma, Laura has discovered that from a leg band of each flamingo, it can be traced its path and so every single band talks about unthinkable adventures throughout the Mediterranean ! The other subjects of the collection are the kingfisher and bee-eaters, especially observable on the lake of Burano but Laura is expanding the subjects, so much so that there are also the cranes in migration, recently returned to Maremma and poppies of which, explains Laura, until recently the fields near the workshop were full.
The t-shirts are 100% certified organic cotton, hand-printed, each one different from the other for colors and shades that Laura creates from time to time starting from the primary colors and then mixing them in a different way. Each t-shirt is distinguished from the other also for the story that tells, maybe a story linked to a migration, to a different path, to a flamingo that is lost (printed on the back of the t-shirt!) or to the bee-eaters stationed on the power lines. In short, the idea of the designer is to incorporate the territory with its naturalistic heritage in the design of the product, so that both of them come out further enhanced. Each tee then has a naturalistic tag that talks about the printed subject and that can also be used as a bookmark.
The t-shirts are the latest but for a couple of years Laura has been weaving at the loom, which remains her main working tool, certified organic bamboo yarn scarves, on which she prints her beloved birds (which you can see in the cover photo). Then obviously, outside the ‘Birdwatching’ collection, there’s everything else, always made at the loom: the neck warmers, knitwear, other types of scarves and shawls, accessories and home textiles, all woven with natural fibers as much as possible ecological, from local wool, in particular that of the Amiata sheep to the ecological burette and tussah silk to linen.
Every garment by Laura, therefore, expresses her universe and passions: nature, territory, craftsmanship, design, ecological materials, a lot of handicraft work. And maybe even that philosophical touch from which not only thoughts and reasonings are born but also creativity and competence to translate visions into structure, surface and color.