Yes, eco-à-porter has sympathies. We like designers and brands that don’t just make beautiful ethical things but also have that certain something that characterizes them, a sort of peculiarity that accompanies them collection after collection, creation after creation, making them recognizable and giving them credibility. We like a certain coherence, that distinctive trait that returns and makes us appreciate them like the first time we talked about them. Then, perhaps, who knows, it is also a matter of affection, of a special sympathy for those who have accompanied us from the first months of this adventure, appreciating our work and supporting us in turn.
This is the case of Denise Bonapace, the polyhedric creative we talked about the first time a year ago and whom we periodically return to nominate, the latest for ‘Vestimenta – inhabited clothing‘ documentary which also won the Sarajevo Fashion Film Festival last December. We like Denise because she doesn’t want to be labeled, but she creates new and original paths that go far beyond fashion itself, embracing more disciplines, such as sociology, philosophy, in short, all those subjects linked in one way or another to the culture of clothing.
Today we talk about Denise Bonapace again for her new project with the significant name of ‘Abitario‘, because one of the concepts underlying the work of the designer is clothing as a home at the service of the body, enhancing it and enhancing the personality of the wearer. Clothes therefore that can and must also be imperfect but at the same time perfect because they adapt to the person, to his character, to his needs. Beyond every dictation of fashion, beyond every trend.
‘Abitario’ is born as a collective that designs and realizes knitwear craftsmanship through a research path that applies the traditional techniques of knitting in an experimental way. In addition to Bonapace herself, creator of the project, there’s a heterogeneous group for training, origin and experience, composed of different artistic and craft personalities. In the Abitario website you can know the identities of each ‘maker’, so they are called the creators of the garments, each with her own history that is reflected in the knitwear she makes. “The movement of the makers” as Denise explains “has a social and artisan matrix, with a practical approach that can be summarized with the motto ‘understanding making’, a pragmatic spirit driven by a creative vision that ‘Abitario’ embraces in every project.
And the garments produced? They propose a new relationship between body and clothes, between invention and realization, wearing individuality and personality, leaving behind, as we said before, seasonal trends and models of reference. And who wears an ‘Abitario’ garment certainly does it not passively but establishes an exclusive relationship of mutual enhancement, that’s why the size is replaced by adaptable volumes and the label gives a real passport with information on origin, project, workmanship and even a special space for future notes!
‘Abitario’ is thus also a model of ethical and sustainable fashion, not only for the total transparency of the entire supply chain (what do you want more than an identity card of your dress ?!) but also because the initial idea is based on the use of materials recovered in large recycling places in the district of Prato. ‘No waste’ then, but only a lot of creativity and the transformation of the old into something new, as the increasingly popular practice of upcycling wants.
The first collection by ‘Abitario’, recently presented at Superstudio Più’s MyOwnGallery in Milan, is called ‘RicamaRiparaApplica’ and, as the word itself says, focuses on recovery and at the same time the enhancement of irregularities and imperfections through art of embroidery, then three different moments in constant dialogue with each other: “embroidery, whose root comes from the Arabic word raqm, which means sign, powerful instrument and visual art in all respects, mending, where the defect is emphasized instead of hide it and finally the application, imaginative, whimsical and original “.
The project also includes the collaboration with Benedetta Barzini, a figure already present in the past works of Denise Bonapace, who realized ‘Dialogo con 2 maglioni’ or the attempt to ‘bring back to life’ 2 used sweaters, of which nothing is known, “giving it a new identity, a new wearer and, ultimately, a new reason for being” .
Denise Bonapace, with the same Barzini and Paola Baronio, colleague and author of the beautiful blog ‘La mia camera con vista‘, presented ‘Abitario’ on February 22nd at Connecting Cultures in Milan, talking about the value of the project in fashion and how the designer does not only deal with clothes but with People who live in those clothes.
And I conclude with the words of Paola Baronio who writes about ‘Abitario’: “sweaters as objects to wear, where the body finds a welcome and the person who chooses them a representation of himself. Sweaters that tell stories: of those who have created them and those who want to wear them. Unique and unrepeatable stories that find a defined identity in the expression of a collective work, a path of creative research with the aim of representing knitwear in the unpublished dimension of an artwork “.