Love of the game,
no compromise on colors,
always ready to smile.

Lucie Guiragossian is a fashion and textile designer who graduated from HEAD Geneva. Her works were featured on and Vogue Italia. She made available her collections 182.4 dB for the fashion shooting supervised by Jean-Vincent Simonet. Fast fashion, overconsumption and genderless are concepts at the center of her practice.

Your collection 182.4 dB suggests a desire for interchangeability through such elements as pockets and zippers. How important will it be in the future to let the user free to experiment, giving the possibility to personalize one’s own clothes?

The interchangeability of the clothes evokes appropriation by the one who is wearing it, which is a very important dimension of my work. I love to create pieces you can play with but that are functional at the same time and can adapt to the user's needs. Also, in relation to "fast fashion", I think that interchangeability can represent a solution to overconsumption.

The materials used in your collection 182.4 dB are unusual and innovative. Is there space for research and development of new elements and products that can be used in order to create new clothes?

What I wanted to do with the collection was creating new textures and components to the textile by using screen printing. I am fascinated by sportswear design, because it is the first field to develop and use new technologies for mainstream audience. That is the reason why I chose fashion design: to try to improve people’s daily life, to change the relationship with a category of objects we have to use: clothes. I'd love to work with engineers and try new experimentations. New technologies to the benefit of the clothes, this is the future of fashion

Your clothes communicate something to the others, like a mood, exceeding the external appearance: it is a way to finally abandon the stereotype of the perfect dressed up body. Will we be able to reach the point where we can value the creation itself only for what it represents? Will fashion become a piece of art that can transmit the spirit and the aim of the creator?

Clothes and fashion are to me a way to express and offer my aesthetics and perceptions to the others.
The boundary between art and design is getting thinner. I do not need to categorize my practice, since it is nurtured by so many different fields.

In an interview for NotJustALabel you said that you feel comfortable wearing men’s clothes. Nowadays we increasingly hear the concept of genderless fashion: could it be a possible way of dressing in the future? Will it be possible to create a unisex style that can satisfy both worlds which are distant and incompatible?

I love to wear men's clothes, because they're more comfortable. I don't identify myself in the feminine codes imposed by fashion in our western culture nowadays. I feel feminine when I wear an XXL t-shirt. I think that unisex clothes have their own limits, it works for basics, clothes you can find in both wardrobes, masculine and feminine. It is difficult to please everyone, which is why I chose to work on menswear. Women can wear those dresses too! But moreover, people have to feel free to wear whatever they want to... We’re in 2016!


Fashion design as mediation of the relationship between the body and technology is at the heart of the reflection of contemporary designers such as Nanni Strada, Monica Bolzoni and Simon Thorogood. We discussed this question with Vittoria Caterina Caratozzolo, professor of the History and Theory of Fashion at the Sapienza - Università di Roma.

What do you think about technology as applied to fashion? Could it be a supporting instrument or a restriction?

I think that technology has always profoundly influenced the outcome of clothing and fashion. The exhibition titled Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, recently proposed by the curators Bolton and Koda at the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art), is a formidable example of this. Thanks to the increasing experimentation in recent years of intelligent fabrics and the integration of sensors in items of clothing, the union between fashion and technology is not only seen as a relation which is entirely part of the performance of clothes but is above all perceived as the symbiotic and 'seamless' interface capable of redefining the relation between the body and clothing.
In fact, wearable technology is bringing about profound changes of sensitivity and awareness in both models of production and those of consumption. Technology consequently presents itself as a supporting instrument. And yet different sartorial stories tell about how it is the reason for inspiration in order to free the human figure from the hypervisibility triggered by the systems of urban surveillance.
I'm thinking, for example, of the collections by Simon Thorogood which have translated Stealth technology onto the paper pattern. By adapting the garment by way of the skillful use of panels, the tactics of this bomber aircraft that is invisible to radar, Thorogood's intention was to give back anonymity to the over-exposed body. And so the union of fashion and technology reveals subtle ambivalences, the turning of interpretations inside-out. Even more complex is the interpretation of technologically advanced collections that are declared to be functional, ethical and respectful with regards to the environment. In fact, while these are traceable qualities they are, in fact, very often bound to an excess of production and consumption, far removed from the consecration of an eco-sustainable system.

Clothing often lets us see the lineaments of the body. Will this continue to be a key element or stereotype which will become less marked over time?

I think that in the present-day design system the body is still an essential element. Nevertheless, this doesn't mean that fashion design 'ratifies' its anatomical silhouette. Suffice to think historically of the migration of the waistline or its deletion. Nanni Strada at the beginning of the 1970s, for example, in moving away from the body-fashion system designed the Giù dal corpo ("Off-Body") collection, introducing into industrially produced clothing concepts of design planning methodology: a bidimensional structure inspired by the geometries of oriental clothing, freed from the tailor-made tradition and from the dogmatic references of the anatomic silhouette: waistline and cuts. A decade later also saw the clothing design by Monica Bolzoni come to form part of a philosophy that distanced itself from the mainstream fashion system: her pieces entitled Bianca e Blue (White and Blue) put the garment-body relationship inside a grid of basic geometrical forms - the triangle, the circle and the rectangle - that embrace bodies, giving back their uniqueness. From the study of the forms we discover that here the question is not that of thinking "about the garment on the body" (as the designer affirms) but "about the body in the garment". In whatever case, one has clothing technologies which in their respective specificity represent an ethic and aesthetic of the garment which is aimed at promoting and enhancing the wearer's creativity without restricting the dynamic nature of free interpretative and 'performative' play.


The designing of clothes also includes haute couture and uniforms, as well as prêt-à-porter. These are all production sectors of the Maison Gattinoni, founded in 1944 and as dynamic as ever. We talked to the Company's president, Stefano Dominella, about style, company philosophy, research and inspiration.
Stefano Dominella is also president of the Textile, Clothing, Fashion and Accessories Section of Unindustria (the Association of Manufacturers and Companies of Rome and Lazio).

How would you describe your style?

Style is essential to your personality, it develops and is consolidated throughout your life. Curiosity is a fundamental element for the affirmation of your style and the events of the "world" are part of the evolution and changing of style.

What is your philosophy?

Being coherent with yourself. Avoiding momentary influences but always paying careful attention to what is contemporary. Nothing is always for ever, also true for your style which can change, although following the guidelines of what we have constructed.

What collection has given you the most satisfaction?

The uncertainties and the fear tied to the first collection I presented. Suggestiveness and sense of fascination that I'll never forget. And also the collection dedicated to Eve, the first woman created by God. And the dress created for Madonna... and the collection presented in 2014 in the Nuvola [Cloud] by Fuksas.

What are the guidelines of your style and your collections?

Experimentation and research are the bases of my fashion project or of the projects of my exhibition. Without these two elements I wouldn't be able to create anything, nor could I 'give life' to my dreams and my fantasizing.

What advice would you give to young designers who want to make a career in the fashion world?

Giving advice is difficult. But certainly get an in-depth knowledge of the fashion sector, in this way discovering that there are many professions that form part of it. The role of the designer is evolving and new specializations have presented themselves: for example, the stylist, the fashion coordinator, the trend researcher... My advice is not to be 'dazzled' by the newspaper photo flanked by a top model.

What trends would you like to see disappear with time?

I'd like "revival" fashions to cease to exist, the ones that are fished from the past without any type of creativity, only aiming at the nostalgia factor.

Clothes often show the contours of the body. Will this continue to be a key element or else become a stereotype which will decrease in importance as time goes by?

I think that the body and the pleasure of form won't disappear. On the contrary. They'll be increasingly more stressed (and to 'the bitter end'): plastic surgery, the gym and cosmetics are strategic indicators for understanding how the new silhouette will evolve in fashion. It will always be the human body that solicits creativity. "We read history on the clothed body".


Simona Segre Reinach is an associate professor at the Università di Bologna and is specialized in studying and researching fashion from anthropological and sociological viewpoints. She has investigated fashion in its contexts of production and use. We discussed the future of the relationship between the garment, materials and technology.

Is there the risk that in the future natural materials will be 'outclassed' and replaced by fabrics of a different type of composition (synthetics, plastics, etc.)?

I don't think that natural materials will ever be completely abandoned. If anything they are and will continue to be used in combination or mixed with synthetic ones in order to obtain a category we can define as "hypernaturalistic". Cotton, in particular, which is the most ancient of natural materials, will continue to be used by trying to make its cultivation and various forms of treatment more sustainable. The same is true for wool. I instead foresee a possible contraction in the use of silk, a material that is more complex and less suited to the demands of today. Moreover, there will be a new use of ancient materials such as hemp, raffia and flax (made into linen).

What do you think of technology applied to fashion? Could it be a contribution or a limitation/hindrance? Do you think it's only a marketing ploy or could it actually enjoy widespread application?

'Wearable technology' has been with us for a long time and continues to evolve thanks to scientific research. As the result of technology clothing also complies with medical demands and wellness. What is really new is the combined projects of technology and aesthetics which the youngest and most innovatory designers are experimenting with. Technology in the end product has to become almost invisible, it must simply be there, it must serve but not appear, it becomes an integral part of the garment of the future.

What trends would you like to see disappear with time?

The use of also not high quality furs, polluting finishing processes and in general all trends that go against sustainability or against respect for beings that are not human. From an aesthetic point of view: female hyper-sexualization and ripped jeans. From the market point of view: the excesses of fast fashion.


Amanda Montanari has been a professor at the Introduction to the Planning of Fashion laboratory of the Università Iuav in Venice. She has researched the alternatives to the mainstream fashion system: alternative fashion, alternative production and alternative forms of imagination. Together with her we discussed the limitations and dysfunctions of the fashion system.

What ought to be done in order to 'renovate' the fashion system?

The innovation work ought to be carried out on various fronts: production, communication and consumption. As regards production, making sweatshops totally illegal would be a big step forward, for example. Fashion communication on all levels, whether regarding niche products or commercial ones, is based on the idea that somebody knows better than others what is 'cool' and that the consumer is expected to comply with this, which is a very old conception of the system. It still functions in this way because for the people who run and do the newspapers - and I also mean the online ones - it's convenient to sit lazily on the bench of the status quo and endorse a paradigm imposed by the market, even it no longer holds true. The people who read the papers are insecure and are in no way encouraged by society to be free. And at this point we come to the consumers.
Today fashion is overrated (and overvalued). Its constant presence in everyone's day-to-day life - for example, shopping understood as the consumption of clothing which is by now done without any kind of interesting ritual - ought to make us think to what extent the values of knowing how to see and choose, to love and know how to wear with elegance, have been trodden on by a mob that wants to appear to others: in order to do this it disappears from itself (and not in a good way). I've dreamt and taught to my students even more than I have been able about a conscious-based consumption that worms its way into society of show/spectacle/display like a virus.

What do you think about the fashion for young people?

I'll answer because I have the opportunity to say that it seems to me as being a good example of a badly stated question. Which young people? Are forty-year-olds still young? Most of them - my attempt at defining = people who are looking for an identity by way of clothing or habits - take advantage of "fast fashion" stores in order to flaunt what the dominant system by way of catwalk derivatives lays down as being the caprice of the season. A lot of consumption and little meatiness. And there are those of the niches who are victims of the same game but who believe themselves to be "cooler" because they dress in a mock, twenty-year outdated Japanese fashion.
I think they consume a lot, that they hardly enjoy themselves and that they take themselves too seriously.


Gabriele Monti, from the privileged observation point of the person who studies the evolution of fashion design, has shared his thoughts with us regarding the relationship between fashion and the body, something much more rooted in and connected to design than we were expecting. He is a researcher in Theory and Criticism of Fashion Design at the Università Iuav in Venice.

What should be done in order to innovate the fashion system?

As I see it it's sufficiently innovative as it is. I don't think that anyone would ask this question regarding the "design system".

What do you think about the fashion of young people?

I don't understand what sense it has today to talk about the fashion of youngsters. In my opinion it's a socio-cultural construction which has little importance.
Young people's fashion doesn't exist. Not "a" fashion, at least. But, there again, it isn't a "fashion" but forms of clothing which identify groups, a 'belonging to'. And these complex forms of combinatorial clothing use fashion and certain specific brand names rather than others. The "fashion of young people" is a category that has enjoyed critical attention thanks to the simplification carried out by sociologists.

Is there the risk that in the future natural materials are made obsolete by fabrics of a different type of composition (plastics, synthetic fibres, etc.)?

No, I don't think so. We have an extraordinary Italian textile tradition that has always skillfully mixed these elements. Every innovatory component tends to reconfigure an existing system and not to cancel it. If anything, it would be important to reflect about the natural in relation to practices of sustainability.

What advice would you give to young stylists who want to enter the fashion world?

Well to start with, let's call them designers. The stylist was a very precise personality who can be placed in a point of time of the history of Italian fashion between the 1970s and the 1980s. Attend a good degree course which supplies a preparation that manages to combine techniques and reflection regarding fashion cultures. Afterwards try to get an internship (apprenticeship): for this search a good form of exchange of ideas with a tutor is very important. In this sense it's an obvious advantage if the internship is envisaged by the graduate course chosen by the student. This is our choice of action at the Università Iuav in Venice. We are without doubt a unique university in Italy as regards this aspect.

Clothing often shows the contours of the body. Will this continue to be a key element or stereotype that will be less pronounced in the future?

Fashion plans bodies. It has always done so. I'd say that there isn't very much to add. Also Bernard Rudofsky in 1944 was very clear about it when he organized his seminal exhibition titled Are Clothes Modern? held at MoMA in New York). Unless one refers to 'red carpet' gowns or the 'clothes' worn by young television showgirls, I don't see clothing that shows. I see bodies planned by fashion.