Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Paper Redux: Elena Salmistraro

"I have always been fascinated by the world of paper and the environment"

Elena Salmistraro.

"My studies have all revolved around art: after attending the artistic High School and various art courses I graduated in Fashion and Product Design at Politecnico di Milano (Milan's Polytechnic). I have always been fascinated by the world of paper and the environment, in fact my graduation thesis was based upon the possible uses of papier maché in design. All my object are affected by this background."

At the moment
"I am a 360° designer, so to speak. My style is nothing more than the result of the educational path I have followed, as I combine fashion and design in a single concept, that is of the research of complex yet delicate shapes with strong references to nature. I prefer to design fashion accessories and accessories in general but I am actually attracted to any form of artistic expression, I could not live without art. I love all the objects that embellish with a refined and poetic taste, that's what I try to obtain from my projects."

Style keywords
"My current collection may be divided into well-defined groups: the fashion accessories, in which I reinterpreted origami, that is the quickest way to turn a piece of paper into a three-dimensional sculpture to transform it into a complex scenic effect, playing with volumes, pairing big and small modules creating a sort of stable movement, contrasting in its size and its color, where soft hues predominate. There is also the alla’s line, In which I draw ironic and funny puppets and poufs, the result of playfulness and imagination. All realized with discarded, eco-friendly materials. Finally the furnishing line, with a strong reference to nature's shapes which I worship and I often get inspired from."

Where would you like your collections to be sold?

"I'd love to see my collection sold in one of those concept-stores that give space besides clothing also to other forms of creative expression. Like for instance the space at 10 Corso Como in Milan. But, to be honest, I'd like to open my own space very soon."

Other experiences in fashion?
"I have often worked closely with photographers, stylists and other figures In fashion. I have realized accessories for various art performances and shootings. For one of the latest ones, with architect Angelo Stoli, with whom I founded Alkostudio, we have creates accessories using origami and papier maché to reconstruct an enchanted scenario with mythological figures."

What do you expect from the publication on Vogue.it?
"I simply hope to add a further piece to my personal mosaic."

Future projects? Dreams?
"I would like to start enlarging my collections, carrying my work further, putting myself to the test and trying my hand with more and more complex objects.
My dream is to grow professionally, enlarging the design and architecture studio I have founded in 2009, and leaving an everlasting mark".

How to you define fashion?
"I see only a part of the fashion world, I define myself a designer. I found it fascinating, at times cruel".

What celebrity would you like to dress?
"I would like to dress two different types of celebrity: a more unconventional type like Bjork, who looks untouchable, odd, eccentric with a strong charisma. I believe that my accessories could be perfectly suitable for such a personality.
The other type of celebrity I would like to dress would be a refined and simple beauty like Vanessa Paradis, with softer garments and accessories to enhance her freshness and allure".

Who are your icons?
"My icons are surely figures like Hella Joungerius, someone I strongly relate to: she is a Scandinavian designer that creates the right mix of craftsmanship and industrial production, tradition and modernity.
Another icon is Li Edelkoort, the trends guru, she who anticipates fashion, taste and styles. I still have many copies of “Bloom” I keep as memorabilia.
Another milestone is surely Bruno Munari; the genius, playfulness, the child, I'd say he taught me a lot ".

What is your relation with raw materials?
"I would say it is rather visceral, since I use raw materials for my creations. I realize almost all prototypes like a craftsman because I like seeing the project that takes shape between my hands. I would like to combine craftsmanship and design, because I think that with time the desire to create something with our hand went lost, in my opinion that's the key factor of a successful project."


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