INTRODUCE YOURSELF, WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND?
My name is Andrea and I am the founder of VANADIO23. Merging my greatest passions, art and fashion, I decided to make a line of unique piece hand painted jackets. Talking about my background I have a Art Degree, I have experience in brands retailing and as print designer for various studios. VANADIO23 is something personal, something mine.
HOW VANADIO23 CAME TO LIFE?
The VANADIO23 project was born as a vent: I've been wanting to make my paintings wearable since ever, even if I haven't studied as a fashion designer. It was my painting skill that brought me to the fashion world.
WHY THIS NAME?
The collection is composed of 10 outerwear jackets inspired by the classic worker suit, the blue one with chest pocket usually wore by mechanics. To underline this inspiration I named the brand VANADIO23, which is nothing but the material used to make screwdrivers and wrenches. It's a material that you can find in nature: it looks like a pink rock and is represented on the periodic table with the same color and the symbol V23.
DO YOU HAVE A TEAM OR ANY COLLABORATORS?
The brand is relatively young, I want to do something special out of it and I really hope to make it. I have a lot of friends that help me in various ways but no, I have no collaborators at the moment. I do everything by myself.
WHAT KIND OF FABRICS/MATERIALS DO YOU LIKE TO WORK WITH?
The support I use to paint is a high quality italian lamb patch. I chose this kind of leather because of its compact grain, it's extremely light, soft and fine. Painting on this surface is a unique sensation, the brush bristles flow on it like on nothing else. Because of this material preciousness, the jacket couldn't be any lower: the canvas is a magnificent blue navy massaua and buttons are made in real horn. I tried to create a luxury product but young and cool at the same time.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK ON UNIQUE PIECES INSTEAD OF SERIES?
VANADIO23 is an experiment, a place where fashion meets visual arts. I created it to make something unique, whose value can be perceived by who wears it and cannot be unseen. They are all unique pieces, numbered and cataloged, where craftsmanship shines through every detail: on the surface you can feel the brush touch and see finger taps and pen traces to construct the drawing. I think I wouldn't get the same feeling reducing all this to a print.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE THE CREATIVE PROCESS FOR THIS FIRST COLLECTION?
I did various attempts before this final collection: I started by making an entire ready to wear no gender collection with workwear inspired garments sided by vintage pieces decorated with simpler patches. Then I focused on a single product so that I could make it perfect. The jacket on which the collection VANADIO23 revolves around maintain the worker spirit from where my research started and the patches that enrich it are bigger and cover the whole back.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE SUBJECTS AND THE GARMENTS TO APPLY THEM ON? IS THERE A RELATION BETWEEN THE TWO?
I wanted the jacket to be very simple and super practical, with lots of pockets and oversized so that it could hold a big painted patch, almost like it was a frame. I never worry about what will be applied on a jacket: I paint what I like totally free, choosing what attracts me the most. The subjects of my paintings are usually naked bodies and I am fascinated by the juxtaposition of human subjects and animal and floral elements. The result is an anthropological bestiary with echoes from the extremely sensual italian painting tradition.
WOULD COLLABORATE WITH ANOTHER BRAND IF YOU WERE GIVEN THE POSSIBILITY OR YOU THINK THAT VANADIO23 WOULD LOOSE ITS SENSE? IF YES WHAT GARMENT WOULD CUSTOMISE?
I am already collaborating with a brand named GUNTAS, very young but more structured than mine and with a great potential. I made some jackets, pants and accessories for them.
WHAT'S THE FUTURE OF VANADIO23?
I don't want to make only jackets: I'd like to make an entire collection of outerwear, accessories and design pieces. I mean a big cauldron where I can give vent to my creativity and, why not, even that of other artists. I wish VANADIO23 was forge of talents; for example, I look for a future where incredible ceramists create jewels and accessories and wicker artisans interweave leather bands for bags and belts. It would be great!