An Interview by ANDRADA BODEA x 33 MAGAZINE
The Istituto Marangoni presented a unique fashion show in London featuring top talents chosen by an authoritative jury of industry professionals. Through a visionary reflection upon the contamination between fashion, technology and environment, the event gives voice to a new generational understanding of concepts and trends of the future, within an international landscape.
Each student presented their own personal view on inspirations from all over the world, ranging from Chinese traditions to Italian heritage and performance arts, through history and futuristic lenses, all the way through the 60sand 70s swinging London and the USSR Russia from the 20s. The reach in terms of creative outcome is entirely global, as a reflection of both London’s and the School’s international approach and horizons.
The event is a unique experience that combines technology, nature and forward thinking mindset and provides a glimpse into how these elements can drive a new generation full of optimism and utopian ideals.
Interview with Maragoni talent Natalia Esteve Garcia Ancira
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your designer journey.
I was born and raised in Mexico City, and that is actually all that I am going to share regarding tangible facts about myself, because my birth place or my academic career tells you little about myself as an artist. I would never say I chose this path, I could only say this path chose me. How can you choose a path? This is my path because there is no other path that fits, because behind all of those layers of complexity portrayed in my work lay my moments of stillness in the middle of the uneasiness. It’s about being a warrior. This is your path and you will pursue it with excellence. Here is where I save myself, and hopefully here is where we save each other.
I have always felt this urge inside of me, a push to explore and unveil a whole universe of things that must be genuine, and real. The creation of garments is something I find inexplicably beautiful. Once you take art off the walls you can create living, breathing entities that move and speak on their own; I think that’s where the magic really is. The possibility of physically creating a feeling, an emotion, whatever that may be and making it into something that can be placed on a body, into something that can then create a life of its own, that can speak for itself, walk its own path, and progress within this path. Fabrics allow us to create physical representations of the intangible world of emotion.
What was your inspiration for the collection and how did you explore it?
Sois Sage Ô Ma Douleur (Be Wise Oh My Pain) is a self portrait that tells the story of identity through addiction or concealment of the self, from seduction, to being caught in a never ending cycle of self-hatred and oblivion; to the encounters with ourselves in the realization that we are so much more than we told ourselves, the you behind the facade. The concealing of the truth has no more place in this story, so there is no more need for a personal disguise. The darkest times of my life where lead by the disguising of my identity during my active drug addiction, I suffered a complete loss of self and individuality; my choices, or better said lack of them where made by my desire to escape and numb myself from reality. My body hiding behind fabrics that felt uncomfortable to my soul and insulting to my persona. I didn’t look at myself anymore, so it was bearable to present myself as a distant character from an old book. Having said this, I reinforce that the use of “I” speaks not only for myself. This is you, every one of you who has hidden, every one of you that still hides, we stand forth, we walk together to give ourselves the possibility of creating for our own a social existence within this world.
Because the heartbeat does not stop until it stops. The collection explores this story, it is not about me, it just came through me; it has a life of its own and carries its own message. There is pain, there is desperation, and the sense of unease, but there is also a hope behind all of these layers of complexity that comes from bringing uncomfortable feelings to the surface and accepting their nature and their truth within us. Sois Sage Ô Ma Douleur explores how having removed all substance from my life, I cannot hide behind anything anymore. The mere thought of knowing how many people like me have stood in front of a mirror and absolutely hated themselves and not understand that everything that they hate about what they see is actually not who they are is devastating. This is all of us that have been in despair and desolation, feelings and moments that allow us to hear a rhythm behind the unbearable, scratching, nauseating sound of constant thinking. A true pulse behind the thud of the ego. This is Sois Sage Ô Ma Doueleur.
What is the future of fashion in your perspective and what are your main goals as a designer?
I think the future of fashion is for fashion to stop being fashion. I think we need experiences, challenges, there’s already enough damage being done by our excessive need to commercialise and consume, and I think we are at a point where we either evolve or die; no more grey areas. Garments hold the power to speak, to create worlds, to challenge, to be poetic, sensual, to transmit despair, desolation. The future of fashion it to bring it back to what it was at the beginning, a means for expression, for self questioning, a means for uncomfortable emotions to be worn and seen, for us as humans to experience life through different eyes, different lenses. Not something that allows everyone to be the same, what is that? That is not the art of fashion; that is the unusual need humans have in order to feel comfortable and safe. We have to stop being safe. The world is crying, the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, and I definitely do not think that we are just polluting the planet. The fashion industry is polluting minds, who are we putting on our catwalks? Are we speaking life or are we promoting eating disorders and racial inequality? This has to stop, we need to create awareness of the real life or death situations that are going on in the world right now. Fashion has the power to be political, poetical, social, cultural. It can speak peacefully, without violence, without the need of words or discussion. I think this art holds indescribable power and strength if we are really willing to drop the facade and use this power to move together in peace, questioning what we are told, creating new beginnings to endings.
As for myself, my one and only goal is to stay true, to dig deeper into my spiritual path and the understanding of my own coexistence with my truth and the ego; this mind made self that continuously wants to take over. It is all about understanding things from the inside in order to be able to really look at the world and empathise. How could I ever see something in you that I do not even dare to see in myself? For me fashion, just as any other art, is a ground for self-exploration and realisation; and the hope that if I do my work each day my darkened hours of horror and despair will create in any way a peaceful path for someone else in the changing years. I just call it the art of living.
My work is the space in which we are. You, me. You don’t have to view my work you can just feel it, and then just realise, it is me, it is you, it is us.
Natalie Esteve @soylatacha // unfetteredhowl.com
Contributor: ANDRADA BODEA | Photographer: SIMON ARMSTRONG