INTERVIEW BY CARLOTTA BUOSI
Born in the Southern Italian region of Puglia and schooled in Milan, the Vision of Vincenzo Palazzo - founder and creative director of Vien - spans way beyond his Italian roots. Promoting a new wave of creativity in which contrasting styles, sounds and visuals coexist in a schizophrenic harmony, Vien aims to set the ground for a new concept of female wardrobe. A dream-like dimension which contains the whole history of fashion in its multiple facets, and from which every woman emerges as an individual, unique and styled to her own personal taste. A contemporary atelier, whose femininity breaks through the most androgynous cuts, Vien is the new frontier of contemporary: highly personalised, filled with contrasting elements, never boring.
Describe the Vien woman.
Vien’s woman is a modern one, enamoured with the past, strong of her attitude and personality. A woman who’s able to fully expressher femininity, even wearing a menswear garment or a sporty outfit. I love women and their multiple facets and contrasts, but also their way of constantly challenging themselves and the world around them. Their capacity of being delicate flowers and unbreakable stones at the same time is what fascinates me the most and Vien wants to express this vision.
Vincenzo, Vien is much more than a clothing brand for you. Tell us more about the complexity of this project.
Since I was a kid, I’ve been feeding myself beauty through music, fine arts, photography, cinema and fashion. Everything that surrounds me somehow inspires me and is translated into Vien. I’ve always dreamt of creating something in which all arts could coexist perfectly and that’s why every collection starts with a recollection of sounds, memories, dreams, tastes and colours for me. Before Vien, I’ve worked for years in the music industry, both inside of my club - KODE_1 - and outside of it by artistically directing an important festival. This has influenced me a lot and music is still one of the most important features of every collection. For ss18, of example, I’ve reflected on a beautiful contrast such as the melancholic lyrics of Hatis Noit and the hardcore beats of Gabber Eleganza. Both these references inject a perfect harmony to the collection, which portrays the true soul of Vien.
What pushed you to create such a complex concept and how did you first develop it?
Vien’s concept is a transposition of my world, multicultural and versatile. The development of it has been, once again, a fluid process which first materialised itself and grew within and around me.
Vien aims to suggest a brand new idea of wardrobe. What cannot be missing in this new dimension versus what should be taken out of the conventional one?
When I close my eye, I imagine a woman inhabiting a wardrobe which contains the history of fashion and emerging from it with her personal, contrasting style. I love for a Victorian garment to match with 80s streetwear which speaks of New York. British sartorial tradition fused with punk and hip hop influences. Traditional Italian cuts which meets the colours of South America. Nothing can be missed and nothing can be taken out. Everything must coexist in a perfectly contrasting harmony.
What is innovation for you, in fashion?
Just as with music, innovating in fashion doesn’t necessarily mean to create something new but to match different genres, brake them down and rebuild them into a new form. I believe in this concept of 360 creative innovation, which is a major feature of Vien.
How would you describe your style?
My style today is modern but classic at the same time. For the previous collection, for example, we created garments inspired by bridal fashion but made into raw worsted wool and with deconstructed derby. Again, it’s this idea of schizophrenic and constant contrast which makes Vien.
Tell us about your SS18 collection.
Vien’s SS18 is called ‘Out of the Blue, Out of the Black’ and was inspired by the soundtrack of my every day life while creating it. I wanted for Victorian garments to coexist with 80s punk. Traditional pieces are worn with sneakers and baseball caps, matched with floral tulle, silk and Japanese denim.
What makes you the proudest about your work?
The fact that it gives me the chance to express myself and see my dreams turning into a reality. Having an idea, watching it take physical form and injecting it with emotions is priceless! For years I’ve been imagining this world which is now materialising and that’s just incredible. Just as it is seeing others appreciating the final result. It’s a dream which I hope will never end.
Your advice for all the young creatives who dream to bring their vision to life?
Keep dreaming, always. Take your dreams and bring them to life. Express yourselves. Dreams and beauty are the biggest luxury life can grant us. Embrace it, live it and as Roosevelt used to say: ‘the world belongs to the ones who believe in the beauty of their own dreams’.
Many thanks to NEXT Agency Milano.