After the experience as a judge on the twelfth season of Italian Dancing with the Stars television program, Guillermo Mariotto, creative director of the Gattinoni brand, tells us the differences between Italian and foreign fashion and explains his search for a fusion of tradition and modernity, in dance as in his work.
You’ve been living in Italy for many years. Is there something of your Venezuelan origins and culture that influence your work and creativity? Obviously yes, consciously no. In the sense that I arrived in Italy very young, so my artistic training took place in Italy. But the nature of my original country, its climatic conditions, its colors are someway inherent in me even though I’ve never liked exotic and folkloric fashion.
Your training began at the California College of Arts and Craft in San Francisco and later you traveled frequently to Europe. How do people experience high fashion in the United States compared to Italy or France? In your opinion, what are the main elements that distinguish the approach to dressing in America and Europe? I travel worldwide and I can say that American women approach couture only for institutional occasions or big events and strictly follow the stylist’s dictates. In Europe – the country of couture – on the contrary, everything turns into “an iron arm” between designer and customer. In the Middle East, on the other hand, the design and creation of a dress at times almost become a psychoanalytic session. I mainly meet young Arab women who also express themselves through the art of wearing a couture.
Are the two cultures becoming more and more similar? How do you perceive globalization in this work? Globalization tends to assimilate everything and uniformizes cultures, it is unavoidable. I fight assimilation through unique and original clothes because they enclose a unique and unrepeatable story.
I read that your know-how is a fusion of design and ancient tailoring, technology and fashion: can you give me some examples of how this fusion can actually take place in a dress? I have the presumption to think that every high fashion dress is the perfect blend of art and culture. I would not be able to practice this profession unless I was constantly attracted and inspired by art. For example, I am a fan of contemporary art. Among my favorite artists are Jean Michel Basquiat and Maurizio Cattelan.
I’ve been watching Dancing With The Stars for years and I noticed that in this season you were clearly in favor of the young Fabio Basile. You often stated that you were impressed by his “modern” interpretation of standard dances… Are you maybe looking for the same fusion you research in your work even on the dance floor? I am always myself, on any occasion and yes, since the first season, I’ve enjoyed being a judge on Dancing With The Stars. True, I appreciated Fabio Basile because he represents the young contemporary creativity in full swing.
There is a young designer, Sarah Giunti of L’ED Emotion Design who has created a line of sophisticated and technological handbags: equipped with a built-in battery charger and LED light that turns on when the bag is opened. Is there a risk that, by introducing these new accessories in the high fashion market, we lose the elegance? It was once thought that a bag should be tiny to be chic… No, I don’t think technology can destroy elegance, on the contrary, it is useful for the fashion and luxury sector, which must be in keeping with the times.
Stefano Dominella last year (2015 Rome) has devised for the event “The Elegance of Food. Tales about Food and Fashion”, based on many parallels between the two most appreciated and known aspects of Made in Italy in the world: fashion and food. You made a “bread dress” for the occasion. tell us about it. Dominella asked me to do an ad hoc dress and that’s why I decided to start from the food base, that is, wheat. I used materials such as jute and hemp, with which pants were made, embroidered with thousands of micro biscuits. The bustier that completed the outfit, was made with real ears of wheat. My creation has been greatly appreciated, gaining wide acclaim throughout the world and has appeared on the most important newspapers in fashion and related to food.