Back in June I was fortunate enough to bounce around the menswear tradeshow theme park that is Pitti Uomo and have since reported back designer discoveries in earnest. A particularly rich vein of sartorial satisfaction came from Who's On Next/Pitti Uomo. This design contest is an exciting prospect that showcases the newest Italian or Italian-based talents. The second season was particularly fierce with FQR by Fabio Quaranta winning the award for pret-a-porter (please do check out his even stronger AW11 offering) and AI_ by Andrea Incontri winning the award for accessories. However, the ready to wear label that really caught my eye was CAMO. Through using fabrics made in North West Italy, designer Stefano Ughetti celebrates his heritage while supporting local industry and Italian craftsmanship. My appetite for his label was whet and we have kept in regular contact ever since.
In the Camo collection that won my affections back in June, Ughetti examined the roots of Biellese farmers and shepherds living a simple and proud life for SS11. One season on and the designer is once again looking to this rich region for inspiration. However, for AW11 rather than look to its inhabitants he takes inspiration from a spiritual and cultural institutions, the Oropa Sanctuary. Here, Ughetti invites us to take our time; to think, to reason and decide for ourselves. Now, dressed in the finest local fabric, is the moment to keep still and silently observe the life that happens all around us. As he presented this highly anticipated collection to international buyers, we caught up with the design talent to find out about his latest inspirations and his hopes for the coming year.
SS: What provided the initial inspiration and how did it evolve in to the collection we see today?
Stefano Ughetti: Each collection is inspired by the thought of the moment. By what I want to communicate for that season. My purpose for creating the label was not to dress people, but to put them in touch with what they wear. My father is a painter, my grandfather an artist and for me I chose this way to communicate my ideas to the world. For AW11, the Last Soul collection represents a man and a woman possessing a mystic and pensive attitude. I wanted to create a collection that provokes I was greatly inspired by the the Oropa Sanctuary.
SS: How would you describe the collection in your own words?
Stefano Ughetti: This Soul collection reminds me of the colours and shapes of the Oropa Sanctuary where I was inspired. The main shades are gray, white and black. The shapes are squared and rigorous mirroring the frames and structures of this beautiful place.
SS: You are known for using fabrics made in North West Italy and for celebrating your heritage while supporting local industry and Italian craftsmanship. What can you tell us about the fabrics and craftmanship used in this collection?
Stefano Ughetti: Yes, for this collection, as the ones before, all the fabrics and yarns for the knitwear are from manufactures and mills located in the vicinity of Biella.
SS: What are your plans for 2011 and beyond.Stefano Ughetti: For 2011 I would like to consolidate what we have achieved up until now to grow our presence in the US market. We recently participated at the Capsule tradeshow in NY and the reaction has been hugely positive.
Now, having caught up with the design talent himself it is time for a spot of weekend introspection. In the true spirit of the AW11 collection it is time to for silence as we let the stunning look book images wash over us...
All look book images supplied by Camo.