MAGAZINE April 16th, 2021


Fondazione Pistoletto


With his project Ecology of mind, Tiziano Guardini reflects on the production surplus of contemporary fashion. The project started at the beginning of the pandemic and was presented to the public for the first time in September 2020. At a time when the market is less receptive because there are no occasions of use and the customer's average disposable income is lower, even the designer has to rethink his offer. Guardini does it by sublimating fashion as an art form, involving the artist Luigi Ciuffreda and three companies of the Made in Italy whose fabrics come back to life. 

Who is today Tiziano Guardini? 

He is a more focused creative. On the one hand, there is the awareness that my value has matured over time, and I have created strong relationships both from a creative level and commercial. On the other hand, there is the desire to be part of the change. 

Which are the aesthetic elements that define your style?

The love for nature. I have never imagined something that was not part of everyday life. I like thinking of a man and a woman living in the city, and even with the dreamiest approach, I like keeping my feet on the ground. From the choice of colors to laser processings, my garments are always organic, and they have to come alive. 

Has your idea of sustainability changed since the beginning? 

It is not related to the final goal: the respect for life in a broad sense. I can say I have refined my tools. From microplastics to fabric compositions, when I started, there wasn't sensitivity on these topics. When I thought of wool, I concerned myself about the respect for animals, but I wasn't as strict as I am today about the analysis of material and its life cycle". 

When did you start thinking about the topic of overproduction?

Before the pandemic, with the latest fashion show in the Sala delle Cariatidi at Palazzo Reale, I had a crisis. I knew I had produced garments with awareness. However, I asked myself whether it was necessary. Related to production is a matter of social impact. But I have realized that today a part of the production should be used creatively to recover surplus. In 2019 the exhibition "Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival" at the Triennale di Milano was a great inspiration for me. Coming across the efficiency of Nazione delle Piante by Stefano Mancuso, I understood that the concept of waste does not exist in nature. Why aren't we able to learn from it?"

Ecology of mind is an open project: what does it mean?

"I wanted to abandon the concept of seasonality, thinking about fashion as a work of art bound to stay relevant. Starting from the archive fabrics of Mantero, Gruppo Colombo and Manteco, in partnership with the artist Luigi Ciuffreda, I created patchwork paintings, which I turned into overcoats. After last year's launch, the project has been enriched with new paintings and will continue to be enriched". 

Is there a trend reversal to the unique piece? 

"There's more need for unique relationships, rather than garments. When you do a project in limited series for a shop or a company, you sell at least 90%. These are win-win forms, where the relationships prove to be balanced, and where, away from the large volumes that reduce prices but exploit the weakest links of the chain, the exclusive offer of few pieces has a virtuous story to tell in the interest of all actors involved. I have recently achieved gratification by collaborating with Biffi to create a series of coats produced with archive materials of the historic Venetian company Bevilacqua. By bringing those fabrics back to life, I restored the focus on the value of those who had produced them". 


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