JOSEPH: BARBARA, WHICH PIECES ARE YOU MOST EXCITED TO SEE AT JOSEPH ?
BARBARA CASASOLA: The JOSEPH selection is both very me and very JOSEPH. The grey mélange fabric (pictured) is my favourite material in the collection, and my number one piece is the double-breasted blazer – I wear it all the time. You can wear it with anything and you can wear it every day. It’s a bit of a statement with its 40s lapel and strong shoulders. My other favourite is the jumpsuit in the same fabric, which I love because you can wear it during the day and look seriously cool but its relaxed and understated for evening.
J: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR AESTHETIC?
BC: I don’t think it’s changed from my early seasons; my references are the same, the things I'm drawn to are the same. But the brand is evolving and I am inserting things that I love into new pieces and shapes. This Pre Fall collection is very unique because it’s a capsule collection that I presented in January at Pitti Uomo. It’s all about menswear - it was my opportunity to foray into a new world. It was such a success and the collection got lots of attention so it felt so right to maintain that story for my main collection show. My Autumn/Winter’14 show included a lot of tailoring again too, contrasting with the very feminine, transparent dresses that
people are beginning to recognise as me. But now somehow, this tailoring is very me as well.
J: TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AS GUEST WOMENSWEAR DESIGNER AT PITTI UOMO…
BC: This is how we presented our collection video. First, you entered through this incredible derelict palazzo that had twelve rooms, each with its own projection. Every projection was a mini video of Jamie Bochert showing an intimate moment within her domestic environment. In the bath, in front of her mirror brushing her hair, in bed, or against the window, just feeling the breeze. In one she is lying down on the carpet smoking a cigarette. Jamie was perfect for this collection because she’s quite masculine: in a way, she could be a boy. To connect all the videos, I selected cute quotes from Nouvelle Vague movies, which you could only hear by picking up old telephones from a lineup. In one video, Jamie would say “since I met you I no longer feel normal”. In another it was “it’s too beautiful to get any work done here.”
J: WHO IS THE BABRBARA CASASOLA WOMAN?
BC: I like the idea of using very different women, each an extreme version of a certain character. Jamie represents the extreme of cool. She’s a musician who dates a rockstar. I’ve thought of using Adriana Lima, who I see as the extreme of sexy. Then perhaps an
extreme of the intellectual woman would be Tilda Swinton. You have to put them all together to create the Barbara Casasola identity. My woman is a combination of extremes. Like Jamie: fragile but tough. There are so many layers.
J: WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO WINNING THE PITTI WOMENSWEAR AWARD?
BC: I was thrilled to awarded this opportunity. It allowed me to explore so much of myself and I presented it in the most beautiful space. We had two tableaux vivants: one in blue, one in pink, and a big catwalk that connected them through different rooms with the doors flung open. I could barely believe how lucky I was. As a creative, to be able to explore something completely outside the clothes, to really think about the video and my concept, was heaven. My clothes are simple—this experience helped me to explore the complexity of my woman. In my clothes she wants to feel protected, to know “this is my uniform.” I am seeing the different people wearing my collection now and when the right woman puts something on, it all makes sense. It is wonderful to see that my woman is there, she really exists.
The Barbara Casasola Pre Fall SS15 collection is now available at JOSEPH 77 Fulham Road