“After a quick look at the work of Luke Azzopardi you will definitely agree that he is a genius. His work is simply jaw dropping with such a unique skill to convey the idea of timeless elegance and a sense of a researched and applied aesthetic
in every piece he works on. Above all, his work seeks to push artisanal design as a self sustainable local industry through concept-based fashion that embraces beauty, individuality and style. Luke Azzopardi recently shared with VIDA his love for the world of fashion, his sources of inspiration and his upcoming projects.”
What attracted you to the world of fashion?
I was always interested in art, installation and sculpture; and therefore kinetic art pieces were of particular interest for me. Fashion offered me the opportunity to produce such artwork, in a context of well curated installation.
Tell us about your style?
I always work on collections that are very context derived and site specific. So my initial work is a study into the place the collection will be installed at. After that it is a process of trying to uncover visual links and aesthetic resonances between my sources. Through that, a new set of visuals is born which then defines each collection. It is therefore a process that is far more research-based.
What makes John Galliano the designer you admire most?
John Galliano’s years at Dior were marked by a great sense of theatricality which is intrinsic to the presentation of fashion. In so many ways, Galliano constantly challenges pre-conceived notions of fashion and costume, often incorporating both in the creation
of new exciting work. My background is also theatre, so this heightened sense of aestheticism obviously appeals to me – it is a language I am fluent in.
John Galliano once noted “maybe an artist with a small a.” In what way do you consider yourself an artist?
A couturier’s job is that of being a sculptor using fabrics and an installation artist when it comes to the presentation of collections. Fashion design sits right between the decorative art and fine arts – and that is perhaps why designers like myself are also fashion
You recently noted “I feel like gowns are meant to tell stories.” Can you elaborate?
Couture is about inclusivity. It presents a world in which every woman’s story is relevant and important, no matter where they come from or how mundane the narrative is. It is precisely in elevating everyone’s story and translating it into a whimsical fantasy does couture become modern day story-telling.
In what way do friends, clients and models inspire you?
My work involves a lot of collaboration. I’m constantly working with a large number of incredible artists, photographers, models and creatives – all of whom I have built close relationships with. Because of this I feel like they fully understand my vision and often are able to add more to it and refine it effectively. In so many ways my work becomes their work, and their work becomes mine. I’m not sure I fully believe in inspiration; the references used in my work often come from an exhaustive research process in which
I feel like I am unearthing invisible threads between different sources and ideas.
What do you find so fascinating about the High Victorian England?
This was the period of great decadence, the time of Orientalism, exoticism, and Japonisme. In a way, high and late Victorian society was very modern in the sense that it tried to look towards other cultures (such as China) and other time periods (Medieval Europe),
and filtered these ideas through technological advances in order to formulate their own identity. This bricolage technique is extremely modern and still present in post-modernity and contemporary culture.
In what way has the local fashion industry changed?
A heightened cultural sensibility has ushered in a newly found respect for local fashion artists as well as the power and immediacy of fashion in rallying up
Are people more fashion conscious?
I think people have always been fashion conscious, but now audiences have become conscious of their own fashion consciousness. Becoming self-aware is the most difficult step in any cultural awakening. In so many ways, it feels like society is looking at itself
in the mirror and recognising itself for the first time. The result is a new form of spectacle, one that seeks to break down all constructs of race and gender.
What’s next for Luke Azzopardi?
Luke Azzopardi will be premiering at one of the big four fashion weeks this September whilst working on our first ready-to-wear collection to be released later on this year.
© 2019 – VIDA Magazine