New On The Catwalk

Silvio Betterelli

Silvio Betterelli left the idyllic island of Sardinia to pursue his lifelong passion of design in the fast-paced urban cityscape of Milan. Thank god for the ease of 21st travel—if he hadn’t made it to the continent, fashionistas would be enacting a viking-style invasion as we speak. Once on the mainland, Silvio received degrees in art of fabric, fashion design, fine art and textile design from an array of schools located around Europe and the globe, broadening his knowledge of different tastes and techniques.

" I’m very interested in design, art and architecture, I buy more product design magazines than fashion magazines, and I always pay attention to what I experience everyday, the simple things in partiular.The beginning of my next collection could be hidden even in the morning coffee cup."

His intelligent masterpieces are therefore a mix of old and new, of traditional, classically sardinian artistry and styles culled from around the world. He has introduced the ancient practice of apulian embroidery to the urbanite living thousands of miles away, keeping the heritage of his unique island with its pink sand beaches home very much alive.

" I think it is some kind of contradiction in fashion to have strict fixed references, because every season everything renews, everything changes.

In addition to believing that classical techniques are universally inspiring, Silvio believes that good design can lead to a wider overall consciousness of the world around us, which is why he is an active participant in the experimental design collective S.M.o.g. Silvio’s work links history and forgotten craftsmanship to contemporary design, producing clothes that are mystical and modern.

  • Silvio Betterelli Interview

    ___ What is your favorite piece of clothing to work with?

    I love to work on sheath dresses—a small but continuous challenge. They are all very plain and feminine. I have to create every time something special without going out of the silhouette and with the bond of the proportion lines of the sheath dress.

    ___ If you could design anything else other than fashion, what would it be?

    Basically, i’m already doing that, because I design objects for home with a group of friends. We are called “Smogmilano.” It’s very fun, and we also have a moderate interest from the press and insiders thanks to our ironic approach. Creating a chair, cutlery or a plate, or spending the day at the glass blower, which produces the glasses that I designed, is truly inspiring. This multidisciplinary approach is essential in order to carryon my work as a fashion designer. I often betray fashion and I do it very willingly.

    ___How do you feel about experimental fashion as art as compared to fashion necessary to produce for commercial success?

    It’s a continuous conflict. When you work on a collection you always try to do your best and not restrict yourself about research and experimentation. I create pieces that will hardly sell, and I know that when I design them; but at the same time I try to distill from my research pieces that have a more commercial sense. At the end of the selling campaign we realize that what we sell the most are the special pieces, and the price or the wearability are not so important. Fashion is a segment of product design. The fact that nowadays in product design there is a more deep interest in “art-design” and in unique pieces, is a very important signal that will involve fashion more and more, for sure.

    ___ Where is the most unique or surprising place you have been inspired for materials or patterns?

     I travel a lot and i look very carefully at everything around me. This has allowed me a contemporary look at my land, Sardinia, which is full of suggestions.

    ___Who (or what) inspires you?

    Everything that happens everyday, but surfaces in particular: what I see, touch, live in every moment of the day.