What does Genova have to do with the history of jeans?

What does Genova have to do with the history of jeans?

Anna Frattini · 2 months ago · Style

We were invited by Tela Genova and Regenesi to Genoa to discover more about the history of Italian denim during GenovaJeans. But what does the capital of Liguria have to do with jeans, and what were figures like Adriano Goldschmied doing at this event? When we think of jeans, we think of the American dream or the iconic Levi’s 501. Something that can be found in everyone’s wardrobe: a simple work fabric that has revolutionized the way we dress. But perhaps not everyone knows that this material was born right in Genoa, and the city – proud of this little-known heritage – has launched GenovaJeans to celebrate its history and look ahead to a future of sustainable denim. Let’s find out more about this event.

A bit of history

On the GenovaJeans website, we find a lot of information about the history of denim and its origins, thanks in part to contributions from personalities such as Marzia Cataldi Gallo, an art, costume, and textile historian, Monica Bruzzone, and Clelia Firpo. They are all authors, academics, and professionals focused on the study of jeans and its history. Let’s go back in time to 1538, where we find the ancestors of jeans in the Teli della Passione, «a series of 14 linen-cotton cloths dyed with indigo blue and white lead» that tell the story of the Passion of Christ. A few years later, in the inventory of a Richmond merchant, we find Whitt jeanes, an archaic term to describe white fustian produced in Genoa. In 1826, Alessio Pittalunga dedicated himself to a series of watercolors depicting Ligurian folk costumes, where the presence of jeans in the tradition of popular clothing between the 18th and 19th centuries is already clear.

From Giuseppe Garibaldi to Diesel

It was Giuseppe Garibaldi himself who wore blue fustian pants – later becoming the world’s oldest jeans – when he left from Genoa Quarto to Marsala for the Expedition of the Thousand in 1860. Thirteen years later, the U.S. government granted Davis and Levi Strauss patent number 139,121 for riveted copper fastenings designed to make pants pockets more durable for gold prospectors in California. In 1929, the Great Depression hit America, creating a fundamental opportunity for jeans: poverty led many to consider purchasing affordable fabrics like those worn by cowboys, who then became legends along with jeans. Less than ten years later, Blue-Jeans even appeared in Vogue. In Italy, Luigi Candiani began producing fabrics, specializing in jeans after the war, and today his company continues its operations while striving to adhere to sustainability criteria and look to the future. Elio Fiorucci then enters the scene, thinking about jeans after arriving in London in 1965 and opening his first store in Milan two years later. In 1978, Renzo Rosso and Adriano Goldschmied founded Diesel in the province of Vicenza, and the rest is history.

Tela Genova and Regenesi

Brands like Tela Genova and Regenesi are part of this history and participated in GenovaJeans to testify to their authenticity and artisanal tradition for the former, and the issue of reuse for the latter, which is reinterpreted in this new denim season. Starting from themes such as sustainability and vintage. During the event, archival pieces come to life, and the circular economy theme takes center stage in all discussions about the future of denim. At the same time, Regenesi – founded in 2008 and working to become a spokesperson for sustainable luxury – launched the “Rigenera i tuoi jeans” (Regenerate Your Jeans) project during GenovaJeans.

«In line with our vocation, we took on the challenge of denim, a democratic fabric of great social importance but also with a significant environmental impact, and we enhanced its original features with an upcycling project that creates designer bags. Regenesi is synonymous with sustainable, regenerated, and innovative luxury. Giving new life to post-consumer materials has always been our mission: we transform unused raw materials into design objects and fashion accessories, made through Italian craftsmanship. This time too, from the forgotten jeans at the back of the closet, a garment that changes with time, absorbing the stories and adventures it goes through, we create a unique product that continues to tell the story of our customers with compassion and new beauty. We are excited to be part of the GenovaJeans project that embraces values that are also our driving force. Today, making and generating culture is an important mission, and it is precisely starting from history and awareness that we can look to the future with clearer eyes» says Maria Silvia Pazzi, founder of Regenesi

In short, GenovaJeans has proven to be the perfect opportunity for a dive into the history of jeans, but also to remind us how important it is to think about the future of fashion in terms of circular economy and sustainability. Many brands were present, and the atmosphere was not only one of innovation but also of craftsmanship, tradition, awareness, and responsibility.

What does Genova have to do with the history of jeans?
What does Genova have to do with the history of jeans?
What does Genova have to do with the history of jeans?
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Wasted Youth by Federico Hurth

Wasted Youth by Federico Hurth

Giorgia Massari · 2 months ago · Photography

In an era characterized by the uncontrollable proliferation of digital images, selfies, and the widespread use of filters that distort the perception of the contemporary world, photographer Federico Hurth captures an authentic portrait of youth, but one that is burnt out. His project, titled Wasted Youth, is a true reportage, or as Federico himself describes it, «a personal photographic diary in which I collect snapshots of carefree moments.» His strictly analog shots depict faces, bodies, and situations, always following «a damned, fashionable, artistic, musical aesthetic.» In Federico Hurth’s shots, the melancholy and inner rebellion of a generation emerge. Some of the shots from the project, which Federico has been working on since 2021, will be exhibited at the Doppia V Gallery in Lugano from October 20th to November 17th, in an exhibition curated by Francesca Bernasconi.

Federico Hurth’s photographs are devoid of any post-production manipulation, «if a photo has a flaw, I keep it that way. Precisely to maximize the authenticity of the moment,» the photographer tells us. Wasted Youth offers a glimpse into fragments of youthful lives lived intensely but, at the same time, in a way that may seem “wasted,” in line with the title of his project. The aesthetic, which oscillates between the glitter of glamour and the darkness of decay, reflects the complexity and uncertainty that the contemporary context offers to young people, who are at the mercy of looming precariousness.

In conclusion, quoting the words of curator Francesca Bernasconi, «Federico Hurth’s photographs are characterized by an intriguing immediacy and an instinctive and decisive formal exploration, strongly linked to the revolutionary aesthetics that emerged in the 1990s through the work of a generation of photographers, often, like Hurth, straddling the worlds of fashion and alternative artistic scenes.»

Courtesy Federico Hurth

Wasted Youth by Federico Hurth
Wasted Youth by Federico Hurth
Wasted Youth by Federico Hurth
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Daniel Obasi’s Vision of Africa in Lavazza’s New Calendar

Daniel Obasi’s Vision of Africa in Lavazza’s New Calendar

Anna Frattini · 1 month ago · Photography

We attended the unveiling of Lavazza’s new calendar, a project that takes us into an uncharted Africa, brimming with energy, experimentation, and a forward-looking spirit influenced by its culture and the diverse communities that inhabit it. Three photographers collaborated on this year’s calendar: Thandiwe Muriu from Kenya, Aart Verrips from South Africa, and the latest addition, Daniel Obasi, whom we had the privilege to interview. The theme of Africa as the birthplace of coffee remains strong, linked to the Giuseppe and Pericle Lavazza Onlus Foundation, founded in 2004 and now involved in thirty-three projects across three continents. With Nigerian roots and a holistic approach to photography, Daniel Obasi is a creative talent who seamlessly blends fashion styling, cinema, photography, and art direction to create captivating and distinctly African narratives. Here’s our interview with him.

How did you first get into photography?
I started photography because of my background in design, and for a while, I also dabbled in fashion styling. That’s when I got into photography. Additionally, I had an eye for certain subjects, and the practice of photography attracted me in a unique way. Working with other people was often challenging for me, so I decided to learn how to take photos on my own to share my exact vision with the world. For me, it’s more about a concept and an idea, which is at the core of my holistic approach to creativity.

How do you manage to blend art direction, fashion photography, and your work as a director?
By approaching each practice in a holistic way and considering them as one, it’s easier to navigate. I don’t think of them as separate components but rather focus on the end goal.

How do you apply Afrocentrism to fashion photography? Can it be seen as the primary vehicle for promoting messages of inclusivity and cultural appreciation?
Absolutely. The concept of Afrocentrism and photography go hand in hand, and in this context, we can also recognize fashion as an art form. Moreover, you can see how it’s all connected to a certain cultural background. There’s also another aspect that brings a bit of your history into it. Of course, it’s not what’s needed in every shot, but in some cases, it gives you a good idea of the process behind the photos I take.

How did you accept the commission for Lavazza’s calendar project?
On an ordinary day, I received an email from Lavazza’s team. I waited for a week and then decided to propose the concept of working together, of unity. Everything started from the photos that depicted the young people together on the beach. I’m a big fan of simplicity, and sometimes the most astonishing images come from the simplest ideas. These images, which centralize the theme, are, in my opinion, the most powerful because beneath all those layers, the simple idea of working as one shines through.

What are your primary sources of inspiration in photography, cinema, and fashion?
My inspiration always changes depending on where I am. Currently, I’m more interested in architecture and composition, so I’m trying to improve the way I use space. I’m studying Bauhaus, Gothic architecture, and the movement. Additionally, choreography and contemporary dance – actually, all forms of dance – are a significant source of inspiration for me. Love, the idea of being loved, losing love, and being in love also fascinates me greatly at this moment.

Daniel Obasi’s Vision of Africa in Lavazza’s New Calendar
Daniel Obasi’s Vision of Africa in Lavazza’s New Calendar
Daniel Obasi’s Vision of Africa in Lavazza’s New Calendar
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Baran’s emotional portraits

Baran’s emotional portraits

Collater.al Contributors · 1 month ago · Photography

Click when words fail is the name that the photographer Baran uses on social media and on her website. This phrase says a lot about her and her research. Words are often unable to return an emotion, communicate a feeling, or express it in the right terms. A photograph can do that. This happens to Mah (Baran) Mohammadasghari, a young Iranian photographer who immigrated to Canada, who begins to photograph as a therapeutic act. Her photographs, also published on Photo Vogue, are an authentic emotional and personal portrait. Her story and pain are reflected in every shot, whether it’s a self-portrait or a street photo. «I imagine my emotions and stories in a photographic way» says Baran that with her photographs she is able to convey human vulnerability and fragility.

Below each post of Baran, the photographer leaves a description always touching. A visual and narrative story of an emotion and it does so in a totally intimate and without filters. We had the pleasure of talking with her on the occasion of the exhibition Collater.al Photography held last September at the Fondazione Matalon in Milan. The story that communicates with the shot on display is emblematic of her photographic research. «This shot is part of a self-portrait project called Bereavement, which I started after my mother’s death five months ago. In this photo I am with my cat, Toranj, who has been with me for 14 years.» Baran tells us, «I adopted her when I was in Iran and she also immigrated to Canada with me. We spend a lot of time together, as in this photo, especially when I don’t feel good emotionally and she understands it perfectly and is with me as much as I want.» The loss of her mother and the pain she suffered are recurring in Baran’s shots, as in my mom is back as a bird – the shot published by Vogue – which tells the moment when “she saw her mother fly away from the window“. «I saw her flying out of the window… forever… and I died… forever… It was 3 AM or 2 AM… I do not really recall… two days ago … or three … well feels like… 2 million years ago in my scattered heart…»

Scatto in mostra a Collater.al Photography 2023
Visualizza questo post su Instagram

Un post condiviso da Mah (Baran) Mohammadasghari (@clickwhenwordsfail)

Courtesy Baran

Baran’s emotional portraits
Baran’s emotional portraits
Baran’s emotional portraits
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Fashion Photography According to Cindy Sherman

Fashion Photography According to Cindy Sherman

Anna Frattini · 1 month ago · Photography, Style

In Hamburg, there is an exhibition dedicated to Cindy Sherman‘s relationship with the world of fashion, titled ANTI-FASHION. The exhibition is taking place at the Falckenberg Collection, specifically at the Deichtor Hallen Internationale Kunst und Fotografie Hamburg. This exhibition traces the career and commissions of the American photographer by major brands and magazines. Chanel and Stella McCartney are just two of the brands that, along with some industry magazines, have commissioned Cindy Sherman for some of the photographs on display.

cindy sherman
 Untitled #462, 2007/2008 Private Collection Europe

The impressions created by Sherman in her photographs are far from glamorous, sexy, or elegant. Her work features subjects that are not traditionally desirable, and it certainly goes against the grain. Sherman uses fashion photography as a starting point to closely examine themes such as sex, gender, and age, demonstrating, but not limited to, these topics. Through the multitude of characters she portrays, Cindy Sherman shows us how the concept of identity is ever-changing and constantly evolving. In the accompanying critical text for the exhibition, the concept of (self-)constructed identity is discussed, which is a fluid concept that continues to challenge us even today.

cindy sherman
Untitled #602, 2019 Gilles Renaud Collection

There are numerous national and international contributions to this exhibition, the first dedicated to fashion in Cindy Sherman’s photographs. It includes 50 photographs from five decades of her career. ANTI-FASHION, curated by Alessandra Nappo, offers a unique opportunity to discover an unexpected aspect of Cindy Sherman, unveiling the influences and inspirations that the photographer has brought to the fashion world and how this influence continues to inspire entire generations of photographers.

cindy sherman
 Untitled #133, 1984 Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

The exhibition will remain open until March 3, 2024. Here you can find more informations on ANTI-FASHION.

ph. © Cindy Sherman

Fashion Photography According to Cindy Sherman
Fashion Photography According to Cindy Sherman
Fashion Photography According to Cindy Sherman
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