MARTINA DEVICIENTI: A DEBUT AT MISSONI

NABA

NABA graduate Martina Devicienti describes herself as a “dreamer.” Her innovative, creative designs won her the Lectra Prize at the 2016 NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti competition.

Final-year students were asked to create a collection inspired by the theme “Dolce Stil Novo (Sweet New Style),” a literary movement that became a symbol of a new way of seeing and understand the world. Devicienti was awarded licenses for Modaris and Diamino, as well as a day of training with a Lectra expert. She also won a three-month internship at Missoni, the iconic Italian fashion brand and a Lectra customer for over twenty years. In our latest interview, she shares her path to fashion design, what it was like working at Missoni, and her thoughts on real style.

How did you end up studying fashion?

Some of my first memories are connected to sewing, and sewing is connected to my grandmother, who was a seamstress. She had sewn since she was a child, and she passed on her passion for sewing to me.

I started studying design in my third year of high school. I had initially intended to go into industry, but I realized that wasn’t for me. So, I enrolled in the Morvillo Falcone Fashion and Clothing Institute and that’s where it all started. In the end, I chose to go to NABA, so after high school, I went to Milan.

The first year was pretty difficult, but gradually I got used to it. The three-year course in Fashion Design NABA offers two specialization paths, in fashion design and fashion styling. The first two years are the same for both programs and in your third year, you can choose a specialty. I chose NABA for this reason, because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do exactly. In the end, I chose fashion design.

How did you end up studying fashion?

Some of my first memories are connected to sewing, and sewing is connected to my grandmother, who was a seamstress. She had sewn since she was a child, and she passed on her passion for sewing to me. I started studying design in my third year of high school. I had initially intended to go into industry, but I realized that wasn’t for me. So, I enrolled in the Morvillo Falcone Fashion and Clothing Institute and that’s where it all started. In the end, I chose to go to NABA, so after high school, I went to Milan.

The first year was pretty difficult, but gradually I got used to it. The three-year course in Fashion Design NABA offers two specialization paths, in fashion design and fashion styling. The first two years are the same for both programs and in your third year, you can choose a specialty. I chose NABA for this reason, because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do exactly. In the end, I chose fashion design.

What was the greatest lesson the internship taught you?

The biggest lesson I learned is you don’t get to give up unless you’ve given something at least ten tries! In this line of work, challenges large and small have to be confronted and worked out.

What do you like most about being a designer and working in fashion?

Being creative and having a certain kind of freedom. The more skilled you are in patternmaking and sewing, the more you can create. In my opinion, you’re born creative, you can’t become a designer if you don’t have innate creativity. It’s not a skill you can acquire. It’s like building a house: if you don’t have the foundation, it won’t last. You can draw whatever you like on paper, but you also have to be sure that your project is feasible. I love to draw. When I create a collection, I like to be funny, I don’t know how to be any other way. I’m a dreamer, and through my creations, I get to dream even more.

As a designer, how do you stay up-to-date on the latest trends?

I stay up to date using websites, newspapers, and magazines. The sites I use the most are Vogue and WWD. I don’t follow bloggers, I’m not a fan of them. I don’t think people should be followed as examples; maybe that was appropriate before, but today, if you’re paid to wear clothes or you’re managed by someone else, you’re not being yourself. They define trends that are imposed on them, they’re not style icons. A style icon would be Anna Piaggi or Iris Van Herpen, who really mean something to fashion. I also think that style is something innate. For example, I’m creative, but I don’t have innate style. I don’t define myself by my style, but rather by my creativity. I think these are two different things.

How has working with Lectra solutions been beneficial to you?

It has built up gradually: in high school, we sometimes used CAD programs. We don’t spend enough time on CAD in school, because there is so much to learn, between design and patternmaking. But this knowledge has been helpful in professional situations. When you need to use technology to respond to the needs of fashion companies, it’s very useful to have the software on hand and know how to use it. For example, Modaris offers a world of possibilities: it saves an enormous amount of time and simplifies tasks. During my internship, there was strong interaction between the design department and the patternmaking team, which uses Modaris. The knowledge I acquired during the Fashion Design three-year course at NABA, specifically on using Lectra CAD, was definitely useful.

Where do you see yourself, or hope to be, in 10 years?

I hope to have my own brand, a little company like Lai, with staff and production in Italy. 

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