Vincenzo Verdesca, Creative Designer And…

This week the post­card is dedi­ca­ted to a young, ver­sa­ti­le arti­san, who is only 33 years old, but has almo­st a deca­de of experience.
His name is Vin­cen­zo. He was born in Salen­ti­no di Galan­ti­na, near Lec­ce (he is very proud of his ori­gin), and he has been living in Rome for 12 years.

Good mor­ning Vin­cen­zo, defi­ning in one only craft your arti­san flair is real­ly hard: make-up arti­st, sty­li­st, per­so­nal look con­sul­tant… How would you descri­be yourself?

Defi­ning myself in one only craft has always been a bit dif­fi­cult for me. Offi­cial­ly I am a Desi­gner, the appro­pria­te word to name the distinc­ti­ve trait recur­ring in all the craf­ts I prac­ti­ce: Pro­ject. No pro­fes­sion can exi­st without a pro­ject. None­the­less, I like to think of myself as a mil­li­ner of yeste­ryears, as in my atelier/workshop I ima­gi­ne, crea­te and rea­li­ze pro­jec­ts of all kinds. I main­ly make hau­te cou­tu­re dres­ses for all types of clien­ts. Fur­ther­mo­re, I crea­te Bur­le­sque costu­mes, some­thing I real­ly like. The make-up, the sty­ling, the per­so­nal look con­sul­tan­cy are some col­la­te­ral aspec­ts, which go toge­ther and often over­lap. When the door of crea­ti­vi­ty opens up, one craft leads to ano­ther, pro­vi­ded one main­tains a high level of qua­li­ty, always per­cei­ving one’s limi­ts and col­la­bo­ra­ting with the right persons.

Your crea­ti­ve sign has a touch of ‘vin­ta­ge’, and like­ly your han­di­craft, which takes inspi­ra­tion from pre­cious manu­fac­tu­res. Whe­re does this pas­sion of yours come from? Whe­re did it enrich its tech­ni­que up to the point to beco­me a profession?

It’s not a pas­sion, it’s a true voca­tion, which I would defi­ne as almo­st reli­gious. This voca­tion finds its roo­ts in my fami­ly histo­ry, in the tales of my paren­ts, who lived in the incre­di­ble ‘50s and ‘60s, and in the curios accom­pli­ce that stron­gly binds me to my bro­ther, in their pre­cious sup­port for eve­ry crea­ti­ve ‘deli­rium’ of mine. “Let him make it”, my mother used to say.

Gro­wing up, after having accep­ted my eclec­tic natu­re, I’ve tried to explo­re my inte­rests throu­gh my studies.

In only two years and a half, I com­ple­ted my Bache­lor at the Acca­de­mia di Bel­le Arti in Rome. I had atten­ded the sopho­mo­re year abroad at the Aca­de­my of Fine Arts in Anver­sa, whe­re I had had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to disco­ver my talent for Fashion Desi­gn thanks to the ama­zing clas­ses with desi­gners like Iris Van Her­pen, Dries van Noten, Ann Demeu­le­mee­ster, Dirk Bikkembergs…

Back in Ita­ly and full of crea­ti­ve ener­gy I imme­dia­te­ly began the Master in Fashion Desi­gn at the same Acca­de­mia di Roma. Then a scho­lar­ship allo­wed me to attend the Inte­rior Desi­gn Cour­se at the Euro­pean Insti­tu­te of Desi­gn in Roma (IED). During the who­le cour­se, I have always pro­du­ced, explo­ring tech­ni­ques, mate­rials, stea­ling with my eyes and hands, meta­pho­ri­cal­ly, the expe­rien­ce of ‘enlighte­ned’ artists, arti­sans, and tea­chers. That’s how I’ve begun nar­ra­ting my sto­ry throu­gh my crea­tions, a sto­ry that for sure recalls the past cele­bra­tes, and thanks to it.

Very soon you began to work, expe­ri­men­ting on your­self with the makeup and dress-up until you have crea­ted an alter-ego per­for­mer, that repre­sen­ts you in the round…

Indeed, whi­le during the week I was stu­dy­ing like cra­zy, on the wee­kend I wor­ked as a voca­li­st in order to earn a lit­tle some­thing. Here my alter-ego was born: Jesus.

Encir­cled by visio­na­ry per­for­mers, club kids, and far­seeing crea­ti­ve direc­tors I’ve had the chan­ce also in this sec­tor to explo­re myself, and only now, whi­le I’m answe­ring, I beco­me aware to be real­ly luc­ky. What I had crea­ted wasn’t enou­gh to me, I wan­ted to immer­se myself in it, thro­wing it on me, living it. And in order to fight my bat­tle again­st my iden­ti­ty, what bet­ter armor than a bit of black eye­li­ner and a lea­ther jac­ket? In less than a sea­son, my alter-ego, Jesus, had taken sha­pe: I would descri­be it as Dita Von Tee­se and Mari­lyn Manson’s son.

I star­ted to per­form on sta­ge sin­ging, ano­ther great pas­sion of mine, on tour in cafés chan­tan­ts and thea­ters all around Euro­pe, pro­fes­sio­nal­ly swit­ching bet­ween desi­gner, make-up arti­st, and performer.

Your work as a make-up arti­st has given you great sati­sfac­tion and has brought you impor­tant col­la­bo­ra­tions, such as the one with Gigi, Car­lot­ta and Susan­na Pro­iet­ti at the Glo­be Theatre…

Each pro­ject implies great sati­sfac­tion, from the easie­st one to the most com­pli­ca­ted one.

The coo­pe­ra­tion with the Pro­iet­ti fami­ly is one of the achie­ve­men­ts that I could never have ima­gi­ned. I can­not express the fee­lings of respect and admi­ra­tion that have been bin­ding me to Gigi fir­st and now to my dea­re­st Car­lot­ta and Susan­na, fee­lings that now have tur­ned into deep affec­tion. I owe a lot to their con­fi­den­ce. I can’t say ano­ther word without being touched.

In addi­tion to the splen­did Glo­be Thea­ter, I have had the luc­ky chan­ce to work back­sta­ge, and some­ti­mes to per­form on sta­ge, in seve­ral dif­fe­rent histo­ri­cal thea­tres in Roma and in Ita­ly: the Tea­tro Pario­li, Tea­tro Bran­cac­cio, Tea­tro Vit­to­ria, Audi­to­rium Par­co del­la Musi­ca, Tea­tro Gio­co Vita in Pia­cen­za, Tea­tro Pin Off in Mila­no and recen­tly the Tea­tro No’hma in Mila­no in col­la­bo­ra­tion with Ric­car­do Busca­ri­ni, direc­tor and cho­reo­gra­pher, and Sabri­na Fon­ta­nel­la, for the show “Vor­rei che que­sto Bal­lo non finis­se Mai” (I’d like that this Dan­ce would never end), that inclu­des me in the cast, too.

Your clien­ts are not only pro­fes­sio­nal actors, but also per­sons asking for a beau­ti­ful look for spe­cial occa­sions. Which reque­st has been the fun­nie­st? Which one enga­ged the most your arti­san crea­ti­ve flair?

The fun is in the chal­len­ge! One day I have to dress up a vam­pi­ress with cani­nes and fake blood, the next day I have to crea­te a look for a tri­bu­te to a star of Hol­ly­wood among fea­thers and cry­stals. Some­ti­mes I must make the sty­ling for a music video, or desi­gn a bri­dal gown.

I love taking care of the look for my custo­mers of Bur­le­sque costu­mes, becau­se it let me time-tra­vel, re-crea­ting dres­ses and hair-sty­ling of the past and con­se­quen­tly reli­ve and rework the con­cept of beau­ty, main­ly femi­ni­ne beau­ty, with the aware­ness of the pre­sent. The true chal­len­ge, but the tech­ni­cal aspect, is to be able to nar­ra­te with digni­ty the sto­ry of the per­son I’m put­ting on the make-up and dres­sing, be her a fan­ta­sy cha­rac­ter, a bri­de, or a per­for­mer. Sin­ce­ri­ty is always the highe­st tar­get to be rea­ched, even in arti­stic fiction.

During the pan­de­mic, how is impor­tant the make-up on a face mostly hid­den by a mask?

The make-up is use­less if it doesn’t make us feel bet­ter. Put­ting make-up is a kind of com­mu­ni­ca­tion tool bet­ween us and the ‘others’. It’s not man­da­to­ry, but it can be use­ful, with or without the mask. For sure the beau­ty of a natu­ral visa­ge is priceless.

Do you have advi­ce, a lit­tle “makeup” easi­ly rea­li­za­ble to bring back the smi­le in the occa­sion of the Car­ni­val, this year abso­lu­te­ly undertone?

A lit­tle makeup? “Let them do it”, my mother would say.

Be crea­ti­ve!

The make-up is washa­ble, but what it has allo­wed you to live remains in your memo­ries. I star­ted with black eye­li­ner and my mother’s lip­stick instead of the eye­sha­dow. Mess up and copy whoe­ver you like. Enjoy yourselves!

The past few mon­ths’ loc­k­do­wns have brought many dif­fi­cul­ties to all the arti­sans, thou­gh it couldn’t stop their skil­led hands. I know yours are going to rea­li­ze a new hau­te cou­tu­re col­lec­tion with your ori­gi­nal brand…

Yes, it’s an ambi­tious pro­ject, espe­cial­ly in this period that is bum­ming us out. ARCANA is my inner pro­ject, a crea­ti­ve stu­dy that invol­ves all the sec­tors in which I ope­ra­te, from fashion to music.

With the col­la­bo­ra­tion of arti­sans, desi­gners, and young wil­ling artists, Arca­na has the aim of rea­li­zing ser­vi­ces and pro­duc­ts of Desi­gn (fashion, acces­so­ries, look crea­tion, make-up) that can keep high their emo­tio­nal values and repre­sent the new crea­ti­ve rea­li­ty, with its wounds. An eso­te­ric, mystic, and dee­ply hone­st tale, without affec­ting the qua­li­ty and the research that cha­rac­te­ri­ze our Country.

I’d like Arca­na could be like a 2.0 arti­sans’ borou­gh. Bet­ter said, 2.1, as this pre­sent year.

Desi­gn Studio
Via degli Ana­ma­ri, 20
00185 ROMA (RM)
Tel +39 0664014016
Cell +39 393 9672668