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