There is nothing ordinary about Flavia Tomassi’s fashion creations. For years, the Italian designer has brought to light the darkest and sexiest side of costume designing. After obtaining her Honor Degree at the Accademia Italiana di Costume e Moda, Flavia has created costumes for theater shows, photo shoots and private exhibitions, traveling to theaters across Italy. Since 2010 she has worked as designer and decorator in some of the most prestigious Italian firms, such as Il Costume and Farani (who makes costumes for famous directors like Pier Paolo Pasolini – when he was still alive, Sofia Coppola and Tim Burton), for large theatre productions running at the Scala di Milano and the Arena di Verona, for renowned high-fashion designers like Renato Balestra, and for movie productions, including ‘Tales of Tales’ by Oscar nominated director Matteo Garrone.
FB: When did this passion start and what was the first item you designed?
FT: Since I was a kid I was surrounded by fabrics and ribbons, as both my mother and my grandfather were tailors. When I was 7 I started to make little dresses for my Barbie doll. I used to “steal” every remnant that my Mum left lying around to create skirts, tops and long night dresses. Obviously the first design wasn’t Armani Privè at all, but creating something with my hands made me so happy and satisfied that I realised it could be the job of my life.
FB: Give me three designs: the hardest one to make, the most beautiful to look at and the most expensive one.
FT: The hardest one to make:
I think It was the hardest one to make ‘cause it took me endless hours of work and there are a lot of different techniques. I started from an original pattern of a historic costume and then I modified it with a personal, modern twist. I dyed all the fabrics with natural products, like wine and beetroot, and I also used alternative materials such as liquid latex (the red veins that I “painted” on the underbust) and the medical gauze (decorations for skirt/tights and bra).
The most beautiful to look at:
With a black lace dress you can never go wrong…. Also a generous backless section always helps!
The most expensive one:
This one I think is the most impressive and expensive costume that I ever made. It took me a “normal” amount of hours to make it, but there are a lot of different materials like plastic and real hair (headpiece), bronze inserts and liquid latex (bra and underbust).
FB: Picture this: unlimited funds and the catwalks of Milan or Paris only for you. What collection would you create?
FT: It would be a dream. I think that it wouldn’t be the classic catwalk, with all those melancholy “coathangers models”. I don’t like that kind of fashion, principally ‘cause I feel more like a costume designer than a fashion designer. In fact, I’ve always been inspired by Thierry Mugler’s and Alexander McQueen’s catwalks. They were something different, unique pieces of art. So, certainly I would create a collection that impresses people, a mixture of ancient costumes adorned with objects created by a 3D printer or new recycled materials. I would also realise the set design through holograms. I’m really interested in this new type of technology.
FB: Italy is famous for classic high-fashion. Can you give us an inside look into the alternative scene? Is it ready to take us into the future, or are we still constrained by the old shackles of traditionalism?
FT: Unfortunately I’m not so well informed about the Italian alternative scene, in general. I think that the fashion world in Italy will always be connected and influenced by the big brands like the inimitable Armani and Valentino. New designers, also in the alternative scene, will always have an “uncomfortable” comparison with them. There’s a lot of baggage that comes with that, but I think it’s normal and also stimulating. My vision about the future is that the Italian market will change soon, and some new designers will stand out in the international scene. Of course, I hope to be in this group as well. By the way, If you ask me to mention some alternative names, I’ve only heard about “Dead Lotus Couture”. This is an Italian designer who will be doing a fashion show at the next Torture Garden Italy event (May 28th at Qube – Rome). She makes beautiful dresses in latex and she’s really appreciated abroad.
FB: Moving from traditional to unconventional, our readers will be fascinated by the Ritual’s pictures. What is it, about this event, that appeals to your creativity?
[From the left: Fabrizio Pavia Photography; Fabrizio de Blasio; Silvia Mongelli. Post Production Fabio Timpanaro]
FT: Ritual it’s not just an event, is a physical and mental environment where people can explore self-expression, cherish their fetish, push the limits of their bodies, dress up to the nines or get down to some banging tune, jump in or just stand by. For me it’s a big opportunity, I can freely express my artistic vision, experiment and, first of all, I was able to improve my skills as a set designer, a new job for me before Ritual.
[Ritual Facebook, Website, Instagram]
FB: What’s next on your fashion adventure list?
FT: I really want to study the 3D world in depth: it’s the future, without a doubt. I’m currently doing a courses on this in a FabLab here in Rome. It’s so interesting but also complicated. Unfortunately, I’m pretty old-fashioned inside.