Filippo Barbagallo graduated in 2021 as Best Student of the Fashion Design & Accessories Undergraduate course at Istituto Marangoni Firenze. To present his last FW collection, Entity, Barbagallo worked both with digital and traditional media to produce his designs. Talking about his project, the student ‟felt compelled to interact with different images, creating an extravagant identity that aims to combine different styles and lifestyles. This man in his androgynous dimension becomes an expression of possible equality. The individual feels carried away by an exuberant mix of references, through pop music, to funk or jazz, with carnivalesque or bizarre costumes, which all aim at the search for identity. I wanted to break down the human form, deconstruct it and readjust it to these revisited styles, which can only be readapted together. So I decided to go in search of a man in a total search for indefinite masculinity. I like to create confusion, and subsequently translate it into drawings, volumes, and overlapping silhouettes, forming what I call Entity.”
Everyone has their working method. Everyone asks different questions but decides what they want to answer. Discovering new methods, questions and answers is certainly interesting – or somewhat necessary. In creating his Entity collection, Filippo Barbagallo had distant and different inspirations than those of the group that took care of the photoshoot. He was inspired by concepts very close to his heart, guided by his aesthetics and vision. That is why we felt it necessary to have a direct conversation with him so that we could better understand his approach and rendition.
AR: If you had to define your collection Entity, what would you say?
FB: Entity is a contemporary study of different artistic references, an instrument to provide myself with my aesthetic orientation. It is a visual project that integrates various social phenomena into a single identity. The collection is not unisex, but it can be easily divided into two or more genders, bringing together different people who try to define themselves. Each outfit uses a different name to tell a story; the silhouettes and garments are easily separated to create new looks with different textures. Prints, volumes, tailoring and knitwear form the basis of my research on a deconstructed entity.
AR: Who is the purpose of the garments in your collection?
FB: The research starts from the subcultures created by young people and then talks about the various musical scenes created within clubs to analyse how these costumes have been interpreted by the nonconformist androgynous people who parade on the street. All this will eventually relate to my Sicilian origins. Entity wants to encompass different genres and different viewers; it wants to recreate a new fashion genre. Entity in the future will always look for an unbalanced balance, to always address those who want to reshape their identity with their own body and appeareance. My intent will always be to provide collections that revolve around this concept, so anyone can have the opportunity to choose from these garments and build their own beauty.
AR: There is also a 3D version of Entity. What does the digital medium represent for you? The means or the end?
FB: My study method combines handmade with 3D. They cannot be separated; they go hand in hand. My research starts from collages that are later transferred to the 3D world. After making some draft outfits, I print them, draw on them again and then feed them back into the 3D system. My avatar becomes my mannequin, which allows me to work on it and experiment with new volumes. 3D is a preview of what you will see in the real world; it anticipates the result. After completing the collection, I dedicated my time to Clo 3D because it is more than just a modelling program. With Clo 3D you can sew any object with a pattern as a basic system. So I thought about where an entity character might live, where you can buy an entity boss, and where you can find entity characters.