How Imagination Can Change The World
Harper's BAZAAR Singapore|November 2021
Through a collaboration with Fornasetti, the Louis Vuitton fall/winter 2021 collection became a spectacular meeting of minds, of fashion and art, and of the classical and the contemporary. Barnaba Fornasetti tells us more about the partnership and how imagination can change the world.
Jeffrey Yan

Founded in 1940 by Piero Fornasetti, Fornasetti sits at the intersection of art and design, and has become beloved the world over thanks to its irreverent approach to both. A healthy dose of surrealism and whimsy marks the studio’s output, be it candles, porcelain, furniture or wallpaper. Now, the brand has made a foray into high fashion with a Louis Vuitton tie-up. Inspired by the idea of clashing past with present, and classicism with the avant-garde, the surreal and everything in between, Nicolas Ghesquière, Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton’s womenswear, looked to the vast archives of Fornasetti and rendered its prints, motifs and drawings on both ready-to-wear and accessories. It marked the latest, and perhaps the biggest, in a long line of collaborations for the Italian design studio—now helmed by Barnaba Fornasetti, son of Piero. Ahead of a Fornasetti exhibition curated by Ghesquière, “Imagination Takes Flight: The World of Fornasetti Through the Eyes of Nicolas Ghesquière”, which is set to take place at Garage Traversi in Milan next year, Fornasetti sits down exclusively with us to talk about the magic of collaboration, the importance of the handmade and the power of dreaming.

How did the collaboration with Louis Vuitton come about and why did it feel right for now?

The collaboration was the brainchild of Nicolas Ghesquière. During a visit to the Louvre, he realised that Fornasetti could form the visual and thematic bridge between the fall/ winter 2021 collection and the place where he was thinking of presenting it. Working with Nicolas on this collection, we discovered an extraordinary harmony in terms of our stylistic codes, creative thinking and ethics, which is what made our dialogue fluid. One of the things that excited me about this collaboration is that it fits into a line of thought that we have been developing for some years. Alongside the design of furniture, accessories and porcelain, Fornasetti supports and produces various cultural initiatives—exhibitions, art installations, theatre shows, music and reviews. They are all built around the idea of a dialogue with the classical world. This fashion collection continues the dialogue from a new perspective.

Tell us more about the shared codes between Fornasetti and Louis Vuitton.

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