EPHYRA – Sofia Masciotta

Italiano (Italian)

Amyd Arte Spazio
Via Lovanio, 6. Milan
March 13 – April 3 2023

Press release by Anna d’Ambrosio

Amy d Arte Spazio Mlano is pleased to present Ephyra, an economArt project by Sofia Masciotta, at its first exhibition in the gallery.

Art that contaminates fashion, confusing, orienting and disorienting. Art and fashion have always been linked by socio-economic cultural identity codes; that of Sofia Masciotta, (Rome 1997) winner of the Fashion Award 2022 Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, confirms it.

Her first show, Ephyra, is closely linked to contemporaneity and experimentation. The Amy d Arte Spazio research gallery in Milan has not missed the opportunity to involve the young Sofia Masciotta in an exhibition that resulted in installations, photographs, paper-models and accessories, supporting the artist’s research in the name of a hybridism that characterizes the work of the gallery in an interdisciplinary sense.

The experimentation on tulle of a biodegradable material was the fil rouge of the collaboration with the Milanese gallery which since 2013 has undertaken the research and experimentation of smart materials and new generation materials, thanks to the collaboration of research institutes such as the Polytechnic of Milan, the Smart Department Materials of the I.I. T of Genoa, Unisa of Salerno, Tor Vergata.

Collaboration therefore not casual, but elective and selective. The couturière debuts with Ephyra, a collection in which all the garments are inspired by the patterns of jellyfish, laying the foundations for a refined aesthetic that emphasizes mobile, fluctuating and liquid lines in order to celebrate the movement of the body and of thought.

The project provides identity resources and begins to take shape from the photos of the photographer Zena Holloway, who with the magic of her shots reflects the graceful forms in organic union with the cnidarians.

Passing from the concept to the dress, Masciotta materializes the dream in micro-narratives, transferring the lattice pattern (honeycomb) onto the tulle with an immersive and empathetic three-dimensional result that leads the creation of the animated work into a sculptural element.

“A dress is a thought” said Elsa Schiaparelli in 1937 referring to the union with Salvador Dalì in the iconic and famous creation of the Lobster Dress.

These creations belong to a new register, a mix of sculpture and large volumes with powerful references to the shape of water and the original element of our primordial identity.

The new capsule collections, Ephyra, are characterized by a particular effect of depth and the irregular geometries of jellyfish reinterpreted in a contemporary key.

Thus a particularly suggestive series was born: it is no longer the body itself, but the body sculpted by continuous transformation and movement, what Sofia Masciotta’s clothes want to highlight in parallel with the emergency of the proliferation of jellyfish as indicators of climate change.

“Being themselves a biological indicator of pollution, they are the perfect muses as a symbol of revolt and a new and alternative proposition.”

To best represent this aquatic world, biomaterial experimentation has led to the creation of a print on tulle, in which the reticular texture is created thanks to a personal experimental processing of a compound which, with the addition of a pinch of soap and the with the help of a straw, creates this water-soluble print by imprinting a texture that has evolved with the addition of color and pigments in more nuanced and fluid effects.

For the study of the volumes, the starting point was the jellyfish themselves; with tracing paper, irregular and staggered flounces were extrapolated which were subsequently smeared with biomaterial.

For Sofia, the dress must complete the body, be an integral part of it, an extension of it, for this reason the dresses have been made with BODY NUDE?, where the flounces have been positioned respecting the shape of the body and its movements.

The biomaterial also makes the fabric compact and allows the fabric not to fray with a raw cut effect equal to that of lace. Sofia Masciotta’s fashion is fluid and sustainable, with clothes made like small works of art, unique pieces, to invent new stories, where quality prevails over the serial quantity of production

The interest in tulle stems from Sofia’s interdisciplinary approach; the young designer is fascinated by the lightness, transparency and fluidity of this fabric. Her creations fluctuate between the material and the surreal, releasing energy.

T for tulle, the most romantic fabric ever with its hexagonal mesh format similar to those of bees’ nests.

At the end of the 80s the fashion designer Benjamin Shine used it to create works and installations for high fashion brands, and today tulle has ceased to be only poetic and romantic; it has become rock, subversive and purposeful.

“Ephyra” also represents a rebirth in the name of conscious sustainability. We can certainly recycle materials, reducing the environmental impact and still be sustainable for the planet, but we can also find a

way to produce new materials that have no impact in the production and disposal process, introducing a state-of-the-art creative system.

Fashion, like science, is revolutionizing materials in the name of sustainability, towards a circular economy system. The specificity of Sofia was to embrace sustainability without forgetting traditional materials such as tulle, following an orientation adopted by archaeological sites such as Pompeii, with the use of invisible solar panels made as typical terracotta tiles.

Miren Arzaluzz, director of the Palais Galliera in Paris, says: “fashion is fascinating, and it is certainly art. It is about the art of thinking, of creating a project, but above all it is a vibrant and powerful industry, a powerful tool for transmitting one’s creativity, building one’s identity. [….]”