The scouting tour

30 March 2009


Remembering is a bizarre activity of the mind if you think about it. Memories are “stored” in many different ways according to the relevance or the impact they have had on our lives. Some memories are so packed with moments, faces of the people you’ve met and the places you’ve been that when you think about them the first thing you sense is the atmosphere of the moment. An emotion. Something that can be traced to a sensation , something under your skin. And you never know where to start if you’re asked to talk about it. Typical questions like “So, how was it?” leave you speechless. It’s like staring at a Rubik Cube and not knowing where to start. Then suddenly, still speechless, flashes start coming to your mind.

Our luggage on one side, our ticket in our hand, our eyes staring at the airport runway and the thought that we will be travelling for three weeks meeting students in schools all over Europe.

Dinner at our hotel with Marcus Wilmont (Fashion Collection of the Year Winner at ITS#FOUR) and Maki (AminakaWilmont) talking about their latest collection.
A room prepared for us at the Royal College of Arts. Portfolios opened in front of us revealing worlds, ideas, the minds of creative people changing the established order of things. It was one two three four, but they tell us it’s three two four one, and you’re totally convinced because their order is utterly fascinating.
The i-D Soul exhibition and a quick chat with Terry Jones about possible new collaborations together.

A cab taking us to Aitor Throup (Fashion Collection of the Year Winner at ITS#FIVE) and Clare and Bramble’s house. Bramble, little baby miracle just months old, stares at us as we enter and we fall in love. Last year we were here with Aitor and Clare and there was no baby but Barbara knew Clare was pregnant and she told her. Clare didn’t know it at the time and Barbara’s words puzzled her so she checked and she was pregnant… Now little Bramble stares at us and is puzzled by these two big things dressed in black talking to mum (Clare) and dad (Aitor). Clare is crazy in love with Bramble. Aitor looks at Bramble all the time and hugs her all the time and you know he’s desperately in love. He changes the order of things and little Bramble changed his order of things. Wow, wow, wow.

Central St Martins School of Arts and its old rooms packed with students in every corner. The thought that we won’t see this old school brimming with fashion history again since they’re changing buildings soon.
Dinner at Nathalie and John Gibson’s place, a trip within a trip: A house that welcomes you with 8 cats, hundreds of colours, objects of all sorts and a sense of relaxation we would expect only at home, as we listen to Phil Spector’s (a crazy record producer from the 60s) “wall of music”.

A drink at our hotel with Daniel Ivarsson (Diesel Award winner at ITS#FIVE), Yang Du (ITS#SEVEN finalist), Adrian Sommerauer (ITS#FIVE and ITS#SEVEN finalist), Tomasz Donocik (Winner of the YKK Special Prize at ITS#SEVEN), Haizhen Wang (ITS#FOUR finalist) and Niccolò. The great fun we had together catching up on what’s new in our lives and telling silly jokes about selling shit (real shit) to fashion victims. It’s just a matter of finding the right tagline and packaging.

Tomasz saying Daniel drives his Ducati like a madman, Daniel saying his Ducati is falling to pieces, Yang Du ready to leave for a trip to Ecuador, Haizhen talking about his new job at All Saints with Daniel and Martine Jarlgaard (ITS#ONE finalist) and Adrian reporting on his latest crazy job interviews.

The feeling of being at home with these guys, of not wanting this night to end.
Heather Blake(Accessories Collection of the Year at ITS#FIVE) welcoming us at London College of Fashion and Jonathan Lipitch informing accessories students about the hundreds of different possibilities with fastenings, as we keep an eye on the clock since we have to catch the 2pm train for Paris.
La Ville Lumière.

Historical “Brasserie Lipp” with Deanna and Laura. Hyperactive Francine Pairon at the new IFM (Institut Français de la Mode) building, taking us around the new school on the banks of the river Seine. Tea with Vladimiro from Diesel, talking about future projects.
Fashion victims being photographed outside fashion show entrances by photographers convinced they are documenting the latest trends… but what’s the point of dressing up like a colourful clown if the reason is simply that you want photographers to take pictures of you?
Very young students and their embryonic dreams at Esmod International.
Walking through Place des Vosges with Jérôme Hanover after visiting his beautiful new apartment and spending the evening at his old house together with Sinan, eating sweets and huge pizzas.

Two days at Hogeschool Antwerpen with its talented students welcomed by Yvonne and Walter who also took us out for a pleasant dinner.
Lunch with Demna (Winner of Fashion Collection of the Year at ITS#THREE) talking about his life and this crazy recession.
Andrea Cammarosano (finalist at ITS#SEVEN), Ann Torfs (finalist at ITS#FIVE) and their new collections.
A milkshake with Yuima Nakazato (Winner of Vertice Award at ITS#SEVEN) trying to figure out places where he could express his amazing talent, before going to dinner at Demna’s. Talking with Demna and Yuima after a very tasty salad about this crazy fashion world where an item that costs € 20 in production is sold at € 600…
Waking up knowing you have been sleeping too little since you left home. But you have a plane to catch. Your last stop, Barcelona.

Sun! The smell of the sea the minute you leave the airport! The smell of spring. No, it’s more like the smell of the end of spring and the beginning of summer. Beautiful Barcelona.
Experimenting Spanish cuisine together with Fabrizio Talia (ITS#ONE finalist and Winner of Best Womenswear Collection at ITS#TWO) and his wonderful friends with whom we spent some of the most valuable time of this whole tour.
Students at Felicidad Duce, ESDI and IED Barcelona.
Bernadette Wittman organising 080 Barcelona with all the problems she had to face. A woman of true strength, elegance and kindness we simply love.
Jurgen, Vincent, Frederick, Vicky, Eugénie, Sandra and Take, members of the 080 Barcelona jury headed by our little red-headed Barbara.

Justin Smith (Winner of i-D Styling Award and Maria Luisa Award at ITS#SIX) telling us he swaps hair cuts and hats for early 20th century-style swimming suits.
The incredible time we spent with Justin Smith, Marcus and Maki, Mark Fast (Winner of i-D Styling Award at ITS#SEVEN), Roland Peterkops & Marite Mastina (finalists at ITS#SIX), Susan Dimasi & Chantal McDonald (“Material By Product”, finalists at ITS#SIX), who were all finalists of this event.
Valentim Quaresma (Winner of Accessories Collection of the Year at ITS#SEVEN) and the beautiful installation in the lobby of our hotel.
Justin ready to drive back to London by car from Barcelona to be there the morning after to hold a conference together with milliner Stephen Jones.
Landing back home in Trieste with loads of sleep to catch up on, knowing that we will be back at work in the office the next day with hundreds of portfolios waiting for us.

Flashes that sum up in one big memory.

“So, how was it?”

Silence. The Rubik Cube stands there as you try to choose where to start from.

“Once again, simply great”.

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