Born from an architect and an engineer, Ludovica Diligu is a Milanese fashion designer. Her family origins and her previous experience in theatrical productions transpire from her own brand LABO.ART, in the constant search for architectural shapes inside clothes, bared from all kind of excess, in the awareness that “less is more”. In the new SS23 collection — inspired by the aviation motif — iconic garments and distinctive traits emerge, like the garment-dyed embossed cotton, the Soul and Sangallo. LABO.ART recently got its Concept Store Bar in Tinos, Greece, where Diligu decided to move, even if always anchored to Italian textile manufacturing sector, expression of Made in Italy excellence
Marco Nicosia in conversation with Ludovica Diligu, founder and creative director of LABO.ART.
In your opinion, what is it that marks your new collection? What did you want to tell this time?
Each LABO.ART collection is the expression of contemporary visual art, the result of the brand’s continuous research and experimentation. The word “art” is in my DNA and takes shape in the search for lines, volumes and geometries, for a style that can make my creations similar to architectures that you can wear. Even in my new collection, I encourage subtraction over excess, with a refined, essential and contemporary style that enhances without exposing. Sobriety and minimalist elegance are always protagonists, lit by new shades of colors, which are my passion.
How would you describe the women and men who wear your items?
I bear in mind contemporary women and men. I like to think that those who choose a LABO.ART garment want to free themselves from all constraints, looking for a modern but sophisticated style; they are men and women in search of lightness, to free themselves not only from shapes, but from every form of conditioning.
How does your search for materials and fabrics take place?
It does by combining cotton, wool and linen — and lots, lots of research. Street markets and old wardrobes.
What are your main inspirations, outside and inside fashion?
My keyword is “constant research”: I never stop experimenting, which means to me playing, hazarding, starting from experience. Exhibitions, cinema, theater… I let myself be enraptured by every kind of detail. This search is expressed by the constant desire to reinterpret classical materials by looking for new volumes, capable of finding an innovative role in everyday life. I conceive fashion as a melting of theatrics and architectural styles. I love to stage the theatrics of life in an essential way, and for this Greece is a big source of inspiration and discovery for new palettes of colors, inspired by chromaticism and by the disruptive strength of Mediterranean nature.
Has your approach to fashion and job changed in any way since you moved to Greece?
My new mantra is “less stress, more consciousness”. Greece is the way I reconnect with my solar and Mediterranean part, a magic place where I can enrich myself with new atmospheres. It’s a new way of living daily life, smarter and more comfortable, with big attention to naturalness and values that are actually meaningful.
What would you recommend to a young person who would like to create a brand today, starting their own business?
The first thing you should ask yourself is: “What do I want to offer differently? Who is my brand aimed at?”. It is not enough to create in order to be successful. I really believe in uniqueness, but also in humility. Of course a good start is to learn before producing. Always staying consistent with yourself. Working a lot, with big passion. Never waiving your aesthetic vision of things. Everyone should be free to follow their own vision of beauty.