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Giuseppe Buccinnà leather research in civil engineering and contemporary arts

Giuseppe Buccinnà: leather, accessories, and designs from the mind of a civil engineer and fashion designer in Milan

Fashion and civil engineering

Civil engineering builds the environment through roads, railways, buildings, etc. and argues as the pioneer, if not the oldest, discipline of engineering. Civil engineers, the personas behind the faculty, moves beyond designing infrastructures, but may also work in the aerospace industry to craft jetliners and space stations, the automotive industry to enhance the capacity of a chassis and limits of bumpers and doors, and the power industry to ensure the supply of power across the lines. In Giuseppe Buccinnà’s case, civil engineering identifies his university degree of three years from Politecnico di Milano before amalgamating his studies with a diploma in pattern making from Istituto Secoli and turning to fashion as a designer based in Milan. In 2015, he established his label, where he harbors the technicalities of engineering with the techniques of fashion to come up with forms that found the symmetry of his fabric, style and its wearability, the cuts of his materials outline the philosophy of intimism, a principle of artists in the early twentieth century on the life of every day as the subject of the art they create. Along with intimism, Buccinnà employs distortion in designs and intermittency in his garments. «I perceive fashion as an opportunity. When I started studying civil engineering in Milan, I aspired to find a language that would help me create objects as soon as I conceived them, and fashion came out as the result where I could design and realize outfits almost right off the bat. My experience as an engineer broadened my mind on object creations. If one studies a niche and focuses their lives within those boundaries, their vision narrows, while if they start from the contrast of what they will be practicing, the insight expands and they may work in a space founded in multiplicity of studies. As a civil engineer and a fashion designer, I employ this mindset where I place myself within the same space of these two studies rather than stating that I identify myself as a civil engineer first».

Freud’s ego and superego

Kendra Cherry, an author and educational consultant, has written about understanding the role of Sigmund Freud’s superego, reviewed by David Susman, a licensed clinical psychologist. In the article, she divides Freud’s faculties, which according to Freud and his psychoanalytic theory of personality, the superego hosts the ideals one has acquired from their parents and society, internalizing morality. It suppresses the urges of the id, the basic of one’s personality, and commands the ego, the mediator between the conscious and the unconscious while bearing one’s identity, to behave by principles. Speaking of ego, it includes the laws of behaviors. Obeying these codes lead to pride, value and accomplishment while breaking them result in guilt. The ego also caters the reflection of who one strives to be; their images model the persons from the community they form part of, who they look up to and desire to be. After understanding the complexity and functions of ego, Buccinnà steers from employing it to run his workmanship, designs and self. «As part of my philosophy, I practice to dissolve my ego at work. I do not hold in esteem designers or people who place their ego at the core of their production and products. I make designs to serve the designs and garments. I appreciate it when the audience understands my personality and the self I exude by looking and touching what I have created, and not due to my face or the image I project. My work has never been about Giuseppe, but about the creations and creativity I have installed».

Backstage FW 2017

Lampoon introduces Giuseppe Buccinnà

Buccinnà’s mission to spotlight craftsmanship, creations and creativity preserves as he pairs up with brands in Italy and avails himself of materials such as leather that reinforce certifications of sustainability and recyclability. For his fall and winter compendium this year, his debut at Milan Fashion Week through Camera della Moda, he collaborated with Michvasca for the handbags and accessories in leather, and FabbricaTorino for the eyewear. Michael Spartano, the brain behind Michvasca and from Modena in Italy, scrutinizes the quality of the leather he works with through traceability to afford durability and transparency to his clients. FabbricaTorino has specialized in the production of bakelite, a form of plastic from formaldehyde and phenol used for electrical equipment, and in the 1930s, the introduction of acetate, a cellulose acetate used to make textile fabric and plastic, birthed its first eyewear line, the glasses undergo milling from sheets of acetate, and started working with the craftsmen of and materials from Italy. «I value the well of fabrics and the supply chain that help maintain the quality and sustainability of my anthology season after season. I work with small- and medium-sized businesses that comply with the supply chain standards. I respect the culture of work everyone puts from the people I work with to every staff member of the production in the supply chain. The research of the materials I use becomes the pillar of my compendium per season. Most of the time, I do not stick to a single company to support more local businesses. Three seasons ago, the use of leather failed to appeal to me, but I researched on that and the leather production in Italy to understand and explore it. As my research nudged me to travel across Italy, I landed in Tuscany where I found the two companies that produce leather. For my fall and winter selection, I tapped these two companies to provide the leather for the outfits I would create, which had a finishing of vegetable tanning. They also provided certifications to display the ethics of their leather production».

Giuseppe Buccinà Fall Winter collection

Rifling through his lookbook, the leather appears as a bra in triangles with straps over the shoulders and connecting to the skirt, its length above the knees, to match the boots in a mesh look that reaches the knees. If not an undershirt, the leather doubles as a padding to conceal the torso, a jacket in brown with oversized collars and pocket linings in green, a jacket in black with the edges in green, and a pair of pants in green to pair up with the sports bra, its one strap hang over the left shoulder. Apart from leather, a jacket and a shirt in beige add turning and crossing zippers, a coat in V-neck and cropped closes through a lock that resembles a buckle of a belt, a top in black with cuts of zigzag goes with a pair of pants above the waist in an almost see-through fabric that shifts its color, and a dress above the knees in beige with cuts on one side displays the skin while a mesh cloth clambers over it in the shape of the alphabets B and C. 

Tanning leather

In the art of leather-making, tanning stabilizes the protein structure of the hides and skins to convert pelts into leather that resists chemical substances and decomposition. The methods of tanning include chrome, the use of chemicals, acids, and salts such as chromium sulfate, a powder sans odor, to tan the hide; vegetable tannins, wherein tannins indicate the extracts from vegetal to build the proteins of the animal skins; and alternatives and tannins free from chrome. After tanning the leather, chrome generates wet-blue, tannins free from chrome culture wet-white, and vegetable tannins cultivate vegetable leather, the leather Buccinnà used in his recent anthology. According to a study published by Statista Research Department, a market research and analysis service provider, on March 15 this year, Italy, in the value of its production in the leather tanning industry, brought about 5.2 billion euros in 2015, five billion euros in 2016, 5.1 billion euros in 2017, and 4.9 billion euros in 2018, a sign that the leather production in fashion, at least in the industry of tanning, reduces at a gradual pace as industries turn to practice sustainability and protect the living beings. To support the research, Mahsa Shabandeh of Statista, a researcher specializing in agriculture and consumer goods, published the byproduct of leather in Italy in 2018. In the study, footwear accounted for the 38.4 percent of the production, a decrease of almost five percent compared to that of the previous years, leather goods for the 26.6 percent, upholstered furniture for the 13.8 percent, 15 percent for the automotive industry, an increase of 18 percent from the previous studies, and in the fashion industry, clothes and gloves only account for the four percent of the total leather tanning production in the country. 

Finding inspiration for design

To fuse leather with humanities, Buccinnà introduces his pilot fall and winter compendium for the Milan Fashion Week through the words of Abbas Kiarostami, a director, screenwriter, poet, photographer and producer from Iran, writing:

I arrive alone

I drink alone

I laugh alone

I cry alone

I’m leaving alone

The culmination of his research before taking on the production of his compendium and the resonance to his fascination towards cultures of the East, psychology, contemporary arts, music and paintings: the psychoanalysis of Jacques Marie Émile Lacan, the theories of Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovskythe figurative paintings of Tim Eitel, the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, the art through rock music of Robert Wyatt, the themes of esotericism, religion and philosophy of Franco Battiato and the novels of Franz Kafka. If Buccinnnà deviates from assembling his collection, he reads theories, listens to songs, and observes art pieces of the above mentioned, instilling their works through his interpretations in his arrangements. The pinnacle demonstrates engineering in fashion, leather in production, arts and languages in research, religion and philosophy in garments, and Giuseppe Buccinnà at the core of production.

Giuseppe Buccinà

Italian fashion designer from Milan. Holding a degree in Civil Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and a diploma in pattern-making from Istituto Secoli, his work tends to harbor both educations by combining their elements to create harmony and volume, aiming at connections between fabric, styling and wearability. For his debut at Milan Fashion Week though Camera della Moda, he sourced leather and worked with local brands such as Michvasca and FabbricaTorino.

Matthew Burgos

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us at [email protected]

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