Interview with Luke Azzopardi
Luke Azzopardi is a couturier. He studied at Central Saint Martins in London and at the University of Malta, after which he proceeded to launch his self-titled brand. The Luke Azzopardi Studio focuses on the idea of timeless elegance and reflects a sense of a researched and applied aesthetic stemming from the director's academic background in fashion & costume history. Its mission is to push artisanal design as a self-sustainable local industry through concept-based fashion that embraces beauty, individuality and style.
Luke Azzopardi has designed for a number of theatrical productions including Teatru Manoel's 'Orphee et Eurydice', Naupaca Dance Factory's 'Divina' (La Divina Commedia) and Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci's 'Carmen'.
What will the dancers wear; what inspired you?
The colour palette I am working with is extremely restrained: it employs a majority of dark colours but also several Spanish-influenced tones of reds and yellows, including of course what is the brand's trademark - a shade of mustard yellow we regularly use. There is a lot of deconstruction present in these garments - not in terms of ripping and ageing, but rather the technical deconstruction of construction lines and re-assembling of these same lines in a manner which is new and visually intriguing. I also tried to incorporate elements from the traditional flamenco gown in the costumes, as well as some from rougher, more utilitarian garments such as aprons.
We know that you are going to collaborate with Camilleri Paris Mode. Which materials will you be using for the creation of the costumes?
Camilleri Paris Mode Ltd. has a vast archive stacked with an array of beautiful fabrics, some of which date back several years. We've incorporated some of these fabrics into the costumes which are tailored using new and luxurious wools, linens and silks. Seeing that the designs are quite minimalistic, the result is an exercise in how the different fabrics actually move about - that, perhaps, is the most important factor about the designs.
Have you ever worked on dance-related projects before? How would you describe your collaboration with Agudo?
I've worked for a couple of dance productions, and thanks to Naupaca Dance Factory I've had the pleasure of working with some of the big names within the dance scene. This isn't the first time I'm designing for a Carmen production, but Agudo's Carmen is definitely the one most rooted in the themes that the original opera holds most dear: passion, freedom and death. Of course, dance does present a lot of limitations for any designer, so perhaps this time around the costumes don't carry as much of the couture flair that my brandusually boasts but there still is a strong art-historical approach to fashion/costume making that makes the work so very aesthetically pleasing.
We thank you for dedicating your time to this short interview. Finally, where can our readers follow your work online?