Gabriela Coll makes garments, not fashion. Her very first series has just been launched: with an appeased, free, non-seasonal rhythm, Gabriela focuses on the quality and on the way to wear the clothes she creates. She wants them to last. METAL went to discover the mind behind the clothes.
What is your background?
I studied art, not to become an artist but because I felt there was a lot to learn in that field.This is some kind of a discipline for me. Then, I have always complemented my art studies with learning crafts: tailoring, shoe making, dressmaking, hat making... Crafts give you a full picture of the object you are making, because you build each piece from scratch, and this is the way I like to design things. So my background is a combination of these two elements.
How do you live today?
I live in Barcelona, with my boyfriend, in the same street as my studio. So it’s as if I lived in a very very small town.
What did you use to like and look at as a kid?
I enjoyed looking and trying on my mother’s shoes. I liked drawing, but I was more into ‘building’ stuff for dolls, or doing textile collage flat dolls.
How did you start being interested in clothes?
I think I’ve always been interested in clothes, although I have never been interested in going to fashion school or working for a fashion house. Clothes have always been an interest of mine, both the making and the wearing.
What do you think is the most interesting point about clothes?
I like how the architect Sáenz de Oiza compared architecture with people in an interview. According to him, architecture, just like people, is defined by its structure, but also for the decorum. I think that clothes are part of this decorum. This is very important because decorum is the scenery oneself can build to appear in front of the world.
Why did you decide to create a brand?
It’s been quite organic. I've always made things, and all those projects have finally consolidated in a decision that I took over a year ago. I was interested in making garments, and in making them my own way.
You make ‘Series’. Interesting term. Is this process different from collections, and why?
Yes, it is different. Collections are produced for a specified season. I chose series, because it reflects that they are permanent, that they are not meant to be seasonal. Series are a group of things, which are related, it is a way of ordering the garments I create.
Do you plan to release a new series two times a year or not?
Not necessarily. I don’t want to be so strict. It could be more than two or less; it is not a matter of time but of bringing together something interesting.
Is this also a way to give and take time - facing an insatiable industry?
I don’t think there is only one-way of working. For me it is just more coherent to work with series than collections, it allows me to do a continuous work and have a narrative through time.
How do you work on your creations? - Which rhythm, which process, which thoughts on the way…?
I generally start by building up the prototype, and then I work on it till I get the final piece. My rhythm can vary, sometimes it can be very fast, some other times it is a more reflexive process. On the way, my thoughts are basically about how to make something I find beautiful.
What about this very first series?
Series No. 1 is composed of 15 pieces: garments for men and women, bags, accessories and footwear. The nobility of the materials is one of the aspects that connect all the pieces. The series is also about the way the materials have been treated and the way the pieces fit and sit on the body, as well as the effect that time and wear have on them as they evolve in a very specific way.
Why do you want to focus on the value of garments? What does it mean to you?
My work is all about the way of dressing, and I consider the clothes I design as garments, not as fashion. This is what makes them interesting, this is their purpose. They don’t have a seasonal theme, each piece is thought separately, it can stand by itself, free from specific thoughts such as seasons or trends.
What are your next projects?
I'm simply working on series No.2.