Madre Studio: AB ORIGINE

  • Photography  Annie van Noortwijk
  • Art Direction & Collage  Marije Seijn
  • All Jewellery  Madre Studio

We sat down with Madre Studio founders, Guglielmo Maggini and Viola Galassi, to discuss their message, their inspirations, and what led them to creating a brand consisting of unique, handcrafted jewellery.

Tell us about the name Madre Studio and how the brand came about?
Madre Studio is the result of our artistic collaboration: the designer-maker Guglielmo Maggini and the fashion stylist Viola Galassi. The name Madre, which in Italian means “mother”, carries for us a double meaning: on one side it suggests mother of pearl, a material that we engaged in our first collection AB ORIGINE, and under a more metaphorical level it is a way to recall our country, in other words, our mothers. As an Italian duo based in London, we are very attached to our home country even though we have looked at it from a distance for almost ten years. Madre Studio is a creative getaway to reconnect with Italy, a professional bond through which we could delve into our heritage and the long-held tradition of craftsmanship that Italy still represents in contemporary society.

What is your message as a brand?
The message is deeply rooted in our upbringing. The skilful hands of local goldsmiths are in conversation with contemporary materials to tell a new story about “Made-in-Italy”, which can often be misperceived as something outdated. Madre Studio is an evocative dialogue between design and fashion that aims to outline a modern perception of femininity.

What do you want to say about jewellery?
“There’s nothing new except what has been forgotten”, following the words of Rose Bertin, we are a synthesis of the past and the future. We love echoing different design eras and fashion periods through a daring juxtaposition of materials in the attempt to redefine modern jewellery. We like to communicate through our pieces without shouting at our audience, as we strongly believe that elegance doesn’t need to appear deafeningly loud to be powerful and genuine.

Why are you interested in jewellery?
Jewellery is the memory of humankind; it has belonged in our nature since the beginning of time. As a matter of fact, since the prehistoric period metals marked the passing of time as well as human developments so we like to look at jewellery as a socio-cultural artefact through which we can discover our vanity and beauty throughout the centuries. We are interested in researching different aesthetic codes, where jewellery, like mirrors, can truly render, age after age, the weaknesses and strengths of the human condition. Ultimately, in our dialogue, it perfectly epitomises the merge between fashion and design as it can be seen as a wearable sculpture.

How do you feel about the recent explosion of interest in the threat to the environment, and how as a brand will you be pursuing a green path?
Given that beauty will save the world, a mindful approach towards our planet and its sources is needed now more than ever. Not intended as a critique, we think that this increasing interest in the environment is often glamourized by the creative industries without a real awareness of those involved in the process. Madre Studio go against mass production due to the artisanal nature of our products. Indeed, all our pieces are handmade and they can all be considered one-of-a-kind. We like to work side by side with local Italian craftsmen and we want to revive the pride of craftsmanship and its uniqueness, as we believe that this is the cure to fast fashion.
What are your aims? What do you want to achieve?
The project came into being less than one year ago, launching our first collection AB ORIGINE this last spring 2019. As a young emerging brand, we aim to grow and reach a much wider audience to establish relations with other creatives that will support and love our project as much as we do, as happened with Photographer Annie and Art Director Marije for this shoot. We are a multidisciplinary duo and coming from different backgrounds made us realise that collaborations can push our practice forward. Once again, Madre Studio is a dialogue between fashion and design, and as such, it can reach and expand into new areas. We want to leave the door open to new collaborations with other brands and pave the way for new creative challenges that could potentially lead us to become not only a jewellery brand.

What inspires your process?
We are deeply inspired by material experimentation. In our lab, we generally test our ideas with different organic and industrial materials that we use to make mock-ups and prototypes. This part is held together through broad visual research into design, history of fashion, architecture and other forms of visual art. For us, the hands-on approach and the research are part of the same process, as one feeds the other. We like to highlight the clashes between natural and manmade forms as well as combining flowing and naturalistic elements with more geometric components. Our humanistic approach brings us to look at feminine shapes as pivotal to the design process, therefore, our jewellery is designed to interact with, and become primal extensions of, the body.