Indian arts, crafts really important for the world: Italian designer

Italian costume designer Daniela Ciancio, who has designed costumes for Italian films and Tom Cruise-starrer “Mission: Impossible III”, says Indian arts and crafts are “really important” for the rest of the world.

“I think that the Indian people have a natural fantastic way of using colour. Your design is really important for the rest of the world, your ability in colour, embroidery, fabrics… are requested all over the world,” Ciancio told IANS in an email interview.

Ciancio was in Mumbai to chair a discussion titled “Cine Couture: Costuming For The Camera”, presented by Avid Learning and Italian Embassy Cultural Centre in association with Vogue India.

Would she be interested in using fabrics like bomkai handloom, mangaligiri cotton, tussar silk, Pochampally ikat or a patola weave in her creations for the various films she designs for’

The 48-year-old, who has woven her magic for Italian films like “The Face of an Angel” and “La grande bellezza”, said she would love to come back to India and explore this during her next visit.

“I will come back as soon as possible to continue my research on your fabrics and your amazing textile collection from different parts of India. Your arts and crafts are really important for the rest of the world and your handmade and natural dye collection are really famous and are a super beauty,” said Ciancio, who is open to working with Indian directors and designers.

In India, although a handful of designers existed prior to the 1980s, the close of the decade and the 1990s saw a spurt of growth. This was the result of increasing exposure to global fashion and the economic boom after the economic liberalisation of the Indian economy in 1990.

In the last 10 years, movies started touching Rs 100 crore budgets, leaving not a single stone unturned when it came to attire and sets. Costume designers have started gaining immense spotlight with the profession being acknowledged by conservative parents as well.

“I think that a big part of the people don’t know what our work is. They don’t know how many hours we work every day and in what conditions,” said Ciancio.

“In my life, it is really important to underline how important is the costume designer’s work and the power of our vision. Costume designers help directors to create a unified fictional space. With our work, we create the spirit of the character showing the emotions through the artistic composition to provide balance within the frame by using colour, texture and silhouette.”

Costume design, she said, is a new art in cinema.

“Before it was under the set designer and it is still evaluated as the last in order of importance. I believe that we must cultivate the people because a costume is much more than a dress on an actor; it is his soul,” said Ciancio, who was a member of the board of the European Film Academy (EFA) from 2009 to 2013.

(Kishori Sud can be contacted at kishori.s@ians.in)

By Kishori Sud

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