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Captured Within Beautiful Fabric

Text: Yoshiko Nagai


Well-made items will last far longer than the people who made them. Even so, why do so many people throw them away before enjoying them to their fullest?

To Luisa Cevese, who once worked as a textile designer, the edges of those leftover bits of fabric were all beautiful. To her, they were a message to any future creators who would put their hands upon them; they were valuable resources inherited from the past. More than two decades ago, just as Cevese was wondering if there was a way to show people how beautiful these pieces of fabric were without wasting them, a project concerning renewable plastics presented itself before her. That was her bold debut as a designer. She hit upon the idea of embedding these scraps of fabric into pure polyurethane, used as a unifier.

In the basement of her Milano-based shop, Luisa Cevese Riedizioni, you’ll find many types of these hybrid textiles, stacked up high like geological strata. Scraps of fabric collected from around the world, plants, pieces of wood, fishing nets—all of these materials that inspire Cevese’s sense of beauty are wrapped up in polyurethane, its touch soft like that of skin. Looking at them, they feel like specimens encased within ice. Through using these fabrics, we can enjoy the in-between time that connects past to future.

Yoshiko Nagai
She became an independent curator, after having worked for a company planning and producing cultural activities. She connects creators, artworks, and audiences by creating and communicating values in a way that suits the environment. She is the author of “Out of line,” an exhibition by Alison Turnbull (2020, Tokyo), and the booklet Materia Prima, which is published irregularly.

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