ARTIST INTERVIEW: Milena Silvano
Milena Silvano is an independent womenswear label based in East Sussex, UK. The label combines the skill of traditional craft with avant-garde experimentation and spiritual values. Through its use of reclaimed and deadstock sheepskin, natural dyes and careful sourcing of ethical silks, Milena Silvano’s collections marry an otherworldly, wandering aesthetic with imaginative and innovative feminist style.
We spoke to Milena about her inspirations and creative process.
What is your background and how have your past experiences fed into your art?
I knew at a young age I wanted to design clothes, I studied fashion and worked for a variety of fashion brands in Milan first and then London. But the experience that has impacted me the most is probably my time working with Romeo Gigli at a young age. I learned about intricate and rarefied textiles, and that a woman can be feminine and androgynous at once.
Do you feel that your environment feeds into work and if so, what makes your work distinctively Californian?
I live somewhat off the beaten track and since leaving the city I have been learning how to grow my own food and more recently herbs for medicine. I have a similar approach to making work, which has a lot to do with escapism as well as reflecting my need to be hands-on and tangible. I’d say my work is part English countryside and part Californian dreamscape.
What are your top 3 studio essentials?
My fur stitch machine, I couldn’t live without it. Ace & Jig pants, they are my ‘working from home’ uniform. Coffee, with raw milk from the local biodynamic farm.