Fashion and technology have, over the years, endured a long, evolving relationship, from the sewing machines of the Industrial Revolution to today’s 3D printed garments, digital prints, wearable tech, and BioCouture. Belonging to this long-established lineage is Marcos Paulo Piccoli, who in 2010 graduated in Fashion Design at Caxias do Sul University, in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, and now is working as a professional designer.
Digital gadgets provide the starting point for his creations, and the young designer has launched two collections, GCE (Geometric Corporal Expansion) and Accordion, both using futuristic, geometric, and technological references that make his designs sit perfectly at the more conceptual end of fashion, as he sees fit to reinvent the body's limits by his unusual volumes. His first work focused on geometric shapes, while the second found inspiration in the bellows shape of the musical instrument it is named after—the result is some very unconventional menswear.
Intrigued by Piccoli's conceptual fashion, we talked to him to learn more about his creative process and his relationship with technology.
The Creators Project: What is it that inspires and influences your work?
Piccoli: Geometric shapes have always been a great inspiration for my work. Every collection starts with one, which is then decomposed and mixed with a theme. I think mixing geometrisms with a past, a future, or unusual things always appeals to me. My work usually starts with creating a pattern or shape, which is unfolded and modified, creating the collection. Expanding and modifying the body's shape is something that has always interested me.
Your creations have a very futuristic aesthetic. Does technology influence your work in any way?
Yes, very much. I think mixing traditional techniques and technology will always create amazing things. My first work was almost completely developed on the computer. All the items were first created in 3D, then designed in a flat pattern. Technology should be used with creation as a way of expanding creativity and doing new things, mixing traditional pattern methods with new techniques to create new possibilities to make clothes.
How do you see the connection between fashion and technology? In what ways could technological advances contribute to the creation and development of new fashion products?
Fashion is becoming more and more connected to technology, and I think that as a designer, we should always be looking for new ways to create, bringing on new experiences for users. Technology is offering wonderful new possibilities, new fabrics, digital textile printing—which has been experiencing a revolution for a while now—and 3D printing, which is bringing new creative and more affordable opportunities. The easy access to information and uncomplicated, remote development of products have helped in the development of new things, making this process more available.
What materials did you use on your two collections?
For the first collections, we used more natural fabrics, cottons, and cotton mixtures and wool, which were buckramed. As for Accordion, all jackets are made with artificial leather, and most fabrics were synthetic, with cotton mixtures.
In GCE and Accordion, you propose a kind of menswear that is rarely seen in the market. How is the audience taking your work?
The male audience is the toughest. They don’t easily accept clothing changes, but if we keep doing the same things over and over, we'll never have the chance to see some significant evolution in menswear. Triggering a new look over it is a way of trying to change it little by little, making men's clothing freer, so maybe someday men can accept new shapes the same way women already do. I'll be launching a more "commercial" collection in a few months, but as far as the conceptual work, it’s something I don't want to stop making, as it is both as a creative exercise and a suggestion for provocative change.