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Challenge traditional beauty standards and promote body positivity

Lisa Della Chiesa is a 23-year-old Irish fashion designer from the countryside in Galway. Despite her young age, Lisa has made a name for herself in the fashion industry for her unique designs and her ability to address important themes through her work. Lisa’s designs aim to portray themes such as body dysmorphia, consumption, and climate change.

Lisa Della Chiesa’s focus on important themes in her designs is a reflection of her desire to make a positive impact on the world through her work. She believes that fashion can be a powerful tool for addressing social and environmental issues and wants to use her platform to raise awareness and inspire change.

One of the themes that Lisa explores in her designs is body dysmorphia, a mental health condition that causes people to have a distorted view of their bodies. Lisa’s designs aim to challenge traditional beauty standards and promote body positivity. She uses unconventional materials and silhouettes to create unique pieces that celebrate individuality and encourage people to embrace their bodies.

Another theme that Lisa explores in her designs is consumption. She believes that the fashion industry’s culture of fast fashion and mass production is unsustainable and harmful to the environment. In response, Lisa creates garments that are designed to last and uses eco-friendly materials to minimize her impact on the planet.

Finally, Lisa’s designs also address the urgent issue of climate change. She incorporates sustainable practices into her work, such as upcycling materials and reducing waste. By doing so, Lisa hopes to encourage others in the fashion industry to adopt sustainable practices and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Overall, Lisa Della Chiesa’s designs reflect her commitment to using fashion as a force for good. Through her work, she aims to raise awareness of important social and environmental issues and inspire others to make positive changes in their own lives and in the world around them. In this Stitched with Lisa Della Chiesa, we’ve got speaking with Lisa on where her inspiration and motivation comes from. Keep on reading and hear directly from Lisa below

My name is Lisa Della Chiesa. I’m 23 and I’m from the countryside of Galway. I graduated with a BA in Textile Art and Artefact in The National College of Art and Design. My hobbies include cooking, reading, photography and I love to dance on a night out, this is my so-called gym workout! You will catch me rollerblading when it’s sunny too! I am into all genres of music but if I had to pick three albums to bring to the grave with me then it would have to be ‘InColour’ by Jamie XX, Hasta El Cielo by Khruangbin and finally ANIMA by Thom Yorke. This album specifically inspired a lot of my work. I also love listening to my friends’ mixtapes especially when creating work. Shoutout to Menace and all Djs from Ar Ais Arís! My go to pint has to be Hollows & Fentimans Ginger Beer especially when the sun is out! I find it difficult to pick a favorite place to eat but I do love The Lighthouse cafe in Galway! I always go for their special Hot Pot of the day or else their full Irish Veggie Breakfast!

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The Artist Behind The Art

What does being a designer mean to you?

For me, being a designer/artist means I can portray an important message in response to themes such as body dysmorphia, consumption and climate change. I believe that fashion, imagery and art are our ways of communicating our feelings to different audiences

What events led up to pursuing fashion? Did something snap or was it a gradual progression?

It was a very gradual progression. I had only taken up art as a new subject for my Leaving Cert. My art teacher was amazing and opened my eyes to a whole new world of Textiles. I was always a very tactile person. I love hoarding objects that I find in charity shops or being experimental with my wardrobe. She suggested that I should apply to art college so I did a very last-minute portfolio and I got accepted to NCAD. In first year, I got to try out all the different modules of art and design. I was stuck between picking design and fine art but ended up picking Textile Art and Artefacts in The School of Fine Art. I enjoyed my course as I was able to criticize the unethical fashion industry. I was also able to create wearable sculptures that the wearer could perform in. I did a year of Fashion and Textile Design in Budapest but I didn’t enjoy how trend based the course was. To finalize I see myself as both a designer/artist or perhaps more of a ‘Maker’.

Where do you find inspiration? Is there a place? An emotion? A cultural event? A mixture of many things at once?

It is a big mixture of many things at once. I always keep a notebook nearby just so I can scribble my ideas as I do overthink a lot. I am mainly driven by building work for the body and use the body as a site for exploration. Performance and movement is also an aspect where I can find inspiration. I look to parafictional artists, anti-fashion designers and musicians for inspiration. I am fascinated by the natural world vs the artificial world. The Burren landscape is my main source of inspiration. This can be seen in my graduate work, ‘Solastalgia’. In this work, I look at the dichotomy of the hunter and the hunted, of imagined hybrid roles and how we, as humans, prey on the environment.

Can you tell me how you approach your work? Do you follow a particular system or just jump right in?

The process tends to be long when creating new artwork. I am concept driven, using textile narratives in the realization of all of my work. My favourite part of the process is the finding of materials. I usually check out charity shops to find fabrics, such as bed covers, curtains and towels. I let the materials and sampling dictate the final outcome. My drawing comes from photoshopping and collaging images together rather than drawing from pencils. I also draw by sculpting and draping around the body. I take snapshots of all the processes to develop the work. I never really have a final idea of how the work will look until it is complete.

What do you aim for people to feel or acknowledge when viewing / wearing your work?

Although my work tends to reflect heavy topics, I do enjoy evoking smiles and bemusement in my audience. For me any reaction is a good reaction. There is a comedic effect from my work as there are very crazy shapes that I don’t think many people would wear on a day to day basis. This can be seen in ‘The Instagram Couple’. I want people to acknowledge that I am able to create work with whatever materials I can get my hands on. In ‘Solastalgia’, for the Hunter’s outfit I used a Storm Protector to create a massive skirt. I want to use materials that are recognizable. If I can provoke emotions while portraying a powerful message then I am satisfied.

Why not say some words on your latest release? Or give us the scoop on some unreleased work?!

This Summer, I created ‘A Homage To Rock And Roll, Vivienne Westwood and Goths!!!’. This work is quite different to my others as I jumped right into the creating process without giving it much thought in comparison to my other works. This project was more of a fun project for me to experiment with styling and up-cycling. I created a velvet corset with tassels, faux fur hat and embroidered knit balaclava. All pieces were created with second hand materials. The movement that is created by the pieces is my favorite part. I would love for more music artists to wear my pieces so I am very open to collaborations. I am working with two very cool Irish based musicians at the moment, Julia Louise Knifefist and Saoirse Miller. Let’s just say a music video and live installation is coming soon…

Have you got any plans for the future?

At the moment I am saving money for a Masters as I am missing university life and would like to branch into something more niche. I feel that I have so much more to discover as an Artist and Designer. I am also looking for a studio in Galway for the summer seasons so I can create more hybrid creatures similar to my ‘Solastalgia’ piece. I want to get into stage design and installations too. I will definitely have more experimental work coming soon.

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