Hey there my lovelies,
Welcome back to my Blog! Sorry for the posts bombardment this week but I felt it is a must to expose as many Maltese talent as I could, especially the week prior the most anticipated week in the Maltese fashion calendar 🙂
Today I would like to introduce you to Chris Castillo and when I saw the name of his collection, obviously my curiosity took over and I started jotting some questions mainly to get to know Chris better and get to know more about his inspiration behind The Holy Collection.
So here’s what me and Chris talked about…
How did you start your label?
After graduating with a BA HONS in Silversmithing and Jewellery, I started to work with a jeweller in Hatton Garden and never gave much thought into creating my own a label. It all changed when I moved back to Malta as I started making small pieces, private commissions here and there. But I felt that I needed to do more, aim bigger, aim higher and I knew that if I did not do something about it, I would regret it.
So after much thought and consideration I felt the need to incorporate my creations under a brand.
What is your Label about?
The collection is a reflection of talent and local architectural beauty. The Castillo collection also represents the harmonious relationship that exists between architecture, art and fashion. Collection mirrors also, the uniqueness that embraces the local architecture.
Maltese architecture has a particular character and collects within itself a history of different cultures and civilizations. Furthermore, the design and colors are truly unique and serve as a basis on which the Castillo collection was built on. The collection makes reference to bulky and baroque architecture that offers many patterns, lines and curves with the only difference is, that instead of including them in the design, I created and developed them in an innovative way. The Collection might not appeal to the majority of people but touches on specific niches in the fashion world.
What was the inspiration behind The Holy Collection?
The project aims to create a collection of contemporary jewellery, which translates the holy within sacred Maltese architecture into wearable objects. The concept behind the work focuses on the notions of scale, interaction and experience of space. The visual and design process will be derived from primary sources, focusing specifically on the interior motifs and patterns embedded in sacred architecture.
Elements of scale are central to the research and design process, as the primary focus becomes the transformation of proportion through which architectural motifs are downsized into wearable jewellery. The work shifts, the perception of scale and the relationship it fosters within the human being. Architecture scale and proportion is worked around the relationship between space and the human body. The scale of sacred spaces is intentionally set to communicate a sense of belittlement, if not insignificance, in front of God. Spiritually and faith are thus perceived to be distant and greater than what the human mind makes of them.
Through this process, the jewellery pieces challenge these preset proportions. It reforms the relationship mentioned, as the larger space surrounding the human being is shrunken into a design element. This provides for the human being to question its relation with this “greater” holy space. At this point form becomes secondary to the generation of diverse emotions, interactions and experiences.
Where do your ideas evolve from?
Architecture is the main focus, I look for patterns, lines, structure, geometry, then I sit in front of my computer drawing and start fusing all the visual I have seen, into something, the first mock would be a cool structure , a piece of art, sculpture or a pile of garbage. I wait, I revisit and then I start seeing shapes, forms and I modify the shape again bearing in mind it has to be made and worn into a piece of jewellery.
The most valuable lesson you have learned?
Patience is key, I have been working around 3 years around this brand, and it is tough! I just recently launched the brand and probably many things will go wrong, its never a straight forward situation, but it is part of the process, and of course it only makes the foundations stronger and firmer. Patience is virtue.
How do you define luxury?
What fancies your tickle. Luxury can be simply enjoying some time to relax, vis-a-vis the brand of the jewellery. My designs are of high design and high quality, carefully made and it is marketed into certain niches, most pieces are ones off’s or very few of the same are produced.
Are you a realist or fantasist?
A bit of both, you have to be a realist when approaching certain business aspects, which directions to take, financial aspects, but then again I fantasise a lot while I am designing and where I would like to go, However, being too much of a realist might take away the fun from it.
Are there any materials and techniques that you prefer?
Silver and gold are best to work with because as a material they are already of certain value, very easy to work with, obviously 3D printing. I got to know about it at when I was at university in London, we had a very large machine and printed horribly unrefined plastic, but now it is a different story and nearly all work starts with 3D printing. Most of the designs cannot be achived without a 3D printing machine.
What are the opportunities and challenges for the firm Castillo on local and foreign markets?
I believe that the international market offers many more opportunities for Castillo collection from the local market. The small size of our country and market limitations does not offer great possibilities where one can tap. I also believe that the Maltese market is still quite conservative and not yet open for certa styles of designs. However, ic of our country small size offers a chance where one can experiment and where it can take in the potential product can offer. The international market offers much more openness. European markets as well as Eastern and China offer great opportunities. The biggest challenge to offer is the difficulty of arriving. The logistical and financial constraints are a huge challenge for someone like me.
Do you have a favorite quote?
I have a couple, depends on the situation, but if I had to choose one, ‘Never give up as you never know what’s round the corner’.
I am very intrigued with the idea of this collection and I am truly looking forward to witness it first hand, up close and personal. It sounds like an absolute unique and beautiful collection. Said collection is being exhibited as part of the Malta Fashion Week being held at Fort St. Elmo, Valletta and it will be available for viewing from Tuesday 23rd May till Friday 26th May.
So make a note and do not forget to check the Castillo exhibition during Malta Fashion Week and if you cannot make it I will be there so make sure to follow my socials Facebook and Instagram to see what’s going on.
Until next time,
Disclaimer : All photos in this post belong to Chris Castillo and cannot be copied, cropped or in any way modified without the owners confirmation. Chris Castillo sent me the photos for the purpose of this post.