Giovanni Pacienza

Venice / Italy


I was born in Calabria where I spent my childhood in the country where my family has always lived: Acquaformosa, a town habited by an Italian-Albanian community. Together with my family, I moved to Trieste and then headed to Venice to attend the fashion design course at the Iuav University. I spent three years learning the importance of discipline by immersing myself in the study of my design identity. In addition I have developed good skills in illustration that has always been a fundamental element for my project, drawing inspiration from the art of late nineteenth and early twentieth century, from the macabre innaturality of Aubrey Beardsley to Egon Schiele.


Starting from leafing through a family album I began to understand that I wanted to tell a story never told, or at least few know, using those photos as a testimony of a culture of exiles settled in the lands of the south around 1400 and that gave life to a real community. The final collection, presented at the Fashion at Iuav 2018, is the result of the influence of elements deriving from the study and analysis of the Italian-Albanian costume, both male and female, and from an elaborate research carried out during my stay in London, collected in a sketchbook series

“Arberia” means the entire Albanian diaspora, which led this people to move from Morea (Peloponnese) and Ciamuria, to arrive in southern Italy, where he faithfully recreated his homeland, passing on traditions, customs, religious rites and above all the arbëreshë language. Working on the study of three key elements of the costume – the vest, the shirt and the pleated skirt – I wanted to read them to the masculine, elaborating variants and introducing elements that make up the women’s dress. Also revisiting the men’s costume, which has had a short life as it is homologated to that Calabrian, I wanted to contribute to revive this now lost clothing, giving it features of an ironic romance with flamboyant taste details.


Give me a pencil and a sheet to better illustrate what are my lucidity pills.

Image courtesy of Giovanni Pacienza.

Photo: Brando Prizzon

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