Guided by a deep love for nature, a sensitivity to its fragile beauty, but also by a philosophical reflection on the place of human beings in the universe, AELIS offers an alternative to the anthropocentric and androcentric vision of the world. Women thus regain their grace and independence. And humans are no longer at the center but at the very heart of nature, in perfect symbiosis with it.
The dresses, designed as true pieces of art, are draped around the body and shaped in natural and ecological materials by “artists-craftsmen” in the purest tradition of Parisian Haute Couture. Through a constantly-evolving wardrobe resupplied each season with new fundamentals, AELIS invites us to rethink our relationship with clothing and rediscover the pleasure of preserving and passing on clothes to the next generation.
L’Officiel Arabia meets Sofia Crociani
Sofia Crociani: AELIS Ethos is about respecting the beauty of every creation of the earth. On this natural beauty and harmony AELIS based every action that involves the process of creation. A couture dress is a piece of art and AELIS wants to preserve the beauty of the artisanal savoir faire that needs time and reflection to be made. An art form is the most interesting human expression and through a couture dress messages of inner beauty can be expressed to the world.
Sofia Crociani: When I started to design the first collection I felt the necessity to address me to all women to start an active conversation about art, ecology, ethics with the couture dress as a starting point.
Sofia Crociani: The ecological commitment certainly involves the process of choosing the fabric and its impact on the planet. For this reason AELIS dedicates its research to the creation and promotion of natural, non-polluting, sustainable materials, working with skilled craftsmen especially in Italy and Japan, where tradition and technology goes in the same direction.
Sofia Crociani: The natural beauty of Earth and my cultural roots are the necessary elements that move the first step of my creation process. Inspirations are always a contamination of intellectual emotional visual messages: A Greek poem, a neo-Gothic silent film, a painting by Dante Gabriele Rossetti, as well as an embroidery by Vezzoli, a video by AnaPaz, a book by Timothy Morton, have, for example, the power to move my mind and give origin to the creative process. Art inspires and guides the creation of AELIS.
Sofia Crociani: Women designers of the 20’s such as Coco Chanel, symbol of freedom and independence, and Jeanne Lanvin who created a fragile elegance of couture clothes. Karl Lagerfeld as a contemporary genius of beauty.
Sofia Crociani: The biggest challenge I had to face was and remains the global system. Consciousness guides every choice in how we have become sustainable. The decision to create a sustainable brand was a necessity in relation to the negative impact of human actions on the planet. The challenge was to shift ecological awareness in order to be a sustainable brand. Fashion becomes the driving force to reach and inspire the change of the global system and the achievement of sustainable development.
Sofia Crociani: The passion and love for the beauty of the planet push me to find the power to continue on my way. The natural and vegetal world has spread that beauty and that passion. In this moment of deep reflection, under locked-down humanity, the planet has begun to regenerate. What drives me to continue is the hope that humanity will change by a sustainable attitude and act to preserve the world and to slowdown her consumeristic lifestyle.
SLOW FASHION and LIFESTYLE CHOICES
Sofia Crociani: My lifestyle choices have always measured the impact of my actions on the planet. Few years ago I decided to live my life between Paris and Tuscany, where I started to slow down the frenetic rhythm of a fashion system in which I had worked for years. The wonderful knowledge of the haute couture that I have experienced during the period in which I worked for Dior became the element that taught me the importance of slow fashion or, as I like to call it, meditative fashion, which was totally corresponding to my sustainable and balanced lifestyle.
Sofia Crociani: Where I feel most at peace are the places where I perceive the balanced harmony of the earth. As said, my life is between Paris and Tuscany where I live in Valdorcia in a house on top of a hill, built with stones on the Roman foundations, surrounded by trees and wild grass where there is an exchange of osmotic energy between myself and surrounding Nature.
* This strory by Tanja Beljanski first appeared in the June 2020 issue of L'Officiel Arabia.