Eliana Venier, the Italian designer behind alienina, uses everyday objects to create her unique necklaces. Venier is a true original, a woman who left the mainstream fashion industry to spend more time with Mother Nature and pursue her artistic interests. Inspired by nature and everyday objects, alienina’s soft, knotted necklaces are made from ordinary materials like rubber and rope, and are ideal for anyone who prefers to eschew trends. Venier was not trained as a designer, but her creations are distinctive and fresh, and breathe new life into her utilitarian materials. We chat with the designer behind alienina to find out why she became a jewelry designer and where she finds inspiration.
I grew up in Umbria, a region in the center of Italy. I studied international communication at University of Perugia and I did a master’s degree in fashion communication at Polimoda Institute in Florence. I have been living in Milan for several years, working in the fashion industry for different brands and building my own project: alienina. One year ago I decided to move to Umbria, and I built my new laboratory in Perugia. I was looking for a quiet place in the countryside to develop my new ideas, to “have breakfast with Mother Nature”. I often travel to different European cities to see different exhibitions and look for new inspirations.
I started with alienina project in 2008 because I was bored with massive fashion, and I was looking for something new, something with a strong personality.
I think, as Patrizia Calefato (an Italian writer and semiotic scientist) says in one of her books about fashion, that nobody (even the most absent-minded person) wears the first clothes that he finds in his wardrobe; clothes always represent a language and tell something about people who wear them. I tried to give a "concrete shape" to this language, creating something unique, for people who are bored with massive fashion and are looking for a creative and personal style.
I love experimenting with new materials, with something that is not commonly defined as "fashionable", giving these materials new aesthetic and semantic values, to break the rules of the fashion system and inspire people to look at objects in a different way. Also the name of the collection: “alienina” means that my jewelry is ‘alien’ to the fashion world in most cases. It represents a different point of view. They have been lost, found, and given a new lease on life through different techniques.
My designs try to inspire a different point of view on the objects that we meet or use in our everyday lives, and it suggests a sustainable lifestyle.
I usually take pictures of everything around me, during my travels and my everyday life, to remember shapes and colors of every interesting object that I meet.
Nature and its organic forms are another important source of inspiration: shapes of leaves or weavings of branches, for example. I try to create jewelry inspired by organic forms.
Some of my pieces reflect my personal style, but I don’t think it’s only a matter of style; it’s more sharing a way of life.
I didn’t study fashion design, so my approach is more artistic than academic. I always start my creative process with materials and objects. I have to see and touch them, I fall in love with them, and they inspire the design of my collections. I don't work as many fashion designers do: they start from a picture and then search for the right materials to come as close as possible to the picture. I work in the opposite way.
Style means: being able to express yourself.
Ironic, provocative, contemporary, organic.
She is independent, open minded, a dreamer.
I love Boticca style. You can find avant-garde pieces on Boticca; you can discover new trends and independent designers. It’s an interesting place to take a look, to buy, or to find inspiration.
No idea, and I don’t mind. My necklaces are dedicated to common people.
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