Elena PerseilFrom: Born on: Occupation: Fashion Designer
In 2014, Elena Perseil celebrated 10 years of wearable design with a gorgeous collection, but especially with an introductory performance: a contemporary dance with a choreography created by herself. It has offered a succession of fundamental reinterpretable states anytime, even now. It is there, in the video filming of the show, an emotion eventually metamorphosed and certainly not perishable. And so I think her creations are too.
I imagine that the pieces created by Elena Perseil maintain their force no matter when the needle of the sewing machine has perforated the material. They have a delicate tailor made stoicism that dressed up women’s silhouettes, straightening their shoulders and putting a smile on their faces.
I sat down on the couch and listened. I listened to a woman who does not hurry to answer questions instantly and thinks phrases by looking subtly towards her own feelings. I have discovered that besides talent and discipline, at the foundation of success, the designer cemented a lack of extremes.
For me, what I do is not a passion. I do not think I have any passions. I have things that I like, but I’m avoiding passions, she says. And I ask impulsively with a grimace of total surprise: Why?
For me everything that is exaggerated is not valuable. I think that when you want to do something, you do it slowly, balanced, thought-out, rather with love. But the passion is a straw fire: it burns very quickly and goes off in the same way. It disappears fast and you do not even put all your capabilities in work. When you have a project and you enrol in that project with love, then all your forces converge in that direction and you are not blinded by any passion, but on the contrary you are loaded with the wisdom and the force of love.
I leave you with a powerful woman, as I remember that long time ago I first perceived it in a magazine brought by my father.
MS: Mrs. Perseil, you said at some point that: Genetically, I have inherited my mother’s femininity and sensitivity. Can you tell me how your mother was?
She was a very elegant person who loved accessories. Having a strong sense of creativity, she always bought materials and made their own clothes, and in case of inappropriate clothing for her, she adapted them in a very interesting and personal way. For me the mother’s room was a real fairy-tale land. I were waiting impatiently for she to leave home so that I could walk peacefully through each corner. I remember that I always tried her shoes.
MS: And something you learned from her?
That family matters. She always tried to convey to me the value of family, and especially the value of a family united in life.
MS: And the family can also influence other segments of life, right?
Yes, no doubt. I lost my mother many years ago, and I do not really know what she could really teach me, being a child. But I remember clearly that she wanted to keep us together.
MS: What would you like to teach your children?
First, the same thing – to respect your family. I think it is vital to love and trust themselves and their dreams.
MS: Do they already have great goals?
They are quite young, 14 and 12 years old, and it is somewhat premature to set big objectives. My daughter wants to continue in the field of fashion design and to work together at some point, and the boy does not yet know exactly … I hope that they will be humans, they will know how to be happy, how to make themselves and others happy, all those no matter what activity or profession they will choose.
And I think the only thing I can do for them it is a suggestion on how to achieve happiness and fulfillment.
MS: What do you think of what designer Olivier Rousteing said: You do fashion because you want to express something. For any designer, making a collection is like therapy.
No, I do not find myself in this approach. I’ve been working in the field for a very long time and my activities in fashion field become a lifestyle. Regardless the activity I have, either a collection, a customer discussion or a strategy management, I am equally involved. All are valuable and all needs my presence, and each one asks for a certain part of me that is equally important. All this is part of the designer’s job and cannot be one without another, at least not for my company.
MS: Have you ever had doubts and fears at the beginning of Elena Perseil brand regarding the success of your plans?
Sure! These doubts come from self-confidence and when you start a project, whatever it is, there is a certain area of uncertainty. It’s natural because you’re going to something you do not know, just imagine. Once you’ve had enough experience, you can identify all the landmarks and move to the comfort zone. Only then the feeling of fear no longer manifest. But knowing it is natural you can ignore them and focus on solutions.
And even if there are certain fears that prevent you from starting a particular project there is a very simple practice that clarifies your vision. You can take a sheet of paper and detail the worst possible scenario and what to do in that extreme situation. You often realize that you can successfully face that blackout perspective.
MS: What was the richest experience you had in fashion? I mean, where did you learn the most?
MS: In what sense?
From women. You learn to be a mother from kids, you learn to make clothes for women working with women. And I do not think there are difficult clients. Maybe there are unprepared designers, but not difficult clients.
MS: How do you think it affects everything that is happening today, for example on Instagram – where are millions of splendid pictures, the perception of fashion?
And who did that? We all. We all make fashion, because fashion is not an exclusive process, mine or yours, it is something vivant. Everyone has an input. We are part of the whole, and we also succeed in enriching an economic area or a woman’s wardrobe. Both the designer and consumer go together and we both live in the same period of time and he is a well-informed consumer and knows what is suitable for him. Maybe he wants to buy a dress in 3 seconds and maybe another one wants to look for 5 years and needs 5 years to do it and for that he has a website, has a showroom and stores. I think it’s just a diversity and every buyer is looking for his own way of meeting their needs.
We have done the humanity, even if we say that: I do not like that! For no one the society will seem perfect, because that’s how we are built: we never like everything. But this is a natural situation and I do not focus on it. I’m trying to do things based on my feelings. Obviously in support of society. I think about how to do them and what strategy to implement, either it is related to creative or marketing aspects, although the two are somehow implicit.
I think that my mentality as designer is according with these times, it is not one of the ’80s or’ 20s. In that case I would have been shocked by the society. But today I am not surprised, I am in harmony with what is happening. Anyway, the evolution of a society reflects clearly and undoubtedly in fashion.
MS: The discipline I created was …?
It is a discipline that when you want to do something with your life and with you, no matter how many tasks you have for that day. You can do it only with a certain discipline. And discipline ensures a certain continuity of them. Today you can be alone and just go to school, in a few years you have a job and you have to clean your house, over a few more years you will have a friend and you have to share the time, in a few years you will have a baby. So this discipline allows you to do it all and not to distract your program. You learn to organize, learn to follow the program you have proposed, and so you will be happy at the end of the year, the next 10 years and you know that you have even tried to do it all. The fact that we cannot do everything that we proposed is natural, because we cannot control everything. We have to accept and follow the thread of life. But the right discipline we can impose. And I think it starts first and foremost through a great fight with you, where the main goal is to have control over you.
MS: Did you manage to control yourself as you say?
Yes, I think I live my life, not life lives me. I have challenges every day and I have some new things that I see and I try to understand. I realised that with all the experience and with all the other older challenges, the new ones are becoming less as number, but more destabilizing, let’s say. In this context, self-control becomes a daily practiced sport and eventually mastered. If it is necessary at first, in the end it becomes a manner of being.
MS: What do you think is the link between art and fashion?
The link is creation; it is present in all. There is the art of living, of being, of loving, of dressing … the human is an art. I cannot separate them, it’s an all.