Ester Rigato can sum up her passion in three simple words: details, shape, and surface. "Every time I start a project,” she says, “I never know what I'm looking for—it grows little by little.” This year it grew to be a winning entry at the ISKO I-SKOOL™ Denim Awards, which teams unique materials with complex themes that offer a contemporary commentary on the evolution of denim fashion creativity.
A graduate of the University of Venice’s design school, the Italian designer credits her mother’s years in fashion for her creative streak. “She has never given up her own passion,” she said, “and she taught me so many things about how to develop and make a garment.”
When she first laid eyes on the contest’s denim fabric samples, Ester was captivated by the brand new denim-wool hybrid called ISKO JOOL™, recognizing its potential for menswear: Denim for the workingman combined with wool for a herringbone suit, juxtaposing the tough contours of the laborer with the delicate silhouettes of the world’s elite. She played up these contrasts of texture and theme, bringing them together in her own clever hybrid (a distinctly futurist take on menswear) using Swarovski crystals to emphasize the opposite polarities. The crystals formed an enlarged glen check pattern at the base of the garment—a masculine look with a feminine edge. She then sent her outfits down the runway at the contest’s fashion-show finale, entitled The Night Is Young, which took place at Treviso’s Villa Corner della Regina, a spectacular villa dating back to the 16th century.
Now that she has so emphatically demonstrated her skill, the newest face of ISKO I-SKOOL™ Denim Awards plans to hit the ground running in the world of high fashion. “My aim is to gain a lot more experience,” she said. “I know that I’ve a lot to learn.”