MARLO STUDIO returns to Schön! to discuss ILLUSION, the label’s new collection. Futuristic in tone, the collection seeks to explore a conception of what’s next and how its wearers may better prepare for its. Schön! spoke with the minds behind the label for an insight into the works.
Introduce us to MARLO STUDIO. What is your history as a label?
MARLO STUDIO launched in 2019 with a clear vision that focuses on futurism, technological innovation, and champions diversity, freedom and sustainability. After publicly presenting our brand at IED Madrid two years ago, we, MARCIO LOPES and ZSOLT NAGYVÁTI — creative director and artistic director of the brand respectively — held a massive call to present our second proposal, ZERO POINT, coinciding with the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid. Our third collection, ARETTI ARENA, which we presented a few months ago in digital format, was a clear evidence of [our] brand’s interest in exploring new formats, attracting enormous interest from the national and international press.
This new collection is called ‘ILLUSION’. Why did you settle on this title?
‘ILLUSION’ was inspired by the song ‘Time is an Illusion’ by Ditian. After we listened to the song, we knew that we wanted a new collection titled ‘ILLUSION’. We wanted to talk about this topic and reflect on whether time is truly real or if everything is an illusion. After asking ourselves this question we thought about how we could make a new illusion — we wanted to create something that would refer us to a parallel place between heaven and earth.
Birth, life and death are certainties of the human life cycle. The beginning and the end, materialised at birth and at the end of life, are accompanied by guardian angels, who can renew us and show us a new way of living. At the other end is death, feared by some, and welcomed by others. A trace of optimism that many cling to, trusting that they will live a new and satisfying experience, idealised by humans, and governed by wills and beliefs.
There is also freedom, beauty and sexuality — singular elements that coexist in the same individual: self-determination when it comes to expressing ourselves and choosing our way in life, with the possibility of following a path full of dreams, achievements and carnal enjoyment. Beauty is a unique quality that each individual possesses and which differentiates us from one another in this sea of repetitions, where prevailing trends convert us into prototypes programmed to think and act according to a single, common pattern. And sexuality is the ultimate symbol of beautiful depravity.
In religious stories it is said that we live in an illusion and that there is a new one after death. The pharaohs devoted their entire lives to prepare for life after death. Several religions and philosophies also contain the idea of life after death. They created a perfect world on the other side although there is really no evidence of its existence.
What if all that there is, is just an illusion? What if the universe does not exist and we live an illusion? Do we believe and seek a perfect and certain life just to make ourselves more comfortable?
Well, with the ‘ILLUSION’ collection, we want to represent our parallel universe, creating our polytheistic illusion where all the characters and sanctities coexist together generating incredibly perfect human beings, each one with its particularity.
You’ve said your new collection is inspired by the cherubim. Can you tell us more about these creatures and how their story influenced these pieces?
The Cherubim are magnificent, supernatural angelic beings with incredible powers. Their beauty is greater than the human mind can describe or understand. The word “cherub” refers to both angels and imaginary angels described in sacred and religious writings.
‘They say their entire bodies are full of eyes – their backs, hands and wings. The power of the Cherubim is expressed in the idea of having many eyes, a complete vision to fulfil their tasks so that nothing can escape their gaze. They also say that when the Cherubim come to visit you, they leave behind one of their eyes so that you can experience the vision of divine light and see behind the illusion.’
Cherubim are angels of protection, but they also have their dark side. They can develop the role of angels of death. When a person is about to leave this world, he receives a visit from the Cherubim, but if the person refuses to leave, or the moment of departure has not yet come, one eye is given by the Cherubim to see life in a different way, like a second and new chance.
Therefore, we have chosen the Cherubim to represent the beings of illusion. This parallel universe that unites the human being and the holy, the divine untouchable.
You use fabrics like leatherette, girdle, and breathable and waterproof technical textiles. What motivates the use of these materials?
From the beginning, we liked looking for new materials: unconventional and technological materials that give life to our designs. We always seek to give value to our garments. Apart from a good design, we believe that the material and execution is very important. We are in love with technological fabrics…with extensive durability. This gives our garments function, functions that are almost always very necessary. Unfortunately, we are heading into a world where we have to prepare for all kinds of weather changes when we leave our apartment. We’ve been silent for a long time on the subject of climate change. Right now we have the answer to our disinterest on the subject. Today we see that the weather is not the same as before and we can suffer from several climate changes in a single day. In the space of 24 hours, we have to be prepared for the cold, rain, heat, pollution etc.
For these changes we need the help of materials such as breathable and waterproof fabrics to feel safer and to have extra comfort when going out. For this reason, we always take a good look at materials we can use for the collection and think beyond, imagining when our client might need to use this material and in which places they might need more than one.
We believe that a good design accompanied by a good, sustainable material, skating and excellent workmanship makes the garment perfect. Beyond the colours and stampings, MARLO STUDIO wants to give our customers quality, sustainable fashion with a very long, useful life. We believe in circular fashion, and thus curbing the mass consumption of disposable clothing a bit. We wish people gave more value to quality designs.
Much of your work is futuristic. What is MARLO STUDIO‘s conception of the future — your ideal future reality?
Futurism has been essential to MARLO STUDIO from the beginning. We are in love with science fiction, transhumanism and our current rapid evolution. We are very supportive of technology alongside the human being; we believe it is very necessary for the common good.
Our vision is honest and an analysis of evolution — where we are going. Looking around us at what is currently happening gives us an idea, a perception of a future. Obviously we use references from utopian futurism and mix it with our idea of the future.
We see the future as something very positive. Futurism is human evolution, which develop means including aesthetics to adapt and evolve. It is very broad and complex to talk about futurism, but we believe that each individual has a vision of the future; each person through his or her environment sees human evolution in a different way. We have many references in common but each individual digests it and develops a vision about it.
For MARLO STUDIO , futurism is adapting and being able to meet our clients’ basic needs. We provide our vision and teach that evolution is something real and necessary. We want to create a community where we all share common ideas, an aesthetic and a passion for evolution.
Tell us a bit more about the photos you’ve chosen to accompany this. What about the clothes were you looking to highlight in this series?
For the campaign we wanted to show our ILLUSION universe, an unreal place that would unite the key points of the collection with the divine, the human and the futuristic. We want to show people or beings who are revolutionised and at the same time divine: the Cherubim of our illusion.
The garments chosen for this collection also speak of these beings — kings, angels and monsters with different garments but united by a common thread of materials, prints and executions. We want to show our vision of the fashion of tomorrow.
By using fetish, ugly fashion and transhumanism, we want to present a unique collection for people with attitude and security. For us this is the new chic: comfort and aggressively well-executed excess are the new chic. In this sea of sustainable deconstruction and logomania, volume and structural harmony accompanied by a good execution should have more voice. This collection is our most commercial vision until then, we believe these are varied pieces which can be mixed in various ways to suit every taste while maintaining a MARLO STUDIO identity.
What’s been inspiring you recently?
Well, this is a truly extensive question. Just by thinking about what inspires us we can almost collapse under the weight of the many things that occur to us. We live in a world with information machine guns that are continuously firing without pause. The media, social networks and the use of the internet in general are an inexhaustible source of inspiration. We have a lot of quick and highly visual information that the best we can do is occasionally disconnect and see what our brain has collected from it all. We also only retain the information that interests us; it is nothing more than a translation into ideas.
The people themselves are also sources of inspiration for MARLO STUDIO. The way they currently behave, the changes they have undergone after this quarantine/confinement period: how they dress, what they are looking for; the places they usually go out to for a meal, what they make of their lives now that everything has moderately changed; what changed in our lives and where we are going to. It is difficult to talk about a specific inspiration. I think it depends on the moment we are in, the emotions and the environment. Each collection has its moment, a feeling to convey.
What’s next for MARLO STUDIO?
The only thing we can say about what’s next is that we really want to keep creating and keep working — to be able to remain free to make our dream real.
MARLO STUDIO is very young. We still have the possibility to play, learn, make mistakes, reinvent, etc. We have plans and a lot of ambition with which we are looking for ways to make our dreams/inspirations come true. MARLO STUDIO is ours, the project of our lives that we are creating, shaping and learning about at the same time. It is a very exciting and educational experience at the same time.
We struggle, we hope and want to do everything so that MARLO STUDIO will be more real day by day. We hope to speak with you again in the very near future and say that everything has gone well.
Follow MARLO STUDIO on Instagram.
fashion + creative & art direction. MARLO STUDIO
photography. Dominik Valvo
hair. Sergio Serpiente
make up. Sergio Antón
models. Julieta Barba Garcia, Maria Guerra @ Blow Models, Frank Plata + Nicolás Piñeiro Conde
video. Zsolt Nagyváti
video editor. Marcio Lopes
music. Atomik’s feat Valentina Izumi @ Etamin Records
photography assistant. Manuel Dos Santos
fashion assistant. Eloísa Mesa Oyono
PR. David Alarcón