I am not a fashion designer, and on a given day my outfit consists of jeans, a hoodie and some beat up sneakers, however this does not mean I am indifferent. I think attention to beauty in all forms, including fashion goes with working in visual arts – you simply pay attention, even if you can’t be bothered to actively participate.
So as I said – I am certainly not a fashion designer, but if I were to make clothes, I would make them as Sybilla Sorondo – more often known as Sybilla.
Sybilla was an icon in Spanish and international fashion scene in the 80’s. Or so I read online. When I met her in 2009 I certainly had no idea. I had just quit my corporate design job in Geneva, and was looking to get back into doing arts again. I had some money in the bank, and joined a crazy self-development course that met every month for a weekend in NYC. This is where I met Sybilla.
Fun fact was that it was Sybilla who was indirectly responsible for my eventually adapting my artist name March. I was playing around with the idea of this name, and when I shared it with her, and that I was moving to Barcelona – her response was ‘you have to do it and it’s a perfect name.’ Her reasons had to do with the Spanish family by the name of March, and her own connection with one of the family members. Now this seems like rather abstract reasoning, but at the time it made perfect sense, and my pen name became Alexandra March. I do not now recall all the details of that busy summer, but later I met Sybilla in her home in Madrid, and she very generously let me stay at her holiday house in Mallorca. For a blissful week or so, I walked through the olive orchards of Deià, and swam in the sea full of jelly fish. Again at this moment I still had no real understanding of her work or of its scope.
I distinctly remember how when we met in Spain she looked decidedly glamorous. The way that film stars, or celebrities have an easy fashionable look about them – this took me by surprise.
It was not until some years later that I really looked up her work, both for children’s /youth line called Jocomomola, but even more importantly the clothes line which had just recently designed, and that was really spectacular. At that moment I was experimenting with fabric print design, and so was keeping my eye on clothes a bit more closely. Her new line of clothes was something else however:
Bold colors: primary colors, blacks, reds, whites. Dresses that folded out like Japanese kimonos but completely western. Her work is both playful and extremely sophisticated. The lines are just perfect. These clothes are minimal and extravagant, and are complete without any extras.
There is also something sporty about them, which is of course another reason why the minimalist in me likes them so much. So I will end as I have begun – if I was to make clothes, I would do it as Sybilla Sorondo.
** Images are property of Sybilla, Ecoalf, RTEV, and Juan Gatti