I met Giulia at her studio in Sliema, a young lady bursting with talent. Surrounded by her beautiful paintings, illustrations and unique swimwear creations, we chatted about creativity, ISLE&AQUA and sustainable fashion…
Giulia, tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a recent London College of Fashion lingerie and swimwear design graduate, an artist, specializing in contemporary portraiture and most recently an Illustrator, constantly jumping between these three forms of creativity. I love to cook, I’m quite lazy unless it involves something I am really passionate about and I can go days on end enjoying my own company, blissful in my own creative space.
What does “being creative” mean to you?
To me, creativity is looking around and seeing how things are made, how they happen and thinking up ways to use these ideas to create something new, or use them in a different way.
I love to be creative in various ways; one day I will design or illustrate a bikini set, another day I’ll start sewing chokers, and the next I may be painting a portrait from start to finish without stopping for a minute. It really depends on my feeling that day. The worst thing for me is being forced to do something I’m not necessarily in the mood for.
What is ISLE&AQUA and how did this idea come about?
After developing a capsule swimwear collection for the final year of my degree, and receiving such positive feedback and order requests, I decided to take the leap and launch my own swimwear brand, something I had always wished to do, but did not expect to do so, so soon after graduation.
Living on a sunny island, I couldn’t understand why it was so difficult for me to even think of potential places to go out and buy a good quality bikini that I would actually feel confident and proud to be wearing, not just the same old cheap knock-offs of designer brand designs. This obvious gap in the local market further fueled my desire to create something different.
What is the brand’s ethos?
ISLE&AQUA aims to create beautifully designed swimwear pieces that could be described using the following words:
Modern; in terms of fabric combinations, colours, textures and craftsmanship methods.
Glamorous; allowing the wearer to feel sexy, confident and comfortable in their swimwear, and in their own skin.
Unique; each piece is designed with love, aiming to create special yet wearable and flattering pieces.
What are your views on sustainable fashion?
I strongly believe that all fashion brands can be sustainable in a varying amount of aspects, from packaging methods, to materials, to ways of dealing with production wastage. If each company had to make one small change towards sustainability, then the combined outcome would really make a mark in lowering our ecological footprint for future generations.
Do you source your fabric responsibly?
ISLE&AQUA has also taken into account the importance of being eco-aware within the fashion industry, and so fabrics are obtained sustainably.
This is done by buying smaller rolls of fabrics, that do not contain enough meters to be used by larger brands, and so are typically deemed as ‘left-over stock’ by fabric suppliers. Here, smaller brands are able to use up the remaining fabrics, without needing to purchase large amounts of fabric to reach the minimum order quantities that most suppliers often work with.
This method benefits three parties; the fabric suppliers, the smaller brands and also the environment, as instead of being destroyed, every last meter of fabric is being made use of.
How would you describe this summer’s ISLE&AQUA collection?
Sassy, edgy, and on-trend.
The collection offers each customer the freedom to select their preferred colour and texture, top style and bottom style, each designed to fulfill a specific need, such as a push up affect, more support, or a sexier cut. This offers a new customized approach to swimwear buying.
The hardware and metallic elastic combination from SS16 remains a staple design detail throughout the collection, now becoming a recognizable feature of the ISLE&AQUA brand.
What was the main source of inspiration behind the series?
For this SS17 collection, ISLE&AQUA takes inspiration from interior design trends merged with tones captured from nature.
Metallic pewter elastic intertwined through rose-gold hardware adds an industrial touch to the ultra glamorous swimwear shapes and cuts.
Natural tones such as aquamarine, cloud white, charcoal grey and sunflower yellow give the collection a summer-time aesthetic. The use of fine mesh layered over Lycra offers a high quality finish and flattering shape to the body, whilst also creating a variation of depths and textures throughout the collection.
Where can our readers get their hands on your lovely creations?
The collection in readily available and can be bought online through our website www.isleandaqua.com, or alternatively, simply email us at email@example.com to arrange a private viewing of the collection, where customers can comfortably see each piece up close and try on different colours and sizes, to identify which combination flatters them best.