Lucy Virgona: Raw Naïveté
Lucy Virgona is a Sydney-based emerging designer. Her collection, Raw Naïveté, is inspired by the youthful, playful, and intuitive. It is a beautiful set of organic lines, stylised imagery, thick brush strokes, and billowing silhouettes.
⌲ This article was originally featured in Vertigo Magazine, and has been republished with permission.
Lucy was initially drawn to the simplified and expressive forms of naïve art and modern folk art. Her collection started as a series of abstract rural landscapes. Painted on various fabrics and papers, the works were then draped over the body, following the organic patterns and relaxed form of her designs. Lucy then explored ways in which the garments could be worn naively, and developed a knotting technique which allows the wearer to approach dressing in a playful way, by interchanging and manipulating the pieces.
The aesthetic of naïve art rests on rich historical traditions, on the passing on of cultural craftsmanship, and on established technical preparation. Lucy’s work is grounded in local industry and Australian produce, and this collection is made from a combination of Australian Merino wool and hemp. Lucy’s family have been involved in sheep breeding since 1907. While growing up on paddocks of the New England Tablelands, she constantly examined wool in its raw stages, and later witnessed its processing into luxurious fabrics through spinners and weavers in northern Italy.
Lucy is focused on promoting the use of wool as a staple in fashion, describing it as ‘a fibre with versatility, body and intelligence. It works with the body; not against it’. For her use of the material, she won the Supreme Award at the Australian Wool Awards in 2015.
The collection incorporates a combination of techniques. To start with, Lucy painted abstract Australian landscapes, then draped them over mannequins to find shapes on the body that complimented the paintings. She developed the paintings into prints, before creating more shapes in fabric through knotting.
Lucy received a Digital Print Scholarship from Think Positive, an Australian company that specialises in the use of natural fibres and vibrant inks. Through this company, her abstract paintings evolved into a large array of bold fabric prints.
The combination of wools and hemps with modern printing techniques has given her works an Australian vibe that is at once traditional and contemporary. Her collection holds an undercurrent of established practice, but is also dramatic, unmissable, and distinctly new.
Textiles - Lucy Virgona
Photography - Adam Yip
Makeup - Clare Galluzzo
Modelled by - Emilia Roberts
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