A CONVERSATION WITH LETIZIA TRULLI ABOUT FORMEPIANE, THE SMALL-SCALE BESPOKE COLLECTION ENCAPSULATING ITALIAN AUTHORIAL DESIGN

adf web magazineHenri collection, Formepiane Ph. credits Francesco Stelitanoadf web magazineHenri collection, Formepianeadf web magazineAnni collection, Formepiane Fine and full lines, horizontal and vertical, grids with circles and squares are the decorative alphabet of
the collection. adf web magazineAnni collection, Formepiane Ph. credits Francesco Stelitanoadf web magazineadf web magazinePaul collection, Formepianeadf web magazineadf web magazinePaul collection, Formepiane

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A conversation between Letizia Trulli and I, during EDIT Napoli 2021

Is that stone?

Oh no, it’s foam rubber! It is covered in manually sewed tissues. 

I had to compliment the artisan again, he did a great job.

Formepiane debuted at EDIT Napoli 2021, this October. 

The design fair, curated by Domitilla Dardi together with Emilia Petruccelli, “created to support, promote and celebrate a new generation of designers” keeps focusing on the designer-maker rise, a movement that is challenging the traditional chain of production and distribution. 

Editorial designs with practices rooted in making, intense concepts, the safekeeping of traditions, and the craftsmanship quality are the fixed values to rediscover the role of good design again, as in the product so in the process.

I had the chance to meet Letizia Trulli, throughout the Seminario section of EDIT, the creative cradle for emerging talents like young designers, artisans, entrepreneurs and companies, established not more than 3 years ago. 

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Anni collection, Formepiane
Ph. credits Francesco Stelitano

She is the designer and art director behind Formepiane, the creative studio based in Milan, which presented Anni, Paul, Henri, and Sonia, four new collections of soft furniture homaging the styles of artists and designers.

“I decided to be part of EDIT Napoli because I share the choice of creating a small-scale fair in which careful section is preferred to quantity”, said Letizia Trulli for EDIT Napoli.

The significant innovative point of the fair is discovering those intimate productions as Formepiane, within a small-scale “boutique event” where the design root of the protagonists can be expressed at its peak.

Letizia Trulli's work is disseminated by a strong authorial imprint tinged also with a personal research project: the aim is seeking creative elements that are essential to developing her own rational language, in which simplicity is seen as the goal beyond which the product can no longer push itself.

The product becomes the result of a reduction process that elevates the essential aspects of the composition. 

It is about simplicity, not minimalism

Letizia Trulli

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Anni collection, Formepiane
Fine and full lines, horizontal and vertical, grids with circles and squares are the decorative alphabet of
the collection.

Always fascinated by the fabrics as by their symbolic and expressive value, she uses the material as a terrain of expression.

The production model is“made to measure” and the products are entirely made in Italy. The prints are realized in Como, and they are assembled in Milan, following the sustainable life cycle of tailor-made production, which wastes zero and brings significant value to the cultural heritage of the artisanal “making”.

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Paul collection, Formepiane

I’ve exchanged a few questions to deepen her work about Formepiane's unique collection and her valuable experience in small-scale production.

Virginia Alluzzi: You told me about the creative process by which you can transfer the hand-drawn patterns onto your products. I would like to know more about how your products come up and are developed.

Letizia Trulli: Drawing is a great passion of mine. The fabrics, ceramics and objects collected in many different places are a very personal source of inspiration.

To design Formepiane collections I always start from sketches entirely made by hand. 

I use cotton-based paper and a mix of watercolors and colored pencils. This technique allows me to get wonderful shades and colors.

I also love to create unique pieces in screen printing. Hand printing is essential to create and experiment with new solutions and designs, directly on the fabric. It is a moment of pure exploration that leads to the creation of the Formepiane collections.

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Henri collection, Formepiane
The concept behind Henri is the creation of a shapes’ board, or the base ground of Formepiane’s decorative language: circles, rectangles, rhombus, ovals. Few elements with very little yet fundamental variations.

irginia Alluzzi: From the start, the inspiration behind Formepiane was the communicative and symbolic value of the fabrics. What are you referring to, in particular?

Letizia Trulli: For me, fabrics represent a perfect balance between shape, color and materials.

Formepiane fabrics have a sophisticated and very defined aesthetic, that brings back the decorative elements to their geometric essence and is used for overlapping giving life to always different motifs that complement and interact with each other.

I am also inspired by Anni Albers and Sonia Delaunay, Japanese graphics, and West African textiles.

Virginia Alluzzi: The sustainability topic is interesting and noble. The bespoke production and the short-chain you selected to enhance the local economic system and craftsmanship. Each product is commissioned by the customer and packaged by hand? 

Letizia Trulli: The collections and the objects have been designed to last over time, without chasing any trends or following the seasonality. I have very good collaborators, suppliers, and manufacturers behind the products which are entirely made in Italy.

Finding employees who share your approach and care for the final product is crucial.

At the moment, I have developed 4 collections and a catalog of continuous products such as cushions and table textiles that I produce on request.

Then there is a whole - fundamental- part dedicated to customized projects, developed in collaboration with architects and interior designers or directly with the customer. For example, starting from the 4 existing collections I create custom-made pieces with color palettes, materials, and personalized formats.

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Henri collection, Formepiane

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Henri collection, Formepiane

Virginia Alluzzi: Do you think that the future of design is going in this direction? EDIT Napoli is the mirror of this approach, which the design, in general, is embracing and cultivating.  

So, design consciously or not design at all?

Letizia Trulli: The quality of the final product must be congruent with that narrative, which has acquired such an important role.

In my case, I am talking about small-scale artisanal production, and the products are consistent with their communication. As I told you, they are entirely made in Italy: the fabrics printed in Como and packaged in the laboratory in Milan.

You need space to tell and present this kind of research. 

I decided to join Edit Napoli because I share the decision of creating a small fair in which the quantity is accompanied by a careful selection. EDIT is a moment of encounter for a community united by the same vision, driven by a deep passion and enthusiasm as by the constant search for balance between good design, production, and distribution.

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Paul collection, Formepiane

Virginia Alluzzi: Who is your reference in the design/architecture landscape at a stylistic and/or conceptual level?

Letizia Trulli: I am fascinated by the work of great architects and designers who have dedicated their creative activity to experimentation in every form, ranging from painting, sculpture, graphics, writing and teaching. 

Studying the projects of Bruno Munari and Enzo Mari was fundamental for me. 

From their work as designers and theorists, have arisen timeless creations which are free from passing fashion, and whose value lies in the constant research and in the quality of forms.

Virginia Alluzzi: Do you have any plans for the future? 

Letizia Trulli: The goal is to keep developing a personal and recognizable decorative language. In the future, I’d like to involve other designers and collaborate with them in the conception of the collections.

In addition, I am starting to work with ceramics, a material that I love very much and that is extremely versatile, as much as the fabric. 

Formepiane INFO


Photo credits: Francesco Stelitano
URL: formepiane.com
instagram: formepiane 
Formepiane collections are for sale on Monomio.it


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