Elisa Ciolli is no stranger to the high-gloss, high-octane world of Flaunt, nor is she unfamiliar with the necessary evolutions one must make with their creative repertoire in order to cut through the oversaturated and oft-predictable worlds of fashion and jewelry design. Looking ahead to Spring-Summer 2021, her high-end jewelry brand, Liase, which is entirely made in Florence, IT, now fans its wings into the handbag space for the “Ocean’s Deep” collection, and the results are both stylishly galactic and coolly abyssopelagic.
Ciolli, who spent her post-graduation years as a buyer for Luisa Via Roma and visual merchandiser for Gucci Germany, conceived of Liase after time spent in Peru and Mexico, where she became enchanted by the crafts, culture, and thriving international scene. The results see modern, futuristic pieces that would compliment a Deep Playa getup, but also a stilettos and cigarettes foray at the Sunset Tower or Annabel’s.
Of utmost importance is Liase’s focus on working with local Italian artisans, mainly in small high quality laboratories. The brand implements intricate geometries and modern shapes, inspired by varying artistic and cultural movements, and of course a love for architecture.
Flaunt took a break from the cerebral dance floor (hey, it’s the best we’ve got at the moment) to chat with Ciolli about her latest design evolution, her creative research, and of course how she’s navigating this upended year.
How have you been staying creative during the pandemic and isolation?
First of all, I have been taking really good care of myself, exercising a lot, eating healthy and meditating. This has definitely helped my creative energy flow. Nature always plays a big role in the creative process and in my life generally, and I am lucky enough to live in a beautiful farmhouse in the Italian countryside where I can spend time observing the essence of my surroundings and immerse myself in the library, researching inspiring books of art and design.
What sort of motifs are at play in the new jewelry collection?
Ocean’s Deep is inspired by the greatest beauty, the Ocean, and all the beautiful creatures populating the depths of the abyss. I have been collecting rare conch shells during my travels and the study of their unique shapes and elegance has been translated into sophisticated pieces made of recycled silver, enriched with natural pearls and colorful zircons.
Describe the genesis of the bags? Were you seeking to fill a hole in your own wardrobe and it scaled or is there a particular person in mind for whom you're creating? What was the process?
In my opinion, the most significant and telling accessories in a woman’s closet is jewelry and handbags. They can both step up your look when you choose carefully. So I slowly started working on the MOONSHELL BAGS a couple of years ago—I needed to find the perfect fit with the jewelry. It needed to be elegant and iconic with details that would make it unique, recognizable, and would be the perfect balance for my earrings, bracelets and necklaces. The collection is divided into five sleek styles from day to night with our iconic half moons placed on the sides and a very distinguished flap manufacture. Our design is for edgy, confident and classy women who understand quality.
What have you missed most in 2020 and why?
Freedom and fun are the things I have missed the most this year, but I must say I have learned to embrace this difficult time and look at the bigger picture, which expands to something greater than our own individual needs.
Do you think it's important your pieces have a strong Italian identity, or are you seeking a more non-specific global identity? What's the difference to you?
I am a proud Italian designer but I am also a cititizen of the world. I believe in the potential of my country, in the local artisanal work, the importance of the details, the elegance and class that generally lies in the Italian culture. I think it is very important that I keep this strong identity featured in my brand but I also travel a lot and am inspired by many of the incredible places I visit, and I work hard to design pieces that compliment my experiences and research.
Time at home and time separated from friends and family has really put to question the role or importance of fashion in our day to day lives? Why do we still need high fashion and style?
After a long time wearing nothing but tracksuits and loungewear at home, people will want to dress up nice again and be more playful with fashion. I hope people are going to want to live life at the fullest again but they will have a more conscious way of buying. They may buy less, but will be seeking out and shopping for more coveted pieces that last longer and feel more personal. We need to start to write the next chapter of fashion, we need to generate interest to buy something that really makes the difference in our wardrobes, and to promote more sustainable and handmade fashion.
Describe your perfect day?
Firstly, to wake up with my family and puppies, starting the day with laughs and play-fights in bed followed by a nice breakfast together. An hour of exercise or meditation before I begin a day’s work. Later, I'll be playing silly games with my family, my kids love playing musical statues and my partner loves to treat them to strange music, which is always fun. Then we'd open a bottle of red wine that we make on the farm and start preparing a lovely feast for dinner which we all enjoy together. If I am lucky enough to keep myself awake after I put the kids to bed, I can end the day with cuddles on the sofa with my partner.
What have you read or watched this year that has been the most inspiring?
My Octopus Teacher on Netflix was so deep and touching, it helps you realise how all living creatures are connected and that with trust, we can co-exist and learn from each other.
LIFE! A return to more travels, more socialising, less social media and more satisfying creations for LIASE.