Ilenia Corti tells her story. From her family’s jewelry workshop in Valenza to the international catwalks. Thanks to a remarkable creative personality.
The world of accessories belongs to Ilenia Corti, or perhaps it would be better to say that Ilenia Corti belongs to the world of accessories, in all its many aspects. It started off with metal components on shoes and bags, then came jewelry and bijoux. Below is a brief summary of the professional career of this highly talented designer, born and raised “breathing, voluntarily or involuntarily, the world of creativity.”
How and when did your love for jewelry begin?
«I was born into a family of goldsmiths in Valenza. My father is the founder of the high-jewelry brand Santagostino fine art jewellery. The idea of the unique piece, of craftsmanship as an art, has always been part of me. Every day, I saw, with my own eyes, gold and precious stones being transformed into wonderful creations, I went to the jewelry show in Vicenza, I experienced every phase of a jewel’s life, from design to the final presentation. Then I attended the European Institute of Design, but I chose a study course that focused on fashion design. This is how I started to collaborate with companies such as D&G, Casadei and Fratelli Rossetti, in the style offices of the accessory sector, concentrating mainly on metal and ornamental components for shoes and bags. I also designed my first jewelry and bijoux items with D&G but I have been collaborating with the jewelry division at Valentino for two years now. At the same time, I continued, both then and now, going to my father’s “bottega” (workshop), cultivating my passion for that type of unique beauty that jewelry transmits and refining my goldsmith techniques. So, in 2007, I took courage in both hands and decided to do something on my own. The chance came thanks to a buyer from Barneys, who encouraged me to find my own way, my style, by creating less expensive items than those that my family produces at Sant’Agostino. Items that are more suitable for a department store. And so I designed my first capsule collection, Laboratorium. And Barneys bought it all, immediately!»
What is the sense and world of Vernissage Project?
«I could say that all the collections I have designed so far represent the dream of nature itself, which only creates unique pieces that can be reproduced. And I try to copy the same process through hot enamels, for example. Moreover, knowing what is literally behind a jewelry item, from the design on, looking at my pieces is like observing the “back” of an item, glimpsing its hidden soul. In a certain sense, I make the complexity that some jewelry creations conceal more simple, items that at first I only admired and later learned to make as a child.»
Where does your inspiration come from?
«In general, nature is the subject that I most love to recreate. The collection that most represents me is Imperial Moth, whose main theme is, of course, moths. Why? Their meticulous and intense activity reminds me of the masterly hands of goldsmiths. In a certain sense, there is an affinity between the two “works”. The collection includes necklaces, bracelets and rings in gold, silver and brass, with various shades of enamel, with or without precious stones. I have also created an exclusive line for luisaviaroma in collaboration with Swarovski. And some Imperial Moth pieces are part of a permanent collection in Vicenza’s Jewelry Museum.»
“Attendiamo Amore”, the latest collection…
«”Attendiamo Amore” is slightly different to my previous works. It is a bit dark, so to speak. A micro-cosmos of skulls, tiny bones, hearts that open, alluding to the eternal contrast between Love & Pain, love and the suffering that it generates. A world that I have also interpreted for the first time in items for men, where each piece is an allegory of a different emotional condition.»