Atelier Judith – On Fashion, Art and Her Love For Italy

23-Feb-2021

Hi Judith, let’s start off by sharing with our readers a little about you.
Where did you study art? What did you major in? How did that influence you personally and professionally?

After graduating from high school in Italy, I’ve decided to study art history in Vienna, focusing on 18th century portrait painting, contemporary sculpture and modernist curatorial approaches. I have to admit that it has been thanks to my very inspiring aunt, who herself is an artist, that I’ve become so passionate about the fine arts. Luckily growing up in Italy, also meant my aunt and grandmother (both artists) took me along with them on their cultural trips to every small town nearby in order to visit museums and art galleries, meet local artists, attend classical concerts and theatre plays, and thereby always engaging with history as well as the arts and crafts.

Today I’m beyond grateful for that early art education, which has certainly also influenced my open-minded way of thinking and my bondage to the arts, which have during my university studies and work experience at the most breath-taking “Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna”, been developed from mere admiration to a deep sensitivity for the aesthetic and the art of creating beauty in all its forms.

Finally, I’m looking at the everyday with fresh eyes, while always and everywhere seeking for beauty and the unusual, the imperfect.

And how did you get the idea to launch Atelier Judith? Can you share with our readers a little more about the magazine?

During my period of studying art history, I’ve realized that to me art means to go beyond the academic idea of reading about dead artists, past eras and historical circumstances alone. To me, it meant attending every single exhibition going on, meeting and discussing with artists who were alive and also reflecting in an open way, thereby aiming to somehow democratize that art, which was and still is for so many alien and hiding behind fences of scholarship. In any case, my sole desire after watching art performances, was to write down my thoughts and share them with whoever wouldn’t have the chance or courage to attend such an event. Furthermore I felt like creating vintage / designer guides, could help people discover less known places, away from the path of mainstream sights and shops, when they would travel around Europe.

We love how your idea of curation matches so strongly with ours – what are the kind of recommendations that you can expect to find on Atelier Judith? Why did you decide to move away from the big names and focus on exploring/featuring the undiscovered and more offbeat parts of Europe?

Atelier Judith is all about providing a new way of seeing and approaching beauty, beyond visual arts. It’s also about encouraging readers and followers to be different, and unique. Next to recommending a historical consciousness, readers will find many different subject matters, with a strong focus on arts, cinema, photography, design and vintage. Additionally about one year ago, I’ve added the category of unusual stays, such as selected boutique hotels and bed and breakfast guides, which are such a great option and intimate alternative to big mainstream hotels.
In every case, I believe in details and that the small makes the difference, which is why my readers will always find some very personal and romantic storytelling, instead of classic journalistic reports about places and clothing.

Tell us a little bit about your work beyond Atelier Judith. What are the kind of clients that you usually tend to work with?

Next to my personal business, which luckily is my greatest passion, I keep being busy with commissions regarding social media / digital marketing consulting for various companies, in the fields of hospitality and fashion. Lately I tend to work a lot with small, specialized enterprises, often young designers too, who wish to collaborate for creating something together.

Do you have any ongoing projects that you can share with us? I am sure our audience would love to know more about your latest work!

Besides collaborating with small designers and creating digital concepts for some of them, I’m currently preparing for some upcoming projects, which will hopefully be realized during spring and early summer. One of them is my favourite project so far; working together with a young artist / philosopher, we are creating modern versions of antique concepts of beauty and aestheticism, by representing those figures in the wake of a theatre performance. Right now I’m doing some research and soon will be looking for the right costumes and maybe even design them myself, and then present them on stage; a moment I’m surely looking forward to, since the job unites so many of my passions and is all about a theatre stage; for the theatre is one of my favourite places. Next to that, I’m preparing another vintage styling project, which I had in mind for such a long time, but can’t tell anything more as it’s still not finalized and therefore a secret. But stay tuned! And not long ago I kept thinking of publishing a book, including illustrations and some very inspiring and touching writings from my great-grandmothers diary. As you can see, there are lots of projects and even more ideas waiting to be realized.

We know of your love for all things vintage – can you tell us a little about how you discovered your passion for it? Do you have any favourite vintage pieces that you can share with us?

Perhaps my passion for collecting vintage clothing and items, such as old furnishings, art and photographs, derives from my affection towards history in general.

I guess nothing could ever keep me from visiting my grandmother, listening to her tales from earlier days, or watching a good old movie, in order to dive into that bygone world. Hours keep passing too, whenever I’m entering a vintage store; what I love most about old clothes and aesthetics is the fact that it is filled with a story, a life and a human being. Therefore vintage clothes do not only tell a story about the pre-owner and about pre-conditions such as precious materials but also about pre-life, such as a nostalgic, elegant way of dressing up and behaving.

Sometimes I do feel like being born in the wrong era, desiring to travel back to those “good old days”, and that may be the reason for spending so many hours and days at vintage boutiques and flea markets, my favourite pastime that started back when I moved to Vienna for my studies, where I may have spent every free minute at antique stores and did a lot of research in the field of costume history.

Most of the favourite vintage pieces I personally own, derive from my deceased great- aunts closet, which was filled with very rare and unique treasure pieces. Recently I love wearing one of her black Loden capes, together with a beautifully chequered skirt. Most of her pieces have been handmade either by herself or sewn by her confidante dressmaker. Through her photographic material, I found out that a dressmaker’s commission selected those very pieces for their unique designs.

I also feel like wearing her pieces, feels like bringing a part of her to life again. In that sense, wearing vintage is also strongly connected to emotions and sensations.

How do you think the world has changed in the wake of the pandemic? How has it impacted you personally?

I feel like the pandemic certainly lead a lot of people to changing their usual perspectives and forced some also to look out for a completely different proceeding. In the end, I truly hope that the world will change for the better, something I was hoping for since being a small girl. Now with the pandemic going on, I feel like we could and should finally rethink so many concepts, in order to preserve nature in all its beauty, for humanity owes much more respect towards nature, animals, and weaker humans.
On a personal, the pandemic forced me to engage a lot more with my surroundings, leading me to spend an enormous amount of time out in nature, while observing the beauty of nature coming back to life during the first lockdown in spring. All of a sudden, the simple pleasure of listening to birds singing in my garden, meant joy and thankfulness. The pandemic also, reconfirmed me that every single day should be valued as a gift and thereby used in its most complete and fulfilling way.

On another level, the pandemic forced me to engage more with local designers, and to discover more parts of Italy, such as finally visiting my relatives in the South of Italy, for the first time. I guess, being stuck in Italy is nothing I could complain about, but I certainly hope we can share the beauty of our country soon again, with every Italy-devotee out there in the world.

The future looks uncertain for so many of us right now, but do you have any plans that you would like to see through for this year? How do you hope to make an impact in the months to come?

I do have a lot of plans for 2021, even though I’m again not quite sure if it will be possible to realize them. Nevertheless I’ve decided to never give up my passion of creating and sharing and to keep following that path, even if times could be much better, but giving up is never an option.

For now, I’m living every day to come with a big portion of positivity and lots of ideas to be realized when time will be mature. And I’m also planning to relocate myself to an amazing Italian city soon (hopefully)! In the meantime stay tuned, and safe of course!

-Soha Joshi

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All images courtesy of Atelier Judith.

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