Dear iDEALS, Ter et Bantine was born in 1992. A pragmatic dreamer, Manuela Arcari looks at the world around her and condenses her observations in a sign retaining a quality not usually associated with fashion design: dignity. She designs for a woman who is real, not fictional, living real-life, concrete situations.
For this polymorphous character, Manuela creates clothing that erases pre-conceived distinctions. Design is controlled but not monastic; pureness, sometimes, opens up to decorative abandon, in a new way. The tone is assertive, but not oppressive; severity includes grace, femininity has the dry anti-romanticism of masculinity. The expression is fluid: an open, inclusive language.
Manuela Arcari knows when to stop. She also knows that silence speaks volumes, and seduces. Sensuality not always, and not necessarily, means baring it all. On the contrary, shyness and reticence can be truly seductive: in this case, in fact, it’s the mind, not the eyes, that fills the gaps. Ter et Bantine is a style – reductionist and raw, concrete and cerebral, pure, subtle – in which what is not there is just as important, or maybe more important, of what is there.
The infinite possibilities of this modular style highlight the personality of the wearer, not the ego of the designer. The tone is concentrated, rarefied at times, yet, between the folds, the clean cuts and the geometries, one can discover memories and emotions. Simplicity, after all, is complex, full of nuances. She is the author: her precise, decisive look of a woman who creates womenswear does not translate into a formula; in fact, she offers infinite ways of being. Ter et Bantine is a wardrobe: an open repertoire of possibilities. Construction is the result of intense study, because the body and its movements are not abstract concepts for Arcari.
FilepMotwary: Mme Arcari, what were your inspirations for Summer 2012 what will people see in Milan in September?
ManuelaArcari: I haven’t quite decided yet, to be honest. What I do know is that I’d like to create a virtual full stop to the path chosen during the last collections, which, I do believe, culminated with resort. A complex patchwork of fabrics, colours and meaning, however chaotic, but present in all ethnic cultures. I’d like to offer two partial but parallel views, which underscore each other through their diversity.
M.A: We strive to become more and more precise, entering into detail, to be ever more competent within today’s dynamics. In the US resort collections play an important part, commercially as well as culturally. Responding to certain seasonal sensibilities is par for the course. Being a small company, moreover, and having to work fast, compels us to keep things simple without drama, which is part of my DNA.
F.M: How would you describe your process while working?
M.A: Each season I concentrate my efforts on attempting to find a new suitable formula, which then is applied mathematically to each collection.
M.A: Actually, to me fashion still is the fascinating, immediate, territory of research.
F.M: What is missing from fashion right now?
M.A: An independent, authoritative label.
M.A: I wouldn’t mind tackling the world of furniture and interiors, since a home and everything connected with it fascinates me. Ultimately one’s home is once’s most important outfit.
*Thank you Mme Enna Halie