LABEL UNDER CONSTRUCTION

A rare chat with Luca Laurini, the elusive man behind Label Under Construction.

Luca Laurini a name you may not know but you should. Based in Italy, the meticulous designer is the mastermind behind Label Under Construction. Luca’s expertly crafted, often monochromatic, garments are constructed of the finest fabrics. From silks to cashmeres, Luca’s borderline obsession with natural fibres is what drives him to produce such incredible pieces of work.

We were fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to capture imagery within Luca’s atelier. Located in Perugia, this gigantic space is the birth place of many of his creations. The rows of machinery that fill the room, the vast archive of garments. Perfectly organised, as neat and precise as the hung garments. It’s captivating to see the work that goes into Label Under Construction. Luca often experiments, pushing the boundaries of what can be done. Constantly creating. Many of these experiments live their lives in the archive, never to be released. The following intimate series of photographs captures the impressive space and some of these never before seen garments.

What made you start your brand, why Label Under Construction? 

First of all, I think it is important to consider my background and my interests; my family boasts a long tradition in knitwear and I have a real passion for architecture. I therefore decided to channel my creativity in architectural shapes and structures; if you think about it, the first architecture we live in is our outfit. The combination of technology and workmanship that I have been experiencing since I was a child became the starting point to dig into such two concepts and study their expression. The name of my brand comes from the combination of the idea of a label which is in a continuous evolution and development and the resulting acronym, LUC, which echoes my name.

What is the source of inspiration for your collections?

When talking about inspiration, I’d say there is not a unique source. Definitely, the study on materials, on their potential and on the way to transform them is always a starting point for me. What I want to express is a “sophisticated minimalism”. In other words, simple and pure shapes that hide the complex procedures employed to achieve a specific goal either manually or technically.

We all know that you don’t have any conspicuous logo on your items, instead there is a small hole on the back of the neck. Is there a certain idea or attitude you want to communicate to your customers?

Not having an actual logo is a sort of provocation; the name “Label Under Construction” already carries the idea that the brand is not a definitive and final entity, but it is a project in endless movement. Therefore for the logo I chose a logo/non-logo: a hole on every knitted item and a metal circle on all the woven items.

For the knitted pieces, the hole has also a functional role: one of the main features of the brand is that most items are reversible and the two sides often present a very different look. Therefore, I needed to make sure neither side had tags or any other element that could affect the possibility of wearing the garment on both sides.

All of your garments are made of high quality materials, such as silk, cashmere, fine cottons and vintage military fabrics. How do you source and create your fabrics?

Materials-wise the starting point is natural fibers; usually I do not employ any synthetic fibers. I like using vintage and military fabrics since they belong to another era and therefore they bring with them their heritage. This is something I find very fascinating. The last frontier in terms of materials has been to create actual LUC fabrics. The first source is still the yarn, which then becomes the fertile ground for experimentation. All the different treatments and hand-made procedures that are carried out give our fabrics a strong character and a unique soul.

The manufacturing process appears to be very delicate and complex, could you tell us more about the process involved in crafting such pieces? 

When it comes to the manufacturing process, the biggest challenge I face is to find the right balance between the machinery and its potential and the manual procedures and our tradition in both knits and wovens. Especially for knitwear, when you manage to combine such rich heritage to the high technology of modern machinery, you can achieve incredible and unique results.

Also, our brand is renowned for the use of fine and precious materials; thanks to the many hand- made procedures and the deep knowledge of our machines we manage to perfectly match complexity with delicacy.

How would you describe your potential clients, what does LUC offer them? 

A potential client for me is anyone who is willing to create a sort of relationship with the garment he/she chooses. My ideal client is able to understand the complexity of LUC items and eager to explore them using all his/her senses, transforming the simple act of wearing a garment into a deep experience. I don’t focus on creating pieces that people can wear to show off; on the contrary, my aim is to offer something that you can enjoy and feel.

Do you have any new ideas you want to experiment with in the future?

There are many ideas that I would like to develop. My interest in art has always pushed me to investigate the endless possibilities that yarns offer. To me, the yarn has always been my favorite raw material. It looks so straightforward and simple but it really hides an enormous potential. If you take a moment to observe a single thread, you would probably only appreciate its fragility and narrowness. You would think that it doesn’t have that much to offer, just like a drop of water. An ocean, however, is made of countless drops of water; likewise, a small knitted cloth is, literally, made of kilometers of yarn. There are so many options to choose from in terms, for example, of thickness or type; there are so many alternatives that I almost feel like I have a whole universe to discover in front of me. Its versatile nature makes it just the right medium to go beyond the traditional and conventional ways of employing it and dare to experiment. Sometimes it is just a question of the way you look at things; if you manage to shift your point of view you understand that the sky is the limit.

 

View the latest Label Under Construction now.

Shop LUC Spring Summer 2017 here.


Photography:

Zika Liu




Special Thanks:

Team Label Under Construction


Edited by:

Theo Lewis


Interviewed by:

Zika Liu