From CSS to B.Heart

Iracema Trevisan, the band's co-founder and former bassist, talks us through her graphic scarf collection and what made her switch from music to fashion

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Fans of Brazilian rock band Cansei de Ser Sexy – CSS in short – may be looking forward to the band’s next release. While still in love with music, CSS co-founder and former bassist Iracema Trevisan is instead eager to see her first scarf collection hitting the shops. After working as style assistant for designer Alexandre Herchcovitch in São Paulo and playing with CSS for quite a few years, Trevisan moved on, leaving the band in 2008 and settling down in Paris where she studied fashion design at the Institut Français de la Mode (IFM).

Following the program, she did an internship at Lanvin’s women’s wear studio and, since then, she has been working as a fashion and graphic designer. Ira, as her friends call her, recently launched her collection of limited edition silk scarves under the moniker B.Heart. Characterised by bold black and white graphic prints contrasting with images of green palm tree forests and animals, the scarves integrate wooden chains or black and white bubbles, elements that contribute to turn them into jewellery pieces.

Dazed Digital: Can you tell us more about your background as musician and graphic designer?
Iracema Trevisan: Music came into my life by surprise. I knew I would work in fashion since I was 15. I used to spend my time at underground venues seeing bands, then I joined one band and started another one. When CSS was born I was already working with Alexandre Herchcovitch and the girls from CSS and other people from the scene were my inspiration. I got the habit of designing with them on my mind, thinking of what they would want to wear.

DD: What made you definitely switch onto fashion?
Iracema Trevisan: It was more of a switch back. CSS was one of the most special things that happened to me, but it started being a parenthesis professionally as I had less and less creative input. I’m not a really good musician – though that was our charm – and to compose music is not my talent, so in the end it was all about being on stage. I felt I could do better, but not at CSS, so I left, moved to Paris and took some time out to study.

DD: What did you learn from your experiences at Alexandre Herchcovitch and Lanvin?
Iracema Trevisan: Herchcovitch taught me to work hard and never let go of your principles. We were a small team so I had tons of responsibilities at 21: I designed with a deadline in mind and also had a lot of people depending on me. Herchcovitch is all about innovation, so we were always looking for different ways of doing things. At Lanvin I learnt instead the importance of traditions and how fashion is about having passion for garments but also for beauty.

I got close to a know-how that is unique in the world: French people can be really serious about the direction you pin a dress as they know that it will be the difference between something ordinary or not. Besides being next to people who are so great in their work – Alber Elbaz among them – was also a lesson of humbleness.

DD: Can you introduce us to your collection of scarves?
Iracema Trevisan: B.Heart is a small intimate collection. The project was born from the idea that a scarf can be worn like a necklace. This idea evolved to something hedonistic, easygoing like a conversation between friends. This first collection includes 6 items in different editions and I wanted to have it online right away, so that people can buy it wherever they are.

DD: Where does the name B.Heart come from?
Iracema Trevisan: After I left CSS for fashion I used to say I was following my heart to the question “Why?”, so for my personal website I got the domain www.heartheartheart.com. I liked the way you write it in the keyboard but French people can’t say it – it’s like “The Rural Juror” episode of 30 Rock - so I had to choose just one heart, a bold one. Bold Heart became B.Heart for further simplification.

DD: What inspire the mix of geometrical and animal/palm prints in your scarves?
Iracema Trevisan: I love bold graphics and I’m crazy about the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. It is a strip of a dense forest that used to line all our coast, there is a part of it still preserved by the beach were I go for vacation. So I started working with impressions of forests of palm trees and a “graphic” animal, the zebra. The graphic designs were in part born of the elements I wanted to integrate in the scarves, that is the bubbles and the chain.

DD: You did a womenswear collection for your IFM project, would you like to move onto clothes on day?
Iracema Trevisan: I want to start small and evolve according to my means. I’m more interested in making good individual products than in making a collection. The scarf is a fetish
for me, but my plans are to add different things with the new series, t-shirts, bags, pieces that aren’t season-related and follow the same approach that allowed me to develop the scarves.

DD: Who are your favourite designers?
Iracema Trevisan: Dries Van Noten and Junya Watanabe.

DD: Which artists does your current playlist include?Iracema Trevisan: Ariel Pink, Kanye West, Twin Shadow, Toro y Moi, Pavement, Paul Simon, No Age and Peter Gabriel. I love pop when it has got something twisted, something hidden behind the chorus.

Images by Noa Avishag

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