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Lorenzo Nanni's Organic Embroidery

The Italian artist who lives in Paris explores living organisms by creating unique embroidered pieces and animating them.

Lorenzo Nanni is inspired by organic matter, living breathing slightly grotesque forms recaptured and presented in silk and embroidery. His prosthetic jewellery takes many forms, usually from a natural starting point, using fauna and flora, flesh and guts to create beautiful and sometimes sinister pieces. When not designing, Nanni also doubles up as director of animation, which has garnered him the Annecy's Festival Project Award for Young Animation Film Directors. You can catch a glimpse of his latest project Naiade; there are also stills from the film in our gallery.

Dazed Digital: How old are you?
Lorenzo Nanni: I’m 29.
DD: How long have you been designing?
Lorenzo Nanni: For at least 10 years.
DD: Where are you based?
Lorenzo Nanni: I live and work in Paris.
DD: Where and what did you study?
Lorenzo Nanni: I started studying art in Italy first and then France. I came to Paris to study textile design and embroidery at the Duperré Art School for three years.

DD: Do you think it has shaped you a lot in terms of style and outlook?
Lorenzo Nanni: I’ve always had a lot of freedom during my studies, as I never felt like they were trying to restrain my imagination, I broke rules and changed techniques. I had an amazing embroidery teacher who gave me freedom to experiment with themes such as body modification, creating embroideries of flesh, hair and blood - it was great time for me.
DD: Why textile design?
Lorenzo Nanni: I was drawing and painting a lot, I wanted to create an extra dimension and bring the designs to life, it was difficult at first as the approach was very different. With painting you can almost instantly get an idea of the final result, with embroidery it takes a lot of time, but it’s so encouraging when you achieve your goal.
DD: What inspires you at the moment?
Lorenzo Nanni: I feel inspired by architecture and furniture - right now my work doesn’t really reflect this, but I’m sure it will in the future. I’m very attached to nature, flowers, plants, anatomy, etc.
DD: Who are your favourite designers and why?
Lorenzo Nanni: Alexander McQueen, Victor & Rolf, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy (Ricardo Tisci) and also a few younger designers, but I don't really have any favorite.

DD: How would you describe your style?
Lorenzo Nanni: Hard to describe because my creations are usually unique pieces and they don’t have a shape that is very defined. I don’t do things in terms of styles or trends, I just do what I feel and I make sure that the final result looks as natural and ‘living’, as possible. You could call it “prosthetic jewellery”.

DD: What is your dream job?
Lorenzo Nanni: To live from my art.
DD: Who would you like to collaborate with?
Lorenzo Nanni: At the moment I mostly collaborate with photographers and video directors, which is very exciting because it brings my pieces to life. I've just finished a two year project, a short-length animated film that I co-directed with my friend Nadia Micault. I especially like it when the styling is very different from my own style… It’s always interesting to see your work though another perspective.
DD: Can we buy your collection anywhere? If so, where?
Lorenzo Nanni: I'm currently searching for a space to sell my creations, be it a store or a gallery. I'm not in favour of selling on the Internet as I want people to be able to see and touch my creations.