Patience: Sustainable Fashion Made in Venice by Daniela Lombardo
Patience: Handmade Clothes in Organic Fabrics
A short while ago, just 5 minutes from my house in Castello, a new shop opened called Patience. The window caught my eyes because it was different from most shops I am used to. When I looked better I saw some really beautiful fabrics, some vintage sewing machines so, moved by curiosity, I stepped in. To my surprise, I was greeted by Daniela, a lovely girl from Lido I knew by sight. Despite the mask, her eyes were smiling and with her shy ways she kindly introduced me to her work.
I remembered she had a passion for sewing because I used to see her at the various markets, I even took a picture of her stall during Festa della Sensa a couple of years ago... but I had no idea she had opened a shop. Patience is located in Calle Lion, at the foot of the bridge of Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, and has a warm and friendly atmosphere. The furniture is beautiful: a recovered wooden table, copper carafes, dried flowers, and many more small details that made me feel at ease and relaxed. Daniela designs and produces clothes and accessories in organic fabrics inspired by the lagoon and her travels and, to my eyes, she is part of a new generation of Venetian artisans and artists I'd like to support. Here below our brief conversation:
1. So, Daniela, you grew up between Venice and Charlottesville (Virginia, US), have been in almost all continents, and have recently opened your own sustainable fashion business in Venice. Wow... tell us a little something about yourself.
I was born in the US and moved to Venice, my dad's native city, with my family and my sister Alessandra when I was two years old. I have always felt the need to work with my hands, in fact when I was a child I used to dissemble and reassemble practically everything, whatever the material. For this reason, as a teenager I had initially thought of going to the local art school, but in the end I chose educational psychology. Anyway, during high school I spent 6 months with a family in Chile, and it was amazing. After high school I graduated in Modern Literature at Ca' Foscari and, in the same period, I started a cutting and sewing course in Lido, and... never stopped!
In 2017 I spent a month in India during winter, and bought lots of beautiful fabrics to sew at my return. So when I came back, I decided not to produce clothes only for myself, but to try sell them at local markets. After a while I moved to Florida, where I participated in local markets, and then I went to an aunt in Virginia in the middle of nowhere, where I had no connection with the outside world for the first two weeks, and just sewed and sewed. I then returned to Charlottesville and worked part-time as a waitress and dedicated my free time to my passion. I was looking for a space to share, and ended up in a co-working place called The FarmHouse, with other artists, and that too is an experience I will treasure forever. After some time back home in Venice, I felt the need to take a break and visited South Asia and eventually New Zealand, where I worked as a grape picker. I needed to understand what I wanted to do... so I took my time and, last September I finally opened my atelier: Patience. My goal is to produce sustainable fashion accessible to all, and create awareness on themes I consider important through fashion.
2. The collections take inspiration from the lagoon and your travels. What do you want to imprint and convey of these places?
Uhm... difficult question! Well, the first thing I want to say is that I put my entire self in every piece of clothing I produce. Each collection, as above mentioned, is linked to a theme I care about. For example, for this autumn I am thinking of a botanical collection - 'Botanica'- and a food collection, although I still haven't decided the name. In general, I have chosen to use natural/eco fabrics and manual work, thus I hope to create greater awareness on the importance of living a slower life, where man and nature live in harmony. With regard to Venice, for the Laguna collection, every design is named after an element of the lagoon, like Barena, Caligo, Arsenal, Orada, and so on, all unique pieces of an extremely delicate eco-system we should learn more about and protect.
3. Where do you buy the fabrics?
In different places. For example from an Indian company based in Auroville, which employs solar panels, natural dyes, and handmade block-printings. Another supplier is an English man that sells organic fabrics from Kerala, and then I recover a lot of factory leftovers!
4. You decided to work on sizes and not tailor-made clothing. Why?
Because this choice allows me to keep the prices accessible, whereas if I had to draw a new model each time, I would need to charge more. I try to create timeless designs and shapes that work on all bodies and ages, because I believe that we should always feel comfortable and at ease, and also because sustainable fashion should be for everyone!
5. Your shop is beautiful, with all these vintage objects mixed together with a contemporary touch. I see you have both a PFAFF and a Singer, which sewing machine do you prefer?
PFAFF! I don't know, probably the modern versions of the Singer have become too commercial, and anyway my PFAFF gives me the feeling of being more solid. Then I have a Juki for the finishing touches.
6. Which are your most popular designs?
For men the shirt named Garbin (which I will make again), and for women Marea che cala (=falling tide, palazzo trousers) and Marea che cresce (=rising tide, a jacket in organic silk and cotton produced by a small company in Treviso).
7. In addition to your own clothes, you keep various objects and accessories by other local designers. How do you enjoy these collaborations?
A lot! I like to share my space with others, and this on-going exchange of ideas is very inspiring for me, so I like to use my shop also to show the work of others. The collections rotate every month and space from jewellery to prints, note-books, lagoon inspired tableware, and more! Of course, all these collections are in line with my views regarding the environment and sustainability and are important to create a local network of artists/artisans,. Right now the moment seems favourable and there are quite a few people between 25 (I'm 26...) and 35, who are undertaking a new adventure, so I think it is important to support one another!
It was a pleasure for me to spend some time with Daniela at Patience and discover her project, and I can't tell you how happy I am to have clothes in organic linen (😍😍😍) at five minutes from my house!!! I hope you enjoyed meeting Daniela and will visit her at her shop when back in Venice, meanwhile you can keep up to date through her Facebook and Instagram pages.
Bye for now and talk soon! XXX
Address: Calle Lion 3385H, 30122 Venezia (VE)