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RATTI: Fabric’s Mirage

Industry Project “FABRIC’S MIRAGE”
Project Leader: Daphne Karras, Freelance designer AZ Factory; Head Designer Menswear Knitwear
Master in Fabrics Innovation Design a.y. 2021/2022

Industry Project in collaborazione con RATTI

From the Ratti Spa website: “Como, the capital of silk, cradled our birth in 1945, the year in which the founder Antonio Ratti decided to start producing and selling refined and exclusive prints and fabrics, with the aim of growing, day after day, without ever forgetting one’s roots. Today we collaborate with the most important luxury and prêt-à-porter fashion houses worldwide because, just like them, we love details and beauty, elements that distinguish all our creations. Craftsmanship, stylistic research, creative flair and technological innovation are the essential elements from which we start to create unique creations, exclusive prints and designs capable of captivating every admirer.”

Industry Brief

“I can’t help but joke with our unquestionable beliefs, it is, for example, a pleasure to knowingly confuse two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality, flat and spatial, and make fun of gravity”. MC Escher

The theme of optical illusion in art is recurring and runs through different eras. From the portrait of the Arnolfini spouses by Jan Van Eych, to the experiments of Escher considered the forerunner of the Optical Art to come. However, the conceptual roots of Escher’s work are far from those of Kinetic Art of which Op Art is a derivation. The meaning of the work is found in the perceptive dialogue and in the plastic illusion of the movement in which the viewer is involved. There are many artistic movements that have nurtured artists such as Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley were among the main exponents of Op Art which, in turn and as often happens, inspired fashion and many garments of the 60s and 70s echo the theme of optical illusion. To name a few, to Ossie Clark or Yves Saint Laurent up to the contemporary from Rey Kawakubo or Dries Van Noten to Issey Miyake to Valentino…


Fashion and the body have found in more recent times (although the anthropological origin is very ancient in body painting) an artistic expression that exploded in the early to late 60s whose most iconic character was Veruschka von Lehndroff with her chameleon-like interpretations.

Students were asked to develop a collection form researching body art and the technological development of new pigments able to restore particular effects. Today fashion is increasingly present in the digital world, in the Metaverse and in the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence that open new borders particularly suitable for creating that optical illusion which is central to the realization of this project. In particular ther were requested to hand in: sketchbook, complete with iconographic research aimed at synthesizing and presenting the concept of the project, sketches, experiments and elaborations on the prints; selection of fabrics and colour chart; at least 8 proposals (minimum)aimed at different fibers and fabrics with colorways; a. document containing the analysis of the brief, the description of the design process (concept, research, materials and development) and the conclusions; a digital presentation illustrating the creative path from research to design methodology.

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