RRUNA: The Artist’s Vision, Fashionable Allegory

By Sofia Celeste

ROME–The fashion industry traces its roots to the mid-19th century, when artists designed the sketches that were shown to the dames and gents of London and Paris. Since then, artists have continued to inspire designers, who either copy or translate artists’ sketches or brushtrokes into patterns or silhouettes and recycle them into something that makes sartorial sense. True, many art students or artists (as well as architects) become designers. But very few working artists have in fact designed a collection on their own. Until now.

RRUNA a Rome-based artistic project, is the brainchild of Virginia Colonna and Martina Fortuni. Colonna studied intellectual property and law and Fortuni worked as a contemporary art gallerist in London until last year. With their first collection they tapped performance artist, sculptor and painter Franko B, who is credited as a key figure in the Body Art movement of the 1990’s to design the line he dubbed “Fai Bene” which means: do well.

“We provide the technical and design support but we are looking for an artist to tell the story,” Colonna said. “We don’t follow trends of the moment. The beauty of the collection is that it is extremely versatile,” Fortuni said, adding that the name RRUNA is derived from the world rune or runestone — folkloric slabs of stone or bedrock common in ancient Celtic or Viking cultures. As in ancient times, RRUNA’s collections are also allegoric artistic exhibits.

Franko B’s unisex collection tells the tale of a troubled past. The sad account is told through several images: the red cross, ambulance, chair, house, heart, a boxer and other faces, which are sewn into the sweatshirts, t-shirts, and even accessories with exaggerated stitching. Accessories are hand crafted in Umbria by artisans, while the ready to wear looks incorporate luxury fabrics like the same wool used by knitwear brand Brunello Cucinelli.  At times, Fortuni, admits that there are often opposing opinions between the artists vision and what is reasonably possible in terms of budget and tailoring.

“There is some negotiation involved,” Fortuni said.


WHAT: Limited edition clothing designed by aritsts.

AVERAGE PRICE: EUR160 to EUR500 for Ready-to-Wear items. Limited edition pieces are priced as high as EUR1000

WHERE TO BUY: http://www.rruna.com/



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