Q+A with Designer Cristina Gitti about Japan Trip

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Founder and Designer Cristina Gitti recently went to Japan and brought some amazing vintage pieces back with her. Read her Q+A about the trip below. 

 

- What took you to Japan this last time? 

I was invited to participate in two pop-up events for Matta - one in Tokyo and one in Kyoto. This gave me the opportunity to reconnect and see some of our customers most of which are good friends since a long time. I also made new friends! Japan has always been source of great inspiration. 

- When was the last time you were there? Did you find it changed?  

I had been there in September 2015, for another popup event, and to show Matta’s SS16 collection to our wholesale retailers.

- When did your love and appreciation for Japan and Japanese culture begin? 

I had been longing to visit Japan forever! I used to get inspired by books, textiles, art… anything Japanese since I was a student in Milan. The first time I made it there was in 2001, after I had moved to New York and started working with textiles.

I was lucky and travelled with close friends. As usual, being introduced to another culture/country by someone local is priceless on so many levels. I loved it more and more, was blown away right there.

 

- What aspect of the Japanese spirit and aesthetic are you most drawn to? 

I find most inspiring their spiritual relation with nature.

I love to spend time visiting temples, shrines, and gardens. I am interested in the relationship of architecture between the space inside and outside, their extremely sophisticated aesthetic and poetic form of order, while softly respecting the energy of life. This all translates into every aspect of life: their food, their traditional clothing, their rituals and customs. 

- How has this appreciation inspired the Matta aesthetic? 

It is that funny and constant conversation going on, between loud and colorful at times completely chaotic India and Mexico and Morocco strongly alive in most of Matta’s pieces, and the zen, simple, plain, minimal Japanese world.

The constant search for a balance, yin and yang. I need my Japan.  Lol!

- Where did you find these pieces now being offered for sale at Matta? What about them caught your eye?  

These Kimonos are vintage and pre-owned, I found them in little shops and at markets during my trip, in Tokyo and Kyoto.

The mid length kimonos in dark colors are beautiful worn on the reverse side, showing a woven jacquard image, most of the times depicting nature.

 

I thought they could be the most chic light coats. The idea of sharing that secret image usually kept inside, or still deciding to keep it secret, something special to hold on to.

- What were some of your favorite moments of the trip? 

My daughters travelled with me for the first time to Japan, I really enjoyed seeing Japan through their eyes, fresh and pure… I loved their amazement. I will always be grateful for that, and grateful to all of my friends whom made that incredible.

Visiting the Engaku-ji temple in Kamakura. It was my first time, I was blown away by the flowers everywhere, and had the most amazing matcha and sweets in one of their rooms. 

Going to the hot springs, Inamuragasaki Onsen, in Kamakura. Right near the sea, it was a clear evening when we came out, feeling completely rejuvenated, and we could see Mount Fuji in the distance.

 - If you could translate your trip into a scent, what ingredients would you include? 

They would need to be individual scents, and they would be the wood scent of Hinoki and then the fruit Yuzu. I also brought back incense from temples in Kyoto

  

- Which 3-5 songs would be the core of the trip's soundtrack?

I am very classic and would go for Ryuichi Sakamoto’s full album "Beauty". And Lost in Translation’s soundtrack mix! 

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