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On this occasion our objective is to promote reflection, through the work of Silvina Maestro, on the diverse interests and referents that enrich the creative process, along with delving into processes concerning the construction of narratives that influence the actual creation of the garment. In order to think about this matter, we invited designer Florencia Adriasola, a former teacher at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, who is currently undertaking a master’s degree in Innovation Management at Central Saint Martins, London, England.


The crossroads between disciplines and/or interests and the personal journey of the author can contribute to the creative process. When looking at Silvina Maestro’s work, Uruguayan designer with residence in London, and studies in Law, we find that her creative process is driven by her attraction to literature and art, specially works from the Baroque period. Silvina’s journey and interests surface when looking at her work, influenced by literary and artistic pieces that are the driving force in the narratives behind her collections.

The pieces selected stand out due to their intensity and their link to life and death narratives, where the latter are prevalent. In literature, these themes are related to good and evil; light and darkness, relationship which has been exhibited dramatically on several occasions.

For instance, Silvina finds inspiration in works of arts such as Gustav Dore’s lithographs for the Divine Comedy, a story that tells the author’s journey through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. To illustrate this he used light and an intense play of contrasts. The painting Vanitas. Still Life with Bouquet and Skull by Adriaen van Utrecht, also inspired Silvina. The Flemish concept of vanity from the Latin vanitas (as referred to in the title) speaks of the transience and futility of earthly life when confronted with mortality. In these two works, she finds stories linked to death, which are conveyed through the use of light.


Silvina has brought together different artistic expressions in order to create narratives. For instance, Luchino Visconti’s Death in Venice and Nietzche’s scriptures, both linked to a strong questioning of morality. Also, Gustav Mahler’s musical works, Third Symphony and The Song of the Earth. Silvina says she was seduced by the phrase “The flowers stand out palely in the twilight”, which is found in the final movement called “The Farewell” and is linked to the idea of light and awareness of death. It made her think about the type of beauty that only reveals itself when the flash of a photograph makes it visible; the sort of beauty that isn’t visible due to darkness, even though it’s there.

Also she brought together works such as Requiem by Mozart with baroque painting Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) by Francisco de Zurbarán, in order to create a narrative around the idea that natural justice does not prevail. This painting shows the dramatic sacrifice of a lamb, contrasting with the dark background, reminiscent to Hispanic American colonial art, for which Zurbarán himself was a great source of inspiration, giving this story an unsuspected and unintentional link to Latin America.

Silvina has also found inspiration in Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro, father of an avant-garde movement known as Creationism, associating him with the primordial light, which emanated during the Big Bang, at the very first moments of the creation of the universe.


Her journey, together with her mixed interests, enrich her work and construct her collections’ narratives. Black and white composition is her area of expertise, although occasionally she uses either white or black or adds gold-coloured details. However, she almost always creates tension between opposites, either in the way she uses the material or the volume. She puts together rigid materials with loose flowing fabrics, or uses minimal lines with isolated and overelaborate elements created by volumes that emerge with light (just as in paintings or photographs), and at the same time give depth and dimension to her work. The results undoubtedly show the intention behind the proposals.

Silvina guides her artistic process by selecting works that tend to be from the Baroque and that are linked to themes of life and death, with which she constructs narratives that shape her collections. Silvina’s work reveals how she has brought together diverse forces found in a common space, which are at the same time a reflection of her search. This process results in a distinctive design that proves that the interests and personal journey made by an author can contribute positively to the creative process.

Disegner Contact: Silvina Maestro WEB

Photographer: Rosario Montero WEB

Text: Florencia Adriasola WEB