Carla Mignano is the IFM Paris graduate killing it

Carla Mignano is the IFM Paris graduate killing it

by Aura Arif
5 min

We caught up with Carla Mignano, the IFM Paris student going viral for her graduate BA collection. Through her fibre-blurring collection, Carla is blending the rules of fashion, representing the universe in which her dreams and nightmares exist. From turning her sleep-paralysis demons into viral designs, to breaking a dozen needles, she reflected on the process of this collection and her growth at IFM Paris. Carla Mignano is one to watch. 


Talk me through your collection. What was the inspiration?

My collection is about the absurdity of my dreams and my unconscious. I want to make something visible that isn’t strictly material, the only support being my memories. Ever since my childhood I’ve had my head in the clouds. Which was quite a problem at school but my dreams have always been a great source of inspiration; interpreting them, seeing the real and the parallel between them and reality…losing myself in dreams really. 

The title of your collection is “Maybe if I blink I will wake up” – how does this translate to the collection?

I wanted my collection to turn my weakness into a strength. Through 6 silhouettes, each representing my most vivid dreams, I wanted to propose a universe where strangeness and symbolism mingle, while working on a sort of “blurry precise” idea. To represent that, I used a needle punching technique, which is mixing the fibres together, to illustrate a garment blending in another one, like my dreams and reality.

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The knitwear and denim piece has been blowing up, how did the idea come about and how did you work out how to do it.

Yeah I was really surprised about the reactions on this piece. To make my collection relatable, I wanted to focus on recreating pieces of the most sincere banality: like a pair of vintage jeans and a knitted jumper. An outfit you wear on a boring Sunday, but surrealistic and disturbing. My aim was for the viewer to question how it was done. Are those jeans coming out of the jumper or vice versa? And that’s exactly the reaction that followed, so I’m very happy!

I started by knitting a huge grey knit which I draped it in a “chic” yet restrictive shape, inspired by my sleep paralysis. Representing a kind of nightmare where you are not able to move, and find yourself literally stuck in your dream. I only worked by hand, and I think I broke a dozen needles for this one. This piece required a lot of patience but I’m very pleased with the final result!

Who are some of the designers that inspire you and why?

I have always been really passionate about fabric and treatment of it, textile manipulation and craftsmanship, so of course I was inspired by the work of Yohji Yamamoto. More generally, my work has always been very much referenced by artisanal Margiela, their relationship with materials and the emotion they convey, whether strange, reassuring, spectacular or abstract. It’s what really pushed me to go all the way with my final collection.


IFM Paris is killing it at the moment, what’s been your craziest story from there?

Joining this school was the best decision of my life. I can’t count the number of stories, discussions or experiences I’ve had over the past three years, but we have a school parade preceding the show where a jury is present, and decides who will parade for Fashion Week. So the pressure is really high as you can imagine…

A friend of mine who was modelling fainted just as my collection was about to be shown. We had to get the outfit off him in no time and put it on the first person we saw, including the mask! The whole thing must have happened in 30 seconds, and I’ve never felt such emotions.


We know your collection titled “Maybe if I blink I will wake up,” but is it set in a dream or a nightmare?

I’ve been really inspired by my really violent nightmares, and the idea was to make them marvellous and beautiful, so that spectators would find themselves in a form of poetic familiarity and be lost in this antagonism. I would also say that this violence was really much there in the conception of my pieces, like needle punching : you literally destroy and punch holes into a fabric.

But I’ll leave it to others to interpret my collection, as I would do with my dreams.

What are the next steps for you? What can we expect from Carla Mignano?

I don’t feel ready for a master’s degree or the creation of a brand. I’m looking for an internship, to see a bit more of the industry. And then… who knows?

Creating something, conveying an emotion and feeling like you’re making people dream, that you’re sparking a dialogue, by creating something with your hands, that’s what I’d like to do with my life.

Featured image via carlamiignano©

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