We are in Specchia, under the arcades and in front of the mother church. Here is the headquarters of RepostLab, a laboratory of ideas in constant motion. Luisa welcomes us: “Our association aims to contribute to enhancing the excellence present in the area that has its roots in the tradition of handmade and to encourage the birth of new activities”.
The old is handed down, the new is created
Right from the start everything is easy, “welcoming”. So the chat continues and we like very much the similarity with which Luisa tells the laboratory experience because it is linked to the key concept of our blog. “With our journey – she says – we intend to give value to the existing artisan realities, to bring to light traditional materials and artifacts whose use has crystallized over time applying them to a contemporary design and use”.
An example that fits perfectly is that of hemp, whose uses are many and surprising. Metaphorically, it is called the green pig, because as with pork, nothing is thrown away even for hemp. From this plant it is possible to obtain beer, ricotta, eco-insulating bricks, anti-inflammatory oil, bioplastics, seeds, herbal teas, pasta, paints, soaps, waxes, detergents, paper, packaging and even pellets for heating.
But it gives its best in the production of fabrics, one of its oldest uses: the fabrics obtained from hemp are soft, fresh in summer and warm in winter, absorb moisture from the body and release it outside, are very resistant and have the particular feature of absorbing infrared and UVA rays up to 95% and even shielding them from electrostatic and electromagnetic field radiations.
It is also a natural fabric that has not undergone any kind of chemical processing. In Italy it was cultivated until sixty years ago, before the economic boom that aimed at the use of synthetic fiber, and was probably introduced by the Arabs in Sicily.
Regarding design, the strategy applied by RepostLab also has its raison d’être in the aesthetics that it proposes, and that puts it in that band that is everyday fashion, the so-called daywear. “I imagined pieces that I would like to wear first, regardless of trends. I have never loved to follow trends: what do you have left once the mania is exhausted? Thinking about who I would like to see them, I have to say that I would like to find them on the street, worn by women who make them their own, therefore unique”– says Luisa.
Dresses, shirts, trousers in natural fibers such as linen and hemp and that make you look even nicer when you wear them. As it happened to me when I wore the ivory hemp dress long at the ankle and with the halter neck that slipped on me in the same way that when I go home, I see it in place, as I’ve always dreamed it and desired. A normal house, with a bit of disorder and style inaccuracies here and there perhaps, but for this very pleasant. Which indicates a style made of subtle shades, almost random.
An idea that is good for everyone: a truly night & day outfit. Longer than short, wider than narrow, with a slipped line that caresses and emphasizes the forms, to be worn with flip-flops and low sandals. And that becomes the highlight of the summer because you simply realize that it is the most comfortable, easiest and therefore most ours thing. That is sexier. Because there is nothing that makes you feel sexy like a dress in which you move with grace and nonchalance.
But after making your choice, take your time and look around. This is a realm of magnificent slowness. Because the pleasure is in the purchase, but even before in the discovery of creations assembled with pieces of vintage outfits or made with thin linens and soft hemp fabrics on ancient looms.
And, then, the accessories made in Salento, such as the sandals and the Menorcan shoes handcraft of the company Le Salentine of Ruffano, the canvas and leather bags designed and made by Maria Rosaria Ciullo and Eleonora De Santis for Emozioni in Libertà, the shopping bags and the rattan baskets made by hand by the “spurtaro”, that is Felice Scoppoletti, with the technique that has been handed down for centuries to Acquarica del Capo.
Add to this the love for a place, its spaces, its beauties: this collection could not have been born elsewhere than in Specchia where Luisa, Milanese by birth but Salento by adoption, chose to live. And this is really the great luxury.
Piazza del popolo, 21 – Specchia (Le)