Interview: An Aesthete - Fabio Trombini

Interview: An Aesthete - Fabio Trombini

My career started out in bespoke tailoring and couture, I would say that my strengths lie in making garments from scratch. Although now I run a work room focussing on high end alterations which has taught me so much. I need to be able to work with such a wide range of materials: silk, lace, leather, fur. And you don’t have the full range of possibilities; with couture you can do whatever you want but with alterations you have limitations, especially with certain brands who don’t want the integrity of their original designs compromised. 

Fabio Trombini at The Tate Britain

When it comes to making versus cutting, I’ve done both and would find it difficult to choose one over the other. They both have their rewards and challenges; my worst case scenario is working with very lightweight cloths which show up everything. But equally, working with a very unusual body shape, even if you are making up a 13oz flannel, will have its difficulties. 

Fabio Trombini at The Tate Britain

I would describe my personal style as somewhere between Young Fogie and Hercule Poirot; I don’t own tracksuit bottoms. I love the 30’s but I don’t like it when it is taken too far and becomes like a costume or reenactment. I would love to live in an Art Deco house but still have Wi Fi.

It's the same with an outfit, if everything is over-planned then it feels pretend. 

An outfit can feel just right the night before but you might wake up and think, “this isn’t me today”. An outfit should come together quite naturally, based on your mood. I have no interest in choosing clothes or art based on a current trend or movement. 

Fabio Trombini at The Tate Britain

My personal taste, when it comes to art and architecture, leans towards 1870-1910. After the First World War things changed so much, it's almost like a new world; concept-wise, movement-wise, technique-wise, fashion-wise, it’s all very interesting. I wouldn’t want to own it myself but I can appreciate it. That is the thing about beauty, if people think it is shallow to value beautiful things then they need to broaden their horizons and do a bit more research. 


If you look at, for example, a painting or a bespoke suit, or you know, a couture gown, there has been a whole thought process behind it; if you understand the techniques and the hours it took to make something, you're going to look at it in a different way, and not just see it as a suit, or as a sculpture or as a painting or as a dress. Because it isn't, it's the culmination of all the hours and all the knowledge and the expertise that is behind it. That doesn't happen, you know, after sewing for a year. It is one thing to come up with a really good concept but if you don’t have the technical abilities to execute it then it is just an idea. 

Fabio Trombini at The Tate Britain

Having said that, sometimes I like to be able to discover a piece of art on my own. A gallery can give you too much information. Sometimes it is helpful but sometimes it is nice to be able to form your own opinion, to look at things your own way, rather than adopt someone else’s biases. I don’t want to be told what to appreciate and how to appreciate it, what is beautiful etc. It is numbing the mind. 

Fabio Trombini at The Tate Britain

I like to be surrounded by beautiful things but beauty is subjective. Like luxury. Luxury has nothing to do with the amount of money you spend on something. We live in a world with luxury loo paper which I think is just ridiculous; loo paper is not a luxury, or at least it shouldn’t be.

I think luxury is about those hidden, personal moments. It has very little to do with what I show other people. 

People who follow my instagram account might be familiar with “Tiara Tuesday’s” which started when I first moved to London as a student, as I was just beginning to get to know the jewellers who I now count as good friends. Although the stones are priceless, for me, the luxury lies in handling a piece of history.

When I was 10 years old my parents gave me a book about historical jewellery. This was pre-google images, if you wanted to learn about hsomething you had to go to a library and look it up. So this book was the most valuable thing I owned, the item I would grab in a fire. I’ve been obsessed with jewellery ever since. And again, not because it is expensive, but because of the art form behind it, what you can make with these stones, the effect it gives you. It’s just fantastic. 

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This was such a great interview with Fabio! So much if what he says is echoed in our own outlook on jewellery and the heirloom objects we collect.

Shari, Seal & Scrube6

Charmingly written and most relatable, Fabio Trombini. Thank you!

Melissa Randhawa

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