eliza collin

Giovanna: Postcards from the Madonie

On the first day of spring, 2019 I launched Giovanna. A series of garments made using only clothes salvaged during the deep cleaning of ‘casapiena microcentro’ in Sicily. Working closely with London stylist and poet Claire Lemaigre, we went through the wardrobes of the grandmother of Pietro Librizzi, Giovanna, and found linen skirts, white camisoles, unused tights, black funeral attire, boxy silk suits, cotton boxers, shirts, in the severe colours older Italian women favour.


Regardless of the unflattering shapes of the pieces themselves, the quality of their fabrics were evident and worth saving; through a desire to make clothing without buying untraceable materials, Eliza decided to re-purpose these pieces and seek new market life for them, re-designing them freehand into unique pieces. This series aims to highlight the potentials of designing from waste, and how this can compete with other trends of today.



The images titled Postcards from the Madonie are photographed by Pietro Librizzi and styled by Claire Lemaigre. They were taken in locations of exceptional beauty, all found within one hour reach in the Madonie park, the park where Petralia Soprana is located, the town which was home to Giovanna, her family and is now home to ‘casapiena microcentro’. All the locations display the rich geographical variation in this region. Eliza wanted to capture the longevity of the materials and how they have been given a new lease of life from their time with Giovanna, from spending much time in the home as women of her generation did, into clothing for her granddaughter Bianca, who modeled the collection walking the mountains, rivers and fields of the Madonie, eating cake with men in the square and still enjoying the traditional aspects of life her grandmother enjoyed before her.


Throughout the making of Giovanna Eliza was supported by other members of Giovanna’s family: zia Maria who stayed up late making silk straps, Bianca Librizzi, Giovanna’s granddaughter who modeled the collection, Pietro Librizzi, Giovanna’s grandson who photographed it and Licia Gennaro, Giovanna’s daughter in law for all the lunches.


Claire Lemaigre - Design consultant and stylist

Pietro Librizzi - Photographer

Bianca Librizzi - Model