Pitti Palacios produces a contemporary, artisanal women’s wear collection based around the Chilean tradition of textile heritage. Located in Valparaiso, Chile, a city brimming with creative expression, from artisans to architects, the city is renknowned for its vibrant street art, colorful architecture and giant murals. Working with pure, natural wool, Palacios hand looms her own fabric from artisanal hand spun wool. Always using un-dyed yarn so she can dye colors specifically for her needs. Palacios works with the indigenous Mapuche people for their natural colorations, allowing them to choose the colors and tones depending upon the native plants in season. Palacios also works directly with a foundation of artisanal spinners on the island of Chiloe’, systematically building a delivery system based on regular monthly wool production. The tradition of the artisanal work is vital to Palacios creations, always ensuring consistent ongoing work for the communities, allowing them to plan sustainably. Working with fair trade organizations, Palacios ensures all the artisans get fair labor prices for their work.
The good and the bad of working with artisanal, hand spun, hand dyed yarn is the broad variation in thickness, texture and color, all of which Palacios works to her benefit. The clothing, like the designer herself, are full of light & life. The vivid colors in the collection are a reflection of Palacios playful nature, and incorporate pistachio, turquoise, white, black, cherry and violet brilliance. Alternating between a graphic play on geometry, to the brilliant interplay of vibrant coloration, the knotty, gnarly texture of hand spun yarn punctuates the line throughout.
It was during her study at the University of Valparaiso that Palacios learned her love of handloom and artisanal work, from a school project that incorporated both. Her own studio is an outgrowth of that love, and employs her mother who creates the hand knits, and her cousin Anita, that Palacios trained on the loom. The label is over ten years old now, and stemmed from her desire to help sustain the slowly eroding tradition of spinning and weaving. Deciding to combat the loss of tradition through her own contemporary collection.