It was thanks to Lautaro Amadeo Tambutto, winner of the most recent edition of FashionClash Maastricht, who introduced us to Pardo Hats. The hats from the L A T show were made by Sol Pardo, the creative mind behind the label.
Sol Pardo has always been involved in the worlds of art and design since she was a child in Argentina. At the University of Palermo, in Buenos Aires, she studied Diseño de Espectáculos, a degree that composes Theatre Direction, Stage Design and Musical Production and specialized in Costume Design. After graduating and spending some time at the Felicidad Duce School of Higher Education in Barcelona, she returned to her home country to specialize in millinery, and her thesis project is about to be presented.
Her work has appeared in numerous magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, who recently named her the best accessories designer of 2015.
Despite her youth and the fact that she happened on to the field by chance, Sol Pardo has a lot to say about millinery.
Check out the interview that the heart and soul of Pardo Hats gave So Catchy! Where Fashion Begins and a few of her earlier works.
SO CATCHY: What was it like working with Lautaro Amadeo Tambutto at FashionClash Maastricht? What kind of feedback did you get?
SP: My relationship with Lautaro is one great collaboration (laughs). We’re best friends and are constantly talking about our projects, lives, dreams and goals. It’s always an honor to accompany him, I believe in teamwork, feedback and in our projects. We study together in Buenos Aires.
As for FashionClash, I think that it’s an incredible platform for any young designer. I support emerging work. For me, the catwalks there are places to showcase the most basic forms of what fashion will be about in two years or so, the trends.
SC!: You got started quite young in the worlds of visual and fine arts…
SP: Since I was a child, I’ve been interested in visual arts since my grandfather was a great teacher and artist. In 1993, when I was only 3 years old, I’d already had my first painting framed and hung in the living room.
Then, during my childhood and adolescence, I got into the school of Fine Arts that my grandfather helped found. Every day after my regular classes, I went to do drawing, engraving, painting, theatre, photography and other activities.
At the age of 17, I received a scholarship from an NGO in the US called PROYECTARTE to study in Buenos Aires. We had excellent visual artists from all over our country as teachers, like Jorge Gonzalez Perrin. The experience was great and it gave me complete freedom to freely create.
SC!: You’ve studied at the University of Palermo, in Barcelona… and again in Palermo… What kind of experiences have you had at both places?
SP: I’m finishing my second degree at the University of Palermo in Buenos Aires. It’s quite a prestigious private university here in Argentina and in Latin America as far as design is concerned.
My first degree was in Diseño de Espectáculos, a degree that composes Theatre Direction, Stage Design and Musical Production and I specialized in Costume Design. I finished that in 2011 and in 2012 I began to study Textile and Clothing Design, which I’ll be finishing this year with my thesis project.
Between the two degrees, I lived for a year with my aunt and uncle in Barcelona, where I did courses in coolhunting and personal shopping at the Felicidad Duce School of Higher Education in Design & Fashion.
I returned to Argentina with the idea of continuing my studies, but I wouldn’t rule out returning to Europe for some time, if they accept my hats. Barcelona and my aunt and uncle’s place are like a second home.
SC!: Why did you decide to focus your latest degree on millinery?
SP: I’ve always loved hats but I never dreamed of being a milliner. The truth is that it all came to me naturally. A few years back I took part in a show at the university and, upon returning home, I received an e-mail from a well-known producer in Argentina. Barbara Arcuschin needed my cap from the show for one of her productions at Harper’s Bazaar. Since then, I haven’t stopped receiving calls from different publishers asking for exclusive accessories for their shoots.
SC!: What can we expect from your upcoming thesis show? Is there any area of experimentation with hat design that you are focused on?
SP: I hope that you’ll find a profound analysis of what I’ve been researching, testing and learning about millinery.
I don’t think I’m a milliner per se; I’m more of a designer who specializes in objects that you can carry on your head. My most recent designs don’t use many of the resources and techniques you find in the field. They’re a mix of industrial design and clothing design in both materials and techniques.
As for the experimentation, in this most recent collection, I used thermoformed acrylic. For a while now I’ve been working with that material, as well as metal, wood, nuts and bolts and other urban and industrial materials.
SC!: What is the perfect hat?
SP: One that lets me greet another person with a kiss without having to take it off. By protocol, women don’t need to take off their hats but I usually do when I get in a taxi or greet people. It’s uncomfortable.
SC!: As well as designing hats, you’ve specialized in costume design. Which do you see yourself as? Have you worked as a costume designer for anyone else?
SP: I worked for a little bit in the field; I enjoyed working with rock bands. I think that what I’m doing today is a fusion of all the different areas that I’ve been trained in. From time to time I think about taking it up again when I get out of the fashion business, when I’m much older.
SC!: What was it like winning the Harper’s Bazaar 2015 award as accessories designer of the year?
SP: Being named accessories designer of the year felt great, it was an enormous surprise and I was very happy; Harper’s Bazaar is my favorite magazine. This was the first public support for my work and I feel they’ve given me an almost implicit sponsorship on their part and I have enormous respect for the editorial director, Ana Torrejón.
SC!: Where do you design and produce your hats?
SP: I’m still designing under the wings of my great teacher, Gustavo Lento. He’s been my mentor in design for three years and, even though we don’t have any workshop classes, I come up with or produce probably 50% of my designs after interpreting his corrections or thinking about things that he presents, the philosophy, politics, structural thinking, books, films, etc…
I do the actual designs at my house, where I feel at peace to think or draw and then after that, it’s all sculpting.
SC!: Where can we get our hands on one of your pieces and what is the average price of one?
SP: For the time being, I’d like Pardo Hats to be exclusive, almost all of the pieces are unique and I like to build on the designs and improve them. At the same time, right now I’m thinking about commercial strategies and lines of communication. However, I’m still playing in a way and I receive my clients at home to talk about what they are looking for. I’m preparing a collection but I like getting calls for unusual, confusing and sometimes impossible individual pieces.
SC!: Which country do you think best fits your concept of hats?
SP: I’d love to see an acrylic Pardo Hat on the streets of Tokyo, New York, London, and Milan but, most of all, in Buenos Aires where some of us dare to truly be the center of attention.
SC!: Where do you live now?
SP: I live in Buenos Aires, in a neighborhood called Recoleta. It’s full of grandparents, students and different types of buildings, some in the French style, others from the 50s or the 70s. I love peeking into the different hallways and entryways and taking pictures of them all, they’re all so different and seem like theater stages.
SC!: Name some hat designers that you like.
SC!: Something you can’t stop wearing…
SP: I’m a fanatic for rings, necklaces and hoop earrings. I love wearing a lot at once.
SC!: A place where you can live fashion …
SP: Any underground, bus, street or market in a major urban area.
Images courtesy of Oscar Sanhueza Chesta
Translation and Layout by Michael Padilla