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Chiara Orlandini, the fashion designer who created Pulchra

There is this very common idea that creatives always wear black. Perhaps because black is the sum of all colours. And as creativity is colour, also in a metaphorical sense, this idea contains a little bit of truth. It certainly applies to Chiara Orlandini, always dressed in black, fashion designer and co-founder of the Dunion agency in Milan.

Chiara has designed Pulchra, the first collection of Biddau bags.

It is a journey that started by talking about photography and black and white to arrive, together with the founders, Niccolò and Stefania, at the idea of giving new life to old camera cases. The ones made of leather, creased and worn, full of stories to tell and memories fixed forever. A fascinating universe, both for the dreams of travel and exploration which it evokes and for the technical and functional solutions that decade after decade were found.

As Chiara says well, it is not just about designing.  Knowledge of the materials, the care in the production processes, the exploration of new techniques, respect for the work done by hand “as in the good old days” are for Chiara real assets to be integrated into the whole of the creative process.

Thanks to her experience for Giorgio Armani and then for Calvin Klein and her continuous travelling between Italy and the United States, she has developed a fine mix of sensitivities, which blend Italian production with the seduction for innovation in favour of practical objects.

Let’s get to the heart of the making of Pulchra.

Chiara, what excited you the most in this creative project?
I immediately liked the very high level of craftsmanship and the design content inspired by the 20th century. And I appreciated the professionalism of the founders.

You don’t only design bags, but much more. What fascinates you in your work, especially regardless of the object?
The functionality of things. I like to solve and design new objects starting from innovative solutions, whether they are materials or functions.

How does a designer’s mind work? How do you work on the creative process, do you follow particular rites or do you have any manias?
I have a practical creativity. I like to work with industry and manufacturing. I apply my imagination with rationality.

In the end does emotion or reason have the better in your creative work?
Both. I would say that they alternate all the time.

To design a bag, it’s not enough to know how to design. What are the  skills and the instruments that you think are fundamental?
Experience. Having listened to those who know more than you do. Having spent the hours it takes to make a bag. Having looked in every corner of the factory to understand the processes.
Being able to design in the potential of those who make the product. And then it takes intuition and technical knowledge to foresee and imagine the behavior of the materials.

You live a lot in the United States: what do you love about Italy and what do you love about the USA?
I appreciate the organizational capacity of the United States and their way of always being able to go straight to the point. I love Italy’s soul and history

What is the secret beauty of Pulchra for you?
It has functional elements of design. Nothing is superfluous.It has roots inspired by the 20th century. And our culture.

If you were to wear it, which colour would you choose and why?
Black, because I only wear black. It’s my uniform.

Pulchra is the result of the reinterpretation of camera cases, if you were to put a photo inside it, what would it be?
The one of my parents, because it’s thanks to them if I am how I am.

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