At the studio this week, we’ve just received fabric designer Giuseppe Ribaudo’s (AKA “Giucy Giuce”) new line, Fabric From the Basement, the second fabric line in what will be a three-part series. The first line in this series, Fabric From the Attic, includes vintage style fabrics in colors such as “Plum”, “Ocean”, and “Marigold”; Fabric From the Basement is made up of cryptic designs, tally marks, scribbles, and paint splatters, ranging in color from “murk” to “envy” to “milk.”
Behind Fabric From the Attic, Giucy Giuce explained, is a coming of age tale. As he created the designs, he imagined a quilter moving into a new home. The attic of this house has a slanted ceiling, creaky floors, and one window that floods the space with natural light. In this attic, the quilter discovers an old trunk filled with fabric, left by the previous owners.
“I imagine the joy and glee of discovering this fabric and knowing exactly what to do with it,” Giucy Giuce said. “A lovely experience in their first new home.”
When the quilter finishes moving into the house, they move the rest of their things down into the basement of their new home. And in the basement, the quilter discovers another box – a
wet cardboard box, covered with strange symbols. Inside the box the quilter finds old, moldy fabric, with hand written notes scrawled over the patterns. The fabric gives the quilter a bad feeling, and they begin to notice other weird things about the house. Fabric From the Basement depicts a story of true crime.
The idea to create this collection first struck Giucy Giuce when he visited his partner’s parents’ house in Maine.
“His parents have this basement, and it’s just like, a really good basement,” Giucy Giuce said. “And then we moved into [our new house in Maine] and I was like, wow, Maine has really good basements – like, I’m definitely not going down there in the dark kind of basements. If you hear the door close behind you and you get scared, that’s a good basement.”
In Giucy Giuce’s story, after the quilter discovers Fabric From the Basement, and strange things begin to happen in the house, they decide to get the police involved. Thus, the next collection in this trilogy depicts a detective story.
“A lot of the things that are hard to understand in [the Fabric From the Basement] collection will be explained in the next collection,” Giucy Giuce said. “It will tie Attic and Basement together in a really fun way. I’m hoping people will see [Fabric From the Basement] for more than just a scary line.”
Fabric From the Basement is what Giucy Giuce describes as a “horror collection.”
“It’s an ooky collection,” Giucy Giuce said. “I’m weird, and I think there’s a market for that. There’s beauty in darkness, there’s beauty in the unknown. Every fabric designer who is gonna stick around for a while has to have something unique they bring to the table. I like finding beauty in unlikely places. There’s beauty in everything, it just depends on how you see it and how you put it together. I think something muck-colored can be beautiful if you pair it with the right thing. Today, we’re all about challenging beauty standards. Why not apply that to fabric?”
It helps, of course, that Giucy Giuce’s fabric company, Andover Fabrics, is supportive of him in his creative endeavors.
“I thought for sure when I pitched this collection they would be like, oh this is too dark no way,” Giucy Giuce said. “But they were like, you have a vision, go do you.”
Giucy Giuce’s favorite fabric in the Fabric From the Basement collection is a pattern called “rant”, which comes in four different colors. The pattern is made up of poetry that Giucy Giuce wrote when he was in high school, covering the fabric all over in a handwriting-style font. It was strange, he said, to revisit his old writing after so many years, but it was something he felt fit in with Fabric From the Basement.
“[When I wrote those poems] I was trying to figure out a lot of things about who I was at the time. Now, I have answers to the things I wondered about. I’m not that person anymore, so it felt a little weird to go back down that well,” Giucy Giuce said. “As you grow and change and figure out who you are, you’re always at your core the same person, but I’ve learned a lot more about myself since [I wrote the poetry on rant] and I’ve come to understand myself since then.”
Scrawled across this fabric are notes that read, “I have all these pieces of nothing and I’m stringing them together to make something”, “I used to watch the snowfall for hours”, “Structure of the sky: for all we know, it’s just infinite pieces of blue construction paper,” and “Everything will be beautiful someday.”
In the past, Giucy Giuce has not shied away from creating strange and unexpected collections. He’s created a fabric collection depicting the conspiracy theory that the government covers up evidence for extraterrestrial life; he’s also created a fabric line inspired by a painting of a sunset from his grandmother’s house. Despite the specificity of these collections, “people found their way in.”
“We have way more threads that connect us than you know,” he said. “If you put your authentic self out there, people are going to respond to it. I’ve been feeling particularly inspired lately to really go for it, to not edit myself too much if I have an idea. If nobody else likes it at least I’m putting my most authentic self out there.”
At the studio now, we have the complete Fabric From the Basement collection available by the yard and in fat quarter bundles.
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