Post Traumatic Salvation: An interview with Shaila Giacconi

Culture — 11.06.20

Words: Rhianedd Dancey
Photography: Angella Choe
Stylist: Juliann Mccandless
Art Direction: Whitney Olson
Produced by: Petal Productions
Assistant Stylist: Emily Rose
Model: Sunnaya Nash at Elite LA

Milano meets LA in a sensual collision of ’80s punk and brocade opulence. Shaila Giacconi, 26, is the driving force behind Giacconi. In this interview, she shares the inspiration behind her new collection: Post Traumatic Salvation which focuses on turning deadstock vintage fabrics into bespoke pieces, channelling divine luxury with functionality still intact.

The S/S 2020 Collection is described as “sensual punk drama”. What were the key influences that led to this? 

Sensual glam of the 1980s and punk aesthetics of that period was a key reference. As if the apocalypse had happened and all you had to wear was Granny’s brocade drapes, unfinished crochet projects, and vintage nylons. The goal was to find innovative ways to shape those elements into something expressive and luxurious, but also still raw. 


From plunging trouser backs to silhouetted wired shoulders, there is a diverse range of characterised pieces in the collection, what unites them? 

Instead of making multiple variations on one or two basic ideas, each garment stands on its own and is intended to reflect the individuality of the wearer. Using eclectic materials to create an opulent feel and look, while giving it the kind of functionality you’d find in dancewear. 


The new campaign was shot on film, what informed this choice? 

The new collection has a certain raw expressive nature and we thought that film was the best medium to capture that. Our photographer, Angella Choe also suggested using film to evoke the moodiness and drama of another era. 

The conceptual core of the collection reflects on emotional trauma. Does each collection embody personal and intimate topics such as this? 

Each collection is meant to evoke a fully-fledged emotional landscape that invites the wearer to play in new surroundings. The first collection, Pure, focused on the innocence of fantasy. Giacconi Youth, the second, explored adolescence and the experimentation that time encourages. Post Traumatic Salvation represents a flourishing connection to one’s own power as a result of overcoming and embracing their trauma. It feels like the euphoric light at the end of a painful tunnel.


Often, the pieces incorporate recycled vintage materials, how are these sourced and utilised? 

I do a lot of thrifting, go to estate sales, and hunt on eBay for fabric and parts. By repurposing vintage garments and fabrics, I’m able to create pieces that are both one-of-a-kind and sustainable. 

What is the key piece of the S/S 2020 Collection? Is this a staple that adapts season to season?

The Brocade Trousers with a low-dipping back. They are made from deadstock metallic brocade and copper wire and have a matching bolero. The bronze metallic highlights and texture-heavy floral brocade make this a really versatile look that works for all seasons.


Now more than ever we are in a time of uncertainty. What should we expect from Giacconi in our current climate? 

Moving forward, we’re going to embrace the changes we are all experiencing via a collection that focuses on extreme adaptability to mirror the adaptability we need to find in ourselves in the coming months. We will also be releasing a ready-to-wear collection next season which will be available online.

Stay up-to-date with past and current collections via Instagram and their website.