Limoncello : Bring Tradition to Today

    Limoncello, my spring collection is inspired by my Italian ancestry. Limoncello, to me is my family's culture, recipes, traditions, and story, which has left it's imprint on my life and aesthetic.  Limoncello is an alcoholic desert drink made from lemon rind and vodka. My family has their own Limoncello recipe that takes two weeks to make and is written in Italian. 

    Surprisingly grating the lemons for rind isn't the hardest part, the waiting is. You nearly forget about the Limoncello sitting in the freezer until that day it's finally ready. I named the collection Limoncello, because the production of the recipe makes me think of my relationship with my Italian heritage. 

    When I grew up I had a hard time in school having an Italian name, and was embarrassed by some of our traditions that most of the kids in my class just cast off as weird. It wasn't until I moved away from Chicago and had an outside perspective that I realized how lucky I am to have such a wonderfully rich and vibrant family history. On both sides of my family, there are the most amazing heirlooms, stories, people, and culture. I began reading Adriana Trigiani's books and fell in love with the beautiful fusion that is Italian American Culture.  After I read those books I read through my Nonna's life history.  I  saw so much of my Nonna and her family in Trigiani's characters. 

    I am  proud of my ancestors, and am thankful for all of the parts of myself they are responsible for like my  love of fresh ingredients, and way of making everything from scratch.  When I designed Limoncello I thought of the time my Nonna grew up in. I imagined Italian immigrant characters living in the 1950's much like my own family and Trigiani's characters, and wondered what their purses and lives would look like. The Lucia is the bag you would bring when you go see an opera, it has a chartreuse raw silk lining and elegant metallic leather details. The Rosemary is a art deco hybrid of a grocery bag, with it's closure even reflecting bakers twine. I think of my ancestors Italian food store and walking buying fruit at fruit stands. The fruit coin purses were created in reflection of my ancestors' and own commitment to fresh ingredients. I love how when you hold the Limone coin purse it almost feels like a real lemon. I hope when you look through the designs you can appreciate the connection to my family each purse holds and find connection to your family's past. 

Love, 

Gianina

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Gianina GabrielComment