About Gabriella Cortese
Gabriella has a spirit for travelling within her soul. Italian by birth and Parisian by adoption, she has criss-crossed the globe. Born in Turin, she enjoyed a well-behaved childhood there. Her Hungarian grandmother taught her how to embroider, while her mother embodied the model of eternal elegance.
As an eighteen-year-old art student in search of freedom, Gabriella discovered Paris and its wild nightlife. Then, like the artists who went off to study the classics in the 19th century, she left for Tibet, on trail of Alexandra David-Néel and the last of the psychedelic dandies on the Silk Road.
In Bali, the thousand-year-old batik technique for printing silk inspired her to create her first range of pareos. Taking the word batik, Gabriella added antik, for the rhyme, and because it sounded good in all languages. Having discovered India, she explored other techniques: embroidery and bandhani, an artisanal dyeing process. In 1992, ANTIK BATIK was born.
A traveler nostalgic for the times of cabin trunks, Gabriella invites us to go back in time with pictorial references from the beginning of the 20th century.
She borrows decorative extravagance from Art Nouveau. Lustrous decorations, stylized floral patterns and geometric prints inspired by the Russian avant-garde fill her creations with history I want to create the fashion of a voyager who plunges into the past and rediscovers treasures in an old trunk, pieces that evoke childhood memories and the parties of the Roaring Twenties. The explosion of colors in the summer collections evoke the bohemian elegance of aristocrats such as Talitha Getty in Tangiers and Marisa Berenson in Ibiza at the end of the sixties.
Married to the actor Marc Rioufol, and mother of little Nicola, Gabriella has been designing a children’s collection since 2001. Passionate about decorative arts, she also adapts the richly colored universe of ANTIK BATIK for home décor in partnership with home specialists. Sought after by celebrities and all kinds of women looking for authenticity, ANTIK BATIK has become an emblem of bohemian-chic living.
Gabriella has passionately explored this art from all angles. “I love metallic sequins that have acquired patina. Once they have oxidized, they look like they have been handed down through the ages.” The finest ANTIK BATIK pieces require several days of work. Each handmade piece is unique. ANTIK BATIK works with around twenty ateliers around the world. They are a guarantee of quality for the brand, who in turn divide their requirements between their different suppliers.
This technique of fabric printing is more than a thousand years old. Hand-carved wooden stamps or "block prints" are used to print materials. This requires patience and attention to detail. A multicolour motif uses as many stamps as there are colors. By continuing to use this kind of production, far removed from industrial rollers, ANTIK BATIK allows an ancestral skill to continue and become better known.
This ancestral technique of dyeing is a type of "tie dye". The material is knotted or tied up with string by hand before being plunged into a vat of colour. The impermeable zone thus creates the desired motif. One of the vegetable dyes used is an extract of the madder plant which produces many shades of red. Blues are created from extracts of the indigo plant. Most of the fibers, such as cotton, silk, wool and alpaca are also completely natural.