Dancing with His Hands
Francesco Ballestrazzi is an Italian hat designer. He graduates at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, where he has the opportunity to study and experience different creative subjects.
But Ballestrazzi’s first passion is dancing. An incident forces him to stop dancing, but he usually says that that moment is the one he has started dancing with his hands. ‘Dancing, like any art, lets you express your own essence and brings out the pure energy of your spirit. The moment the body starts to move is like magic: you lose control of everything and what you really are, your energy, comes out.’
In 2011, the versatile Italian designer launches his own first collection of head pieces. ‘With my hats I give shape to ideas and thoughts and I can literally put them in people’s heads. My creations come from a spontaneous sculptural approach, so random that every new piece can never be the same as the others.’
Free from masks
‘Lightness, for me, means to understand that life is one and it is our duty, not only desire, to live it to the fullest. From this perspective, then, all the heavy and complicated situations lose their meaning, because what really matters is simply trying to live the happiness in the blink of an eye. I’m branding a new kind of me and I feel free from weights and masks.’ This is Francesco Ballestrazzi’s personal vision of the lite style; he also points out how his personal transformation results even in the transition from the rimmed to the rimless glasses. ‘The rimless glasses free my peculiarities and don’t alter my distinctive characteristics. It is obvious that my need to not hide myself is linked to the idea that life, in every moment, is a priceless gift that should be lived with open heart, even exposing yourself with courage to others and, why not, surprising for all small good things that happen to you everyday.’
In one of his latest creations, ‘Splash’, Ballestrazzi performs the theme of the uniqueness for the campaign Signature Collection Titan One. ‘by Silhouette. That hat represents the uniqueness of a wave that is unrepeatable and has been crystallized the instant before it infringes. ‘By modeling a piece of PVC with heat I was able to catch its dynamism, purity and the randomness of a splash of water, which obviously will never be repeated identical to itself in nature and likewise each new hat that comes next will never be like the previous ones. Technically, the hat is a single piece of PVC that shapes gradually with heat, then it is also unique in terms of material, as well as for the glasses that have inspired me, the TITAN ONE, created through the machining of one single titanium wire.’
Francesco Ballestrazzi wears Silhouette model Titan ONE 5401 colour 6053 with light green/grey tinted lenses, alternating it with the nylor frame Silhouette model Titan Dynamics 5281 colour 6050 with light brown tinted lenses. He is a Face of Silhouette since April 2015.