Window to Worlds by Lily of Studio Avilo – The Interview.

On a gently sunlit Friday afternoon, I found myself seated across from Lily, in the entrance of House of Rowdy, whilst she was finishing up her Window to Worlds installation. I was eager to learn more about the meaning behind it as well as the journey she had embarked on to bring it into life. A journey rather compelling that had turned into a piece of heartfelt symbolism.

The idea of this captivating window display, featuring oversized, seasonal Catalan flowers, was conjured during one of her walks in the Costa Brava mountains, near her parents home. Hailing from the United Kingdom, Lily has always considered winter to be a dark and rather lifeless season. Yet here in Spain, nature still thrives and life echoes through the mountainous landscapes of Catalunya and the blooming flowers that surround it.

The result was a harmonious blend of mixed media, interlacing the beauty of the changing seasons with the ethos of sustainability embodied by the second life garments that House of Rowdy embraces. 

As Lily delicately crafted her installation, it became a powerful visual narrative, capturing the essence of life´s and nature´s cycles and subsequently, the transformative power of repurposed fashion. The chosen Catalan flowers are not just a celebration of the seasonal changes but serve also as a metaphor for the rebirth and continuity that sustainable practices can bring forth into the fashion industry.

Lily´s creation stands as an indication of the interconnectedness of nature, art, and sustainable living—a real-life representation of her personal journey.

The flicker of excitement in her eyes granted me the understanding that she was deeply connected to her creation and I could sense the gratefulness emanating through her, for bringing it to life.

This was the interview: 

D: Hey Lily! So, given the event happening today and the inauguration of this new autumn / winter window display for House of Rowdy, I thought it would be a great idea to talk with us so you can elaborate more on the idea behind it - i´ll be quick, promise!  

LILY: Yes, amazing! 

D: Tell me a little bit about the Window to Worlds art installation. What was the beginning of it?

LILY: So thinking about the transition of seasons and nature, I decided I wanted to produce an art installation relating back to that. Through my research online, I stumbled upon this Celtic Festival of Samhain which celebrated this shift from light to dark, day to night as well as life to death and was instantly inspired to create. 

I went for a walk into Gavaras mountains, close to my parents home, and I just saw all these flowers and plants and all these beautiful things that were so full of life at a time that we consider more.. dead. And so I picked them all. All these are seasonal and local flowers, all from the Costa Brava. I then scanned them, printed them out, kind of played around with them, and then that's when I really had the idea to do it on this scale.

And that's what the two sides are about. South from the street you see the black and white, which is this idea of darkness and the changing of season. But when you come into the shop you get this sort of explosion of life and colour. 

It works also with the change of season in clothing and also this renewed beauty that I think vintage clothing embodies wholeheartedly. And I think it has a sustainable element where we both crossover it and it works really well for House of Rowdy.

D: And was there a defining moment, before any of the research began, that you thought, hey, I really want to create this?

LILY: I think it was before (the research began). I think it was almost the other way around, which is very rare for me.

So, I am a Virgo. I plan and like I need to understand how it's going to work in my head. And my mum is an Aquarius  (who is also an artist) , so she's the complete opposite. All my life I thought, ‘I'm not an artist because I don't do it the way she does because she starts at the end and works her way back.’

I need to start at the beginning. But in this project, I knew I wanted to do something related to nature and plants and flowers, so I kind of found my way from there to the other way, if that makes sense.

D: Yeah, absolutely. What's your favorite part of the process, not just for this, but for everything that you do?

Research. Because it gives me so many more ideas. So for this project, I knew I wanted to do something with plants and nature then I stumbled upon this Celtic festival and I'm like, Oh my God, this is perfect.

This is this side's going to be black and white and this side's going to be colour and this is the reason.And this is the transition in the spirit world.And it just unraveled so many more ideas. And I think it unravels a lot more original thought as well. Because the reality is that everyone copies, I mean literally everyone, it's normal. But when you see something and you copy it, you're going to change something. So it's yours. But if you draw inspiration from a transdisciplinary reference, you can't copy it. You know, if it's like a piece of art and you're like, OK, I'm going to make, I'm going to design A house around or a bathroom around this piece of art, It's going to be original. And so I think, yeah, research is my favorite. It gives original ideas.

D: And then your favourite part of the process of creating this display specifically?

LILY: I think when I had cut everything out and I could see it coming together, at that point it wasn't the finished article but firstly the finish line was in sight. I'd cut it out and stuck it on either the foam board or the mesh and I could now visualize and I saw the scale and I'm like OK this is going to work and it's kind of like thank God moment because it's a little bit late for it not to work. (chuckles) So that was my favourite part.

D: Mm yeah haha, and it definitely worked out! And are you spiritually connected to this piece? 

LILY: Spiritually, yeah, yeah, very much so, yeah, because my parents live there, so it was literally a walk from my parents house up the mountain, so it feels like a piece of home as well.  I think it puts a really beautiful touch.