Dazzling summer days, misty wintery mornings. Regardless of the season, a tireless blue figurine travels across the landscape, up and down the ridge of hills, inside and outside of fog banks hanging low on the crops. What you see is a South Tyrolean farmer wearing his blauer Schurz: the bright blue apron, the cloth shield of women and men working in the fields.
Versatile since the very beginning, in the Middle Ages, the Schurz was worn to protect clothes whilst also serving as a pouch, a tissue, a seed tray and a symbol expressing one’s belonging to a specific professional category. Usually constituted of two parts, a « Firtig » or frontal tissue, and a « Brüstl » or rectangular cloth, until the 19th century, Schurzen were handmade of white linen. Cotton was only first adopted at the start of the past century, when a change in material mirrored one in colour: white turned into blue.
In South Tyrol, the Blauer Schurz is an everyday staple for men from 5 up to 95 years of age. Given as a present on the first day of school, each Schurz is decorated with embroidered symbols, words or images. The Schurz is also worn during Sunday Mass and on market days to strengthen one's cultural roots socially.
Taking its cue from the role of the Schurz as a garment of the mind rather than the body, Qollezione’s first pieces, designed in South Tyrol and entirely made in Italy, reinvent the linearity of the traditional apron. Characterised by the iconic blue colour, every piece in the collection has a unique durability. Over time, cloth adapts itself to the shapes of the body it clothes, as a second skin it sloughs off colour and changes in shade, only to rise from tradition to contemporary eternity. 70 centimeters in height, bordered by a red and white selvage, each fragment of Schurz dresses bodies and gears human geographies, wrapping the figure with the fabric of local history.
Legend has it that every woman living in South Tyrolean lodges, knits symbols, drawings and love messages on her husband’s Schurz. Grafted onto such love tradition, the minimalistic signs embroidered on Qollezione’s limited pieces by the visual designer and creative director Massimiliano Mariz from Studio Typeklang, transform a spontaneous practice dictated by feelings into a contemporary product rooted in the old stamping ground of South Tyrolean history.