AMUSE SOCIETY is just as much a fashion brand as it is a way of life. Amuse is the creation of two women—Mandy & Summer—and is supported by a team of smart, talented and badass women who are all determined to do things differently.
We’re not just designing and selling clothes; we’re forming a Society created by and supported by women who are doing great things.
Please meet the beautifully talented and strong witted, Emily Formentini. Not only is she the artist behind the beautiful macramé installations that drew a lot of attention to our tradeshow booths at Agenda Long Beach and Miami Swim Show, but She’s an architect, a display artist for a contemporary retail chain, and she’s incredibly funny too! Check out her intimate interview below and get to know this dynamic woman like we know her!
You have so many “jobs” and hobbies…we don’t know where to begin! How do you describe yourself professionally? And personally?
My background is in Architecture although I never really felt like that was my true calling. I did, however, really love the combination of function + form + aesthetics, which are still driving ideas in my work today. These days I work as a display artist for a high end apparel and lifestyle brand designing and constructing their windows and in-store displays and fixtures. This position allows me to stay hands-on and has exposed me to a multitude of materials and mediums and methods. Each installation is different than the last and allows me to work with something new all the time.
By nature, I am a very curious soul, always seeking knowledge and new experiences (a lot of podcasts, a lot of google). I love learning a new discipline, even at a very basic level, and then seeking ways to put a twist on it or update it in some way with an unconventional material or by combining it with another art form. This curiosity is definitely present in the rest of my life as well- it has lead me to dabble in trapeze, skate dancing, boxing and what occupies much of my time outside of work: improv and sketch comedy.
I signed up for a level 1 improv class about 2 years ago and now am part of performing improv troupe in Long Beach. It is one of the best things I have ever been a part of in my life. Having a sense of humor in all aspects of life and remembering to keep hold of the fun are so important to me and is exuded in my professional work as well.
For those who are reading this but might not be familiar, how do you describe what a macramé is?
Macramé is an art form in which decorative knots are used in patterns to create anything from a textile to a bag to a pot hanger. There is a collection of different types of knots utilized that can be combined to make a multitude of patterns. The material used and the combination of knot type and their spacing can bring forth so many different, beautiful results. Beads and coins and other decorative pieces are often integrated into the knotted pattern, as well.
How did you first start creating macramés?
I got into fiber arts a few years ago after having done a few large scale woven in-store displays: both for work and for Prism Boutique. From there, I began to create a number of smaller weavings and getting my hands into macrame was a really natural progression. I started looking up the knots and patterns to work them into my woven pieces and then started to play with them more on their own.
Walk us through the process…
Once I have the vision for a project in mind, the process really begins with gathering my material palette. I usually have an overall idea or feeling for what I want the piece to be but it really begins to take form when my materials start to combine, which I continue to adjust and edit along the process. I then just jump in, setting my initial knot pattern and then taking passes over the piece to see where I may want to add material or manipulate the material in some way. It really is quite organic. I never really know exactly what each piece will become but I love to see it slowly reveal itself along the way.
What inspires you?
A huge portion of the inspiration of my work comes from the materials. If I find something amazing that I am drawn to, be it by the color, texture, weight, I start to envision how I could use it and what it could become. A few months ago, for instance, I was shopping in downtown LA for some weaving supplies and came across a spool of flat, gold, pliable ribbon-like metal... I thought it was awesome and bought it with the hope I would find a way to use it somehow.
I ended up weaving with it and using it in the pieces for Amuse and it's become one of my favorite materials. This sort of impulse buying has also driven me to become a bit of a hoarder but... I like to just say I have an ever-growing collection. I am also really inspired by objects that are both beautifully simple and functional. I appreciate smart design that is is beautiful by simply what it is and how it works and nothing more.
Do you consider yourself an artist?
For a long time I didn't think of myself an artist but as I continue to grow and develop my craft that has changed a bit. The act of making something tangible out of an idea or a feeling or out of a specific a need is an art to me so I guess that would make me an artist. I have a true passion for making things.. whether those things end up taking the form of artwork, furniture, a comedy sketch, or ginger beer.
What does Amuse mean to you as a brand?
Amuse to me really represents a very strong, independent woman. I find the irreverence and rebelliousness of the Amuse girl to be especially empowering and inspiring. There is something so appealing about a person that so boldly lives their lives with passion and pursues the things they love so unapologetically. Amuse celebrates confidence and I am so excited to see all that is to come from them!
As an ambassador to Amuse, what does being part of their “society" of women, mean to you?
I am, firstly, so honored to be part of this society! Is is an honor to be part of a group that is so empowering and that celebrates unique individuals that are sharing their passions. I've loved being able to share a bit of my craft and I greatly look forward to seeing this society grow and to being inspired by the work of other artisans. Thank you for this fabulous opportunity!
Photos and video by Velen Chan