Unbridled Imagination in the Genes: Exploring Mother and Daughter Duo Mis Papelicos & Kim Rosario

Happy Mother’s Day! There is something about those who tread their own path, and this adage is certainly applicable to this fascinating mother and daughter duo.

Photo by Gabriella Achadinha

Hey, you lovely human! Remember our incredible photographer, writer and designer pal Gabriella Achadinha? We featured a concept photography series of hers a few weeks ago called ‘Reverse’, which flipped the gender role script in the mood and style of auto advertising in the 50’s – 70’s, to reveal the sexism that was always there. And today, in honor of Mother’s Day, we wanted to showcase some of her amazing writing alongside the photography we’re already in love with. We’re sharing her amazing portrait of mother and daughter duo Mis Papelicos and Kim Rosario, one of our favorite pieces from Gabriella’s Medium page. Give her a follow wherever you can find her, and enjoy the stunning feature below <3

Words and Photos by Gabriella Achadinha

The voice is often overlooked when it comes to us mere mortals of non-superstar musician standing. Perhaps it will be noted that one’s inflection is bordering on the monotonous or the aha of siblings sharing the exact same vocal qualities; rarely is it a thing to hone in on. However, Kim Rosario— also known as Rebecca, to those acquainted with her — has such a voice that conjures up imagery of the nostalgic. Delightfully animated, syllables swirl to a crescendo of pure Cartoon Network energy with a finale of that mischievous giggle.

It was a Facebook post that brought us together over a cup of tea in Café Dujardin, a treat of a café slash pub in Uferstraße. Walls plastered with artworks, the setting was serendipitous of the following encounters I would have with this fashion designer / artist: eccentric, lively and visually overwhelming in the best of ways. There are those who operate within the trending of the times and those who disregard the mould and opt for the journey of ingenuity; silently, unbeknownst. Her designs are novel yet somewhat familiar, comfortable — they do not front a coldness nor an exclusivity so often trademarked alongside the fashionable.

Berlin has a tradition of ‘zu verschenken’ (given away, to be taken for free). Walking through the streets one is often confronted with past treasures seeking a new home, whether it be clothes, blankets, furniture, books, etc. This tradition has weaved its way into Rosario’s production process with tents transformed into summer dresses and duvets doubling as winter coats — nothing goes to waste. The formerly discarded are re-invented into walking works of art, their previous lacklustre state welded into one of innovation and most importantly, a pinnacle standing of sustainability.

Her choice of medium is not solely restricted to the wearable and her work in video, performance and music proves her leaning towards the multidimensionality. It was in viewing one of her videos that I first spotted the Queen that is Mis Papelicos.

gabriella achadinha | kim roasrio | mis papelicos

Never one to indulge in carelessly swinging slang, the word Queen is used as there really is not other word fitting. Mis Papelicos is that feminine power; one that exudes both a strength and a tranquility, she appears to glide, not walk, with gracefully articulated hand movements and flowing fabrics surrounding her. Her blog — self-titled ‘Mis Papelicos’ — is filled with shoots leaning towards the surrealistic, poetic writings and tips for style.

Her writing is exposing, there are no holds barred, as she takes the reader on a journey through her inner thoughts and sentiments. Reading through countless of these blog entries over the past several years, one feels as if they were personally acquainted. One particular entry from September 2015 was exceptionally warming, detailing the role of fashion in the Papelicos matriarchal line:

I remember that my mother always used to say: “I only like films with beautiful dresses”. Films that made her dream and escape her everyday life wrapped in tulle and silk.’

Clearly, this love for the tangible and visual felt in the fabric has been passed down, mother to daughter. The discovery that this compelling character of Mis Papelicos was Rosario’s mother was not all that surprising. They do share a sense of the outlandish, an inclination towards the spirited.

Sipping ginger tea in the Tower of Creation that is Rebecca’s apartment in Neukölln, the two reminisce over their own personal histories of fashion processing. Mis Papelicos shares a story of her as a young girl, innocently taking her sisters’ month-long embroidered tablecloth and promptly cutting three holes into it — constructing a dress for herself. This knack for creating stuck on throughout the years, albeit with less of angering the siblings, and now she talks directly to her followers via Instagram about her explorations, all 182 000 of them. Her enchanting personality is instantly identifiable in her videos, expressing that Spanish flair inheritance, as she offers advice and words of encouragement.

gabriella achadinha | kim roasrio | mis papelicos
gabriella achadinha | kim roasrio | mis papelicos
gabriella achadinha | kim roasrio | mis papelicos

We move through the Apartment of Wonders as we begin to shoot. Colour and patterns jumps out from every inch and the space is 100% indicative of Rebecca’s mind. A pop of the Fabulous and Vintage. Video taping equipment, a keyboard and a sewing machine stand as useable monuments to a brilliance. We begin discussing what exactly makes their minds tick.

The Mis Papelicos blog is filled with Surrealistic imagery and deeply personal contemplative poetry. What propelled you to share your words and art direction with the online community?

MP: When I started my blog I had no idea where it would go. It evolved with me and my passion for fashion until Instagram appeared.
My blog was the place to bleed my thoughts and share my clothes compositions, but now all happens on Instagram; although I keep the blog alive for safety and as an archive. My blog is now my shop and Instagram my shopwindow, sharing art keeps it flowing even more.

gabriella achadinha | kim roasrio | mis papelicos
gabriella achadinha | kim roasrio | mis papelicos
gabriella achadinha | kim roasrio | mis papelicos

Rebecca, your designs play with form, texture and material in such a refreshing and playful way — again, there’s a sense of the magical and otherworldly yet still being tangibly tied to materials you’ve re-purposed. How did the process come about in using such a wide variety of recycled materials? Has eco-conscious garment-making always been at the forefront of your process?

R: The excitement about charity shops, flea markets, car boot sales and anything museum-like of objects with a past has always been there. To the extent of actually taking a break from Berlin and opening a second hand clothing business of my own in the South of Spain. The shop didn’t really work, but brought a much more valuable byproduct and that was finding myself organically intervening my inherited second hand culture.

I also became fascinated by the sense of endlessness of the materials and textiles that were already out there about to be discarded but somehow found their way to me. I am constantly learning from them and their potential is ever-expanding before me. I think I literally get the biggest buzz when a piece comes from something found in the rubbish! I also adore exploring what defines costume and experimenting with the boundaries.

An immediate attraction to both of your works’ for me was your uninhibited love and usage of colour and pattern. There is absolutely no fear of experimenting. Has your relationship to fashion always been like this? Or has it evolved more recently?

MP: My love for fabrics, colours, patterns and prints has always been with me.

R: Our relationship to fashion has evolved differently, but has always been about expression and creativity for both of us. More recently, we have also identified its uplifting influence on us when we surround ourselves by our clothes, and spend time alone rearranging or just going through them. Interestingly, I randomly found out the other day that closets were historically the first rooms designed for privacy, study, thought and solitude in a home in early modern Europe. Unknowingly, we had reclaimed its original purpose.

gabriella achadinha | kim roasrio | mis papelicos
gabriella achadinha | kim roasrio | mis papelicos

Referring back to your blog, how do your photo shoots come about? The composition and digital artwork works directly in line with the words; which comes first in the process? Are there any artists / muses whose visuals you feel attuned to?

MP: I had many photographers until I found a very nice photographer-friend fresh out of Art School, Alex. We have been working together for over two years now. But I like seeing myself through as many eyes as possible so I always welcome collaborations. I never look outside when I write, but rather inside: my feelings and thoughts.

Observing the two of you as mother and daughter, both artists, is fascinating in pinpointing a shared joint need to create without bounds or restrictions. Both of you share a sense of the Rebellious but in a very joyful way. Fashion can often seem Unapproachable, Rigid, Intimidating, yet your work reflects Inclusivity and Spontaneity. How have you influenced one another? Do you act as Mentors to one another?

MP: Rebecca and I have different styles, but we both share a passion for clothes, fabrics, textiles and materials. I admire her work more than any other creator out there today because she does it without means. She is not surrounded by a court of seamstresses, but her own visions and hard work. We never lie to each other. I honestly believe that she is a visionary and an artist.

R: We are definitely mentors of one another and support each other all we can, and I agree that we both feed off that joyful rebellion.

We are dead honest when giving each other advice and feedback and that’s a huge asset. It’s always constructive, either because we agree or precisely because we don’t and that helps us reaffirm our positions. She is my muse and a very strong reference in my creative process. Being in the same room with her wearing a piece of mine she genuinely adores is so good and so big it’s almost tangible.

gabriella achadinha | kim roasrio | mis papelicos
gabriella achadinha | kim roasrio | mis papelicos

What art / design / music are you currently admiring?

MP: Maison Martin Margiela — Galliano for sure.
Music that touches my soul: Flamenco — Copla — Mexican Ranchera — Cuban music. Blues.

R: I admire nonconforming artists and designers just doing their thing and I am always incessantly searching for new references connected to my work in one way or another:Everything on Folklore Costumes and Monsters by Charles Fréger, Films by DOROTA GAWĘDA & EGLĖ KULBOKAITĖ, with regards to design — any artisanal technique from anywhere in the world from the beginning of time until now. I have a soft spot for experimental and noise music, but I could jam singing the blues anytime! I am also going through a world folklore music research revival at the moment and I need to consume experimental and conceptual pop every so often such as Default Genders.

You’ve both lived in England, Spain and Germany collectively. How does the cityscape and landscape affect your creations? Are there particular places where your creativity feels heightened?

MP: My love for clothes was born with me. The love for second hand everything was born in the UK.

R: We have found our respective homes apart in different countries and different cities. We don’t have each other on a regular basis intertwined with our routines but we do have very precious periods of time where we take breaks from our lives to be 100 % with one another. Those days are diamond worth on so many levels…they also cleanse our creative palate before diving back in.

The two excitedly tell me about their plans for the day. Another shoot, this time a filmic one, involving a drone later that afternoon. We unanimously agree that Berlin weather is no longer pulling strings in our favour but talk ideas of working around this. Leaving the Tower of Creation is disheartening, it’s a space of freedom and excitement; one feels the energy of crafting for crafts’ sake. A favoured proverb comes to mind when leaving:

De músico, poeta y loco, todos tenemos un poco / we all have a little bit of musician, poet and crazy person in ourselves .

Want to see more from Gabriella and check out her other projects? We get it! Grab a cup of something and spend some time clicking around her website here, and make sure you’re following the stunning universe she’s curated on her Instagram.


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