25 years of craftwork
She arrived in Ibiza back in 78, on the first Sunday in May, with no plans but full of hope.
She began like so many do, working here and there, until a couple of summers later she found herself selling bikinis on the beach. But soon she was not only the girl who sold them, but also the one who designed and made them, spending her mornings up and down the beaches of Es Cavallet and Ses Salines selling the pieces she had made in the afternoons and evenings. These early leather-fringed bikinis already pointed at what would become her own unique, inimitable style.
This was the first time that Christine Astruc started working with sewing machine. The next summer she not only worked the beaches – this time those in Es Caná – but two or three shops in the area also offered some of her pieces to the public. One thing led to another and those first bikinis soon developed into waistcoats, dresses and tops made from natural suede with Indian fringes which she sewed at home and deposited in shops. And in 1983 she opened her own shop, as a place to work and sell from: ARIZONA, which remains natural and authentic today, in the Marina of the port of Ibiza.
These are versatile, fun, fabulous and colourful items that can involve up to thirty hours of work each. This Adlib style, which breaks all the preconceived rules of fash-ion, offers a fun and innocent style by day, and a seductive, mischievous, sexy style by night. Her perseverance, her search for the best, for quality, for a good finish, her good taste and imagination have meant her designs are valued not only here but also in London, Milan, New York and Paris. Her designs are instantly recognisable when worn, with their colourfulness, delicate scents and soft textures.
We can find amongst her pieces long and short dresses, mini-skirts, waistcoats, tops, jackets, coats, trousers... and of course the bikinis that initiated her along this road.
However, the lack of any state, autonomic nor local support means this business is languishing quickly, since the diminishing number of tourists these days means fewer sales, as this is normally the clientele with most purchasing power. At the moment, this designer's main worry is the present state of craftwork, witness that she is of the increasing disappearance of some of the local traditional artisan work, while official bodies do not intervene to help nor subsidize these workers. Sadly, without any outside help, the demise of this part of Ibiza's culture and folklore is near.
And this is the story of a girl born in a small village of Southern France who fights today, finding strength out of weakness, to continue surviving and persevering.