Musings with Diane Dal-pra

Diane 2

Balancing Act

a Collaboration with Diane Dal-pra


I met Diane last December in Paris, when RUS existed only on paper: a pile of sketches, knit swatches and rough prototypes. From the first moment I felt connected to her way of perceiving women and art, Diane Dal-pra is not only a great painter and graphic artist but also one of our favorite muses. Her representations suggest women immersed in contemporaneity, dynamic and curious, but at the same time with knowledge about tradition and cultural legacy. They’re a mix of strength and lightness, magnetism and simplicity, sensuality and spirituality.

With this questions we’d like to know more not only about the artist but also the talented woman that serves as inspiration for RUS.


Where’s home for you? 
That's a real question. I guess that home is where memories are.

Can you describe what led you to start painting?
I think it’s thanks to the freedom this tool offers. Painting means that it is possible to say what you want, the way you want to. It’s a beautiful ancestral way of expression.

What sort of things do you find inspiring? Where do you find them?
Real life. People, their attitudes, their expressions. Moments glanced around a street, around a meal, or in my own family.

Diane 4
Diane 1

How do you start a new project? Do you prefer solitude or crowded places to concentrate?
To think, I do not care, the agitation is almost stimulating. On the other hand to produce, I definitely prefer quiet places. Getting away for several hours can be quite productive.

Do you listen to music when you work? A favorite song or artist?
Not always. I love listening to people talking while painting. At the moment I listen to a lot of podcasts, testimonials, pieces of life, it's very inspiring. In music, the artist Sade hypnotizes me!

Sculpture by Amadeo Modigliani

Sculpture by Amadeo Modigliani


What’s the inspiration behind the illustrations for “The Ritual”?
My main inspiration for "The Ritual" is sculptural. I liked the idea of thinking of the body as Modigliani did in his sculptures, several masses that pile up and form one. That's how I imagine the act of getting dressed, covering masses and skin by touch, then letting everything intermingle.

How would you describe RUS universe in three words?
Delicate, introspective, creative.

Collaboration series by Diane Dal-pra x RUS inspired by “The Ritual”

Collaboration series by Diane Dal-pra x RUS inspired by “The Ritual”

Diane 3

Do you have any ritual that can transform your mood in an instant?
Calling my brother.

How’s your typical day? 
I get up, check my emails, go down for a coffee. After that, I start painting. It's very complicated for me to paint, then leave and come back to paint. I try to have my appointments at the end of the day as much as possible. I really like going out for a walk or a drink when the light slowly fades.

What characteristic do you appreciate the most in a person?

Name three influential people in your life
Quite simply my loved ones: my brother, my lover, my best friend.

A book currently in your nightstand? 
Roland Barthes's Empire of Signs.

Instability is necessary to progress. If we stay in the same place, we move backwards.
— Diane Dal-pra

Do you have any ritual to get dressed in the mornings? How do you decide what to wear?
It depends on my mood, but most of the time I decide what I'm going to wear at the last moment. If I plan to wear a dress in advance, it is certain that I will not wear it! In winter I often turn to the same outfits, in summer everything is allowed!

Do you have any garment you’ve loved for a long time? What makes it special?
A yellow knit jacket. My grandmother made it. It is beautiful, warm and every stitch comes from her hands.

Less is more? Name three clothing items always present in your luggage.
Most of the time, yes. A pair of jeans, a white shirt, a colored vest.

Diane Dal-pra in her studio

Diane Dal-pra in her studio


What’s your favourite season to get dressed? 
Spring! Bodies reappear timidly after several months hidden. The prudishness of the first rays of sun is very beautiful.

What rituals do yo you follow to relax and disconnect? 
Breathe and take a hot shower.

What are your favourite places in Paris?
Le Jardin des Tuileries, my neighborhood Lamarck Caulaincourt, Les quais de Valmy, l'Hôtel Particulier hidden in Montmartre. I still have a lot to discover here!

Still from “Call me by your name”, 2017. Directed by Luca Guadagnino

Still from “Call me by your name”, 2017. Directed by Luca Guadagnino


What sort of place comes to mind when you think of paradise?
In my mind, it looks like a small Italian village, bathed in sunshine, calm and almost cut off from the rest of the world. In fact, I think that Luca Guadagnino materialized the place of my dreams in his film Call me by your name!

What’s next for you in the following months?
I have different upcoming projects and an artist residency this summer in Italy. It will be the opportunity to focus on my practice and to evolve my technique!