Tomatoes are good for you. Plus, they taste nice. But they can also get messy. Here’s proof: La Tomatina, a pretty-much- totally-insane tomato-throwing festival that takes place every year in Buñol, Valencia. Where better to test out Fiorucci’s water-proof ponchos? That’s exactly what we did this August, the help of model and performance artist Maya Coline. Here’s how it went, according to Maya.
Did you know about La Tomatina before you went?
No, I didn’t know about the festival exactly, but I love the movie We Need to Talk About Kevin. And it has loads of references to it. So when they told me we were going to La Tomatina I thought, oh, yeah, that’s it. In the movie there’s a scene where people are throwing tomatoes at the main character, who’s played by Tilda Swinton. It’s a great movie. You need to see it!
What was it like?
There’s a main street where all the tomato throwing takes place. And then there is a little street going off, a sloping street. And there, the ground turned into a kind of red torrent, it was crazy.
How does it all start?
People arrive in the village really early, like six in the morning. They come by bus. Then you need to walk a bit to arrive to the main zone. Then there these huge trunks full of tomatoes that pass down the main street. And it’s like the tomato delivery. And at this moment people are really getting crazy. They push to the front to get to the tomatoes first. And they take glasses and scoop up the juice from the floor and then throw it everywhere. There are really no rules after that.
What was your favourite thing about the trip?
Well… Josh was like, “You’re going to be the one being pelted with tomatoes. I’ll photograph you.” And I feel like he was pretty sure that he wasn’t going to get any tomatoes on himself. But of course it didn’t happen like that. He couldn’t take pictures and escape it all the same time. And I had a Fiorucci poncho, I was really protected. But he didn’t have anything like that! So he was more covered with tomatoes than I was. So I liked that the photographer was in the same situation as the model, that was interesting.
So you’d say that the Fiorucci poncho was pretty tomato-proof?
Yes, really! The point is that it’s not just tomatoes, it’s juice. You get wet! And once you get wet, you get all cold. Everybody was freezing after the tomato fight. And I wasn’t like that. The poncho’s totally waterproof, so my underwear was dry. Not like everyone else’s.
So what do you do when you're not at tomato-throwing festivals?
Actually I’m going to art school in Paris. At the moment I’ve got a new performance installation. And this year I’ve been acting in movies for the first time. I’ve been in two full- length movies, both interesting roles. It’s been a busy year!
Who are you playing?
Well one movie is a horror movie, so I’m playing a ghost actually. Well, sort-of a ghost.
I liked that the photographer was in the same situation as the model, that was interesting.
What was that like?
It was great! Because it was my first movie, and I really come from a performance art background. As a ghost I didn’t have so many things to say, so I was pretty comfortable for that. And at the same time I had to really look weird, which is what I like to do in performance too. So it was a good step into it.
You don’t find it difficult to be scary then?
No, I like it!
Maya Coline
Josh Wilks