What do you think you bring to the table that the fashion industry needs now?
Haute couture used to be a beacon of the future for those with the right seats for viewing. Now, because of the internet, anybody can see [its] wonders. I think it is time that haute couture follows the trend the world has started and looks to the future to spur its creativity…I use technological advancements of the present and haute couture techniques of the past to sculpt a new set of tools for the modern fashion designer.
You have said, “Fashion is everything I rebel against as a designer and is the greatest enemy of style.” Do you feel the majority of young people are more interested in clothes that express their personality or following trends?
[The] fashion [industry] is a hungry, unsettling creature. It desires whatever profits it the most and disregards the will of the individual…The woman I dress knows that when she adorns her dress in the morning, she is showing the world who she wishes herself to be. Unfortunately, [I find that] most young women in today’s society hope only to present themselves as somebody who understands trends, rather than somebody who understands herself.
Can you talk to the elements in your recent collection, inspired by Bernini’s famed sculpture “The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa,” that combine modern technology with traditional couture techniques?
I remembered seeing the sculpture so often as a child; during my schooling, I saw an image of it again and suddenly knew exactly what this form of beauty looked like to me. The sculpture depicts such a gruesome, yet beautiful, scene that one can't help but be pulled into its mesmerizing darkness.
Rays of gold have been laser-cut into black cashmere coats and capes, which then have gold lamé appliquéd onto the backside to create a glimmering effect. [One] coat has a hand-drawn stencil of the angel from the sculpture delicately laser-cut into the center, reaching towards the bust. Fine draping, delicate beadwork and chain-weighted hems create the romantic form, while a laser carves out the beautiful details.
Photos provided by: J.J. Battista, Anthony Grassetti, Cinzia Brandi and Joshua Mudgett