i had the opportunity to chat with the amazing and very poignant Alberta Ferretti yesterday morning after viewing her spring/summer 2012 collection at Tootsies. thank you to Tootsies and American Express for hosting me and to the PR Boutique for a fantastic and successful event!
Lindley Arnoldy (The Flip Side): What do you think the differences are between the American woman and the Italian woman in terms of style? Who are you designing for?
I think that actually there is really no difference any longer between the taste in Europe and the U.S. and for that matter across the world. I think what there are more or less are categories and types of women. Today women travel, they have a very full social life, they have myriad newspapers and the internet to keep them up to date, so it's become...one world. You have bohemian types, you have ladies that like to dress up, you have different social strata, really. You have people that don’t like to [dress up] at all, you have people that are very involved socially that have different commitments and needs to dress up…it’s all over the world. And now for example, the best sellers are worldwide best sellers, it’s not that they’re best sellers in the U.S.
L.A: Hal Rubenstein said last night that his two favorite things in fashion are modernity and romance. I feel like that really resonated with me and resonates with your collection. Is that your point and intention?
Yes, I think that romanticism certainly for me is an incredible focus because a romantic woman today is not fragile in any way, she is a woman who is sure of herself and is free to express her sentiments, her emotions, her strength and that is what really renders the modern...woman.
L.A: This collection seemed to have many references with with everything from utilitarian influences to botanical prints and a nod to the 1920’s. What served as your inspiration?
(*My recording device was interrupted at this point, so this answer serves from memory) Ms. Ferretti told me that she her inspiration was very much the "travelling woman", and the “romantic jungle”.
L.A: How do you continually modernize your work, especially when you aren’t subscribing to the current trends?
Obviously, even if I don’t follow the trends we have to be aware of what is going on around the world because we live in such a global – fashion lives - in a global environment and we need to adapt ourselves to what is happening in the world around us. And while I try to always project a very up to date, contemporary, modern collection, I don’t necessarily follow the trends. But, my woman lives in the world of today, so she needs to adapt to the silhouettes and what is current in today’s world. For myself I keep up with everything, I read – I am an avid reader, I am a movie goer, I love music, I am a very social person out at events quite often, and I try to understand and perceive what my woman and eventual customer will need… living this really intense, global, fast life. I try to perceive through my knowledge of what’s going on in my own life what my woman will need in the future.
L.A: What are your views on competition? Do you look to other designers for inspiration? Do you feel that that spawns creativity or hinders it?
Obviously just like any other industry, within the fashion industry there is definitely competition and of course we all thrive on “the spirit of healthy competition”, but I think it is more and more important today for each designer to have a very recognizable signature. So while competition does stimulate creativity it certainly needs to be filtered through the perspective and the sensibility of each designer’s individual style.