Designer Wednesday...And My Obsession With Detachable Sleeves
Most likely born from my preoccupation with long, oversized sleeves, my fall obsession has become detachable ones. My first experience with them was provided by my dear friend Mireia, of Milo' Tricot, who gifted me with a long black pair (she is having a great sale by the way). I was thrilled and surprised to receive the brown, black and red ones from Alessandra Giannetti along with her wrap shirt because I thought they were part of the garment. The beauty of detachable sleeves is that they can be worn with your favorite tees in the winter or if you prefer, as leggings as seen above. Your favorite sleeveless knit becomes doable during winter. For those of us in the cult of black they can add a pop of color as they did for me. When designers reach out and wish to gift me, as one of my conditions, aside from being clear that it was something I would really wear and use in my everyday life, I ask that the designer grant me an interview. Since the reset I also use the "three questions" to make my decisions. So, please meet Alessandra Giannetti and find out more about her and her work.
Alessandra Giannetti Designs
1. What peaked your interest in the design and fashion world?
Definitely, humans. And gestures. I guess this is why most people say mine is a cultural approach. I am a curious person and mankind fascinates me since forever.
And Nature: Japan has taught me that civilization without Nature is dangerous, therefore I strive to stay close to nature with embracing volumes, and the best raw materials that carry noble fibers and skilled craftsmanship. The rhythm, the touch, and the smell. I believe Nature is the best synesthesia that exists. No AI [Artificial Intelligence] will ever compete to a sunset.
2. How would describe your brand and the women that wear your clothes?
Independent, transversal, mature. My clients … my clients are quite heterogeneous in terms of age, geography and lifestyle. But definitely they are all very active women with independent taste and minds, who look for items that they can carry 24/7 sliding from a coffee with friends to a soirée through a meeting.
3. How does the city of Rome, home of your flagship store, serve as inspiration for your designs?
There is more subtraction that addition in my work: the never-ending charm of Rome forces me to be neat, clean, and sharp in my designs I guess.
4. How has art, whether specific artists or historic movements, influenced your designs?
It’s a flow of mutual exchange I guess, it is mostly about contamination and teamwork. I work closely with photographers, anthropologists, actresses and actors … and the many muses to whom I owe much, although in my mind I can never tell the precise moment the process starts. This is why I believe it is a fluxus.
My business partner, Fabio [Fabio Gasparri – photographer] is the perfect travel companion, nurturing a very peculiar vision that stems more from the arts than from the fashion system. It is a good balance, it makes things fun, serious, sometimes dramatic and we love this approach rather than owing most to just the street-style, the kids or trend reports. Culture is key. We both believe in the arts and are surrounded by art and artists so yes, we owe it to the arts also!
5. Alessandra Giannetti pieces are timeless classics. How do you embrace “trends” while remaining enduring in all seasons?
I am imbued by trends although I always ask myself this question when I am about to ‘close’ a collection: will I or my friends want to carry this item over and over? Is this good taste or just about fades? Would my ancestors and daughter like it, wear it, treasure it? I hope I could answer the question.
6. Where do you get inspiration?
Anywhere: from images to memories to, mostly, humans and acts.
7. Can you describe your #opera line?
OPERA is a microcapsule that pushes our boundaries even further: organic raw materials, such as the bamboo sponge. Basics that you can wear in may shapes and forms. An antique silk print – an in between of a tie and ultra-feminine pattern. Neutrals – black, off white and coffee died beige linens with a dash of laquer red. In one word: a micro-wardrobe.
6. How does your brand represent and portray the strength of women?
By caressing their shapes without revealing too much. By enhancing their personality without enslaving it to trends. I believe in mistery, not because I am a magician but because as an optimist I believe we all carry energies, and should both protect them and spread them. That is why I love black: it protects us and our feelings.
7. Alessandra Giannetti recently held an event in which painting-like portraits of women showed off the designs instead of models. Can you explain your motive behind this decision?
I love to make things real. There is too much fake information around. My clients are my friends and muses. It is a privilege not to hide nor lie these days, so we decided to go clean, authentic and fun by playing a tribute to the many friends and acquaintances who have proved to be loyal to our designs and vision. Fabio knows how to unveil the soft touch of humans, he is not a fashion photographer so I hope we could share some moments of joy and truth. Thank you, Lyn.
Interview Questions Researched and Developed by Michaela Brennan