Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Interview: Carlotta Gherzi

Carlotta Gherzi by Emma Block
Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 by Emma Block

Carlotta Gherzi for Sado was one of the first catwalk shows I ever attended, page and I was enchanted from the start.

Garlotta GherzI by Lako Bukia
Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 by Lako Bukia

emma_block_A/W 2011 carlotta_gherzi_
Carlotta Gherzi A/W 2011 by Emma Block

Since she completed her BA in Fashion Design & Fashion Marketing at the American University in London, Carlotta Gherzi has been a firm fashion week favourite. Her 2011 A/W collection Frozen Flora took the audience to a world of ice queens in dresses the colour of iced lattes with thick wool capes like rain clouds.

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 sheer dress
Triassic Glamour, her S/S 2012 catwalk show, similarly captured the attention and imagination of the assembled LFW audience and, after the show, I was offered the chance to head backstage and find out a little bit more about her inspirations and working process.

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 By Lydia Fee 1
Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 by Lydia Fee

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 purple dress
Have you always wanted to be a fashion designer? How did you first get into it and what advice would you give to fashion graduates today?
I always wanted to be a designer since the age of 6. My grandmother was a tailor so I grew up looking at her sewing dresses for herself and my mum. Graduates should look at and acknowledge the business side of the industry, as it’s very easy to take the wrong decisions…

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 cream dress
How do you begin a collection? Does it start with sketchbooks, notebooks, photos, scrapbooks, in your head etc?
It’s a long process, first I look at fabrics; choosing what I like, then I select a theme and I start looking at it in more detail. Than sketching, dreaming and toileing makes it come to life.

Carlotta Gherzi By Lako Bukia
Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 by Lako Bukia

Where do you go to be inspired?
Wherever is sunny and sandy does it for me. It makes me feel happier and I’m inspired by raw nature. For S/S 2012 I was inspired by fossils, re-designing them by hand into my new print. I then decided to use the color palette from the movie avatar; bright orange, blue-purple , sabbia, black and shades of ivory. I also go back in time, metaphorically speaking, looking at films from the past. For my new collection I was inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Casablanca, looking at the 1930’s silhouette, and re-inventing it for the modern woman. This is why I called the collection Triassic Glamour.

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 aqua dress
Which bit is your favourite part of the process from initial conception to catwalk?
Playing with fabric weights and sketching fast. Then if I am not sure I enjoy modifying the final garment to suit the initial drawing.

Carlotta Gherzi by Lako Bukia
Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 by Lako Bukia

How have these different countries you lived in and different cultures you’re experienced influenced your work?
I’m inspired by women from around the world. I really like the quirkiness of London and the sometime carefree look. I admire the New York look with nothing out of place or order. I laugh at yet admire the super careful match of colours going on in Italy, the brand loving in Russia…. I think about all these women when designing my clothing.

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012
Who would you most love to wear your clothes?
When designing I take my favourite characteristics in women and then I unite them all in one. I try to read the mind of many women and I try to understand what they want and what I would look for in an outfit myself.

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 swimwear
Which designers do you most admire?
I love Balenciaga and Isabel Marant.

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 black dress
All photography by Emma Block.

What’s coming up next for SADO?
A possible diffusion line…

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 By Lydia Fee 3
Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 by Lydia Fee

Make sure you check out my review of Carlotta Gherzi‘s S/S 2012 catwalk show as well.

Categories ,1930s, ,American University, ,Balenciaga, ,Breakfast at Tiffany’s, ,Carlotta Gherzi, ,Casablanca, ,Emma Block, ,fashion, ,Fashion Design & Fashion Marketing, ,fossils, ,Frozen Flora, ,interview, ,Isabel Marant, ,lako bukia, ,London Fashion Week, ,Lydia Fee, ,Triassic Glamour, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Carlotta Gherzi for Sado

Carlotta Gherzi SS12 by Faye West
Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 by Faye West

Upon arriving at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue, generic I was informed by a harassed-looking security guard that the show was running an hour late. Fortunately, the lovely (and rather pink-haired) Emma of Greene and Sheppard PR came out to meet me and introduced me to some seasoned fashionistas, who were now attending their ninth show of the day. After a lot of waiting and waving of our gold-starred tickets, we got seated on the front row of Carlotta Gherzi’s S/S 2012 show Triassic Glamour where I discovered a black cotton goodie bag that contained a sparkly set of Body Shop make-up.

Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 by Emma Block

This was well and truly a Spring/Summer collection – the first thing out on the runway was a cut-out, one-piece swim suit the perfect greeny-blue colour of an outdoor swimming pool on a balmy day.

Carlotta Gherzi SS12 first dress
Carlotta Gherzi SS12 by Faye West 2
Carlotta Gherzi S/S 2012 by Faye West

Once again, Carlotta’s beautiful and innovative prints underpinned the entire collection. This time they were inspired by the fossil room of the British Museum, and printed on silk jersey, crepe de chine, silk chiffon and lycra and embellished with Swarovski crystals. The models had the feel of just having emerged from a beautiful exotic jungle.

Carlotta Gherzi SS12 black dress

Her models’ make-up was natural and their hair relaxed, as they floated down the runway in sheer printed kaftans and killer heels. 13 cm high heels designed by Carlotta Gherzi herself were encrusted with gems matching the clothes. The next pieces were as functional as they were pretty; metallic jackets, striped leggings and light-as-air summer dresses. The organic form of the prints working perfectly with the movement of fabric and model.

Carlotta Gherzi SS12 floaty dresses

The next few outfits broke with the black, white, neutral and periwinkle blue we’d seen so far, and as they boldly clashed in shades of tangerine and that particularly vibrant shade of purple that some people mistake for blue.

Carlotta Gherzi SS12 purple and orange

The pieces combined structural, body-con elements, with free flowing drapes of sheer fabric, and asymmetry was a reoccurring theme. As different as Carlotta Gherzi‘s pieces were, they were all uniquely flattering to the female form.

Carlotta Gherzi SS12 black orange and purpleCarlotta Gherzi SS12 final dress

The printed chiffon layers of a full-length gown wafted down the catwalk and, with that, the show was over. Afterwards Carlotta Gherzi was kind of enough to answer a few of my questions, and I will be revealing the answers shortly.

Carlotta Gherzi last dress close up

Categories ,Body Shop, ,British Museum, ,Carlotta Gherzi, ,Carlotta Gherzi for SADO, ,Catwalk review, ,Emma Block, ,fashion, ,Faye West, ,Greene and Sheppard PR, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,review, ,S/S 2012, ,spring summer collection, ,Swarovski, ,The Body Shop, ,Triassic Glamour, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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