24 posts tagged "Alberta Ferretti"
Emma Watson—when she’s not busy making Harry Potter flicks, creating mini Internet firestorms by cutting her hair into a Mia Farrow crop, speaking as the face of Lancôme, or attending Brown University—is also a committed environmentalist. After working with People Tree, the English fair-trade fashion company, on a collection for several seasons, Watson branched to debut Pure Threads with designer Alberta Ferretti. (Part of the proceeds from Pure Threads will also benefit People Tree.) The five-piece capsule collection, Ferretti says, is “like a mini wardrobe,” one that consists of two lace dresses, a cotton skirt, a muslin long-sleeved shirt, and a pair of embroidered denim shorts, all made according to principles of eco-friendliness and sustainability. The Pure Threads collection (below) is now on sale at AlbertaFerretti.com. Below, Mrs. Ferretti spoke with Style.com on Watson’s sophisticated style, their collaboration, and her own long-standing environmentalism.
How did you come to work with Emma Watson?
Emma and I have a long relationship that dates back to when I dressed her for the promotion of her first Harry Potter film. Since then, we have been in touch and I was very struck by her collaboration with People Tree. I think she is very serious, intelligent, and extremely talented. She was an obvious choice for me on this project as we share a deep sensibility for the green cause.
How would you describe her style? How did it gel with your own aesthetic?
Emma is a fresh, serene, and intelligent young woman who has a very sophisticated style. She is a young woman who lives life to the full: She is dedicated professionally, involved socially, and is intriguing and cool. We both wanted the collection to be easy to wear and accessible to a wide range of the public. The main inspiration that came directly from Emma was the Jane Birkin mood, typical of London in the late 1970′s, which came when she saw [my] Spring ’11 collection. However, the collection shows the unmistakable feminine and romantic style of Alberta Ferretti. The two came together in the shared concept of feminine style.
Has ecological fashion been a long-term goal of yours?
Concerns with the environment have always been important to me, and over the years I have been involved in a number of projects. I was born near the sea, I live surrounded by nature, and I am particularly close to the environment and sensitive to ecological problems. The event that made me really think was the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster off the American coast last year. As a designer I felt it was important for me to create a line of clothing that would demonstrate my commitment to eco-friendly principles. The materials used for this collection are entirely organic, and every process is environmentally friendly, from the growing of the cotton down to the dyeing of the fabrics.
Designers design. Photographers photograph. Models model. That much—in broad strokes, at least—is clear. But what about the artists, technicians, and industry insiders, often unpublicized and underappreciated, who help to get clothes and accessories made and shown? Call them Behind-the-Scenesters: people who shape our experience of fashion but never take a bow on the catwalk or strike a pose for the camera. Without them—from pattern-makers to production designers—the show wouldn’t go on. And in a new series, Style.com sits down with a few of these pros to find out, basically, what they do.
Mary Howard is the set designer on virtually every key fashion photographer’s speed dial. She’s the consummate background professional, literally—she creates the mise-en-scène of a shoot. Howard (left works regularly with Steven Meisel, Annie Leibovitz, and Steven Klein, among others, and her sets range as widely as her collaborators’ styles. She does dazzlingly elaborate (Leibovitz’s 2008 Wizard of Oz shoot starring Keira Knightley), and she can make a set virtually invisible, too (Meisel’s Spring ’10 Prada campaign.) On any given day, you can find Howard mottling the gray backdrop at a studio shoot or packing up a selection of Art Deco lamps headed off on location. Here, she talks to Style.com about working with the masters, how much stuff is too much stuff, and learning when to leave the bobby pins in.
So, Mary: In one sentence, what do you do?
I call myself a set designer for print. Could be editorial, could be ads. In movies, they call someone like me a production designer; in fashion, the name “set designer” has stuck but it doesn’t entirely describe the job. There’s a lot of art direction involved; it’s not just about picking out a rug. But I guess if I have to boil down my job description to one sentence, I’d say—I create the world around the girl. I don’t have anything to do with the model, but I shape the physical environment that surrounds her and help the photographer and the stylist and everyone else involved with the shoot tell the right story and make the girl pop.
Why do you think the fashion industry has shied away from the title “production designer”?
I think some of it has to do with the fact that this is still an emerging field. It barely existed when I moved to New York; it wasn’t until recently that my studio even began getting credits in magazine. I work quite a bit with Grace Coddington at Vogue, and she’ll tell stories about sending her assistants out to just, you know, grab a chair. Or the photographer would send his assistant out to pick up props.
How did you get into set design?
I grew up in New Orleans, and after I got my MFA, I went back down there to build Mardi Gras floats. Then I came to New York City and built floats for the Macy’s parade. I was always making things—I’d make props for Saturday Night Live, for instance. Eventually I began working with a set designer—this was about 20 years ago, and it’s possible that she was the only one. We began working with Richard Avedon, and that led to other photographers and editors seeking us out. Then I went out on my own. Honestly, I feel like a grandma in this field.
What’s an average workday like for you?
I think that, like a lot of people in fashion, I do what I do because there isn’t really “an average day.” There are days on set, and there are prep days that involve a lot of thinking or researching or pounding the pavement looking at stuff. So there’s a routine, but the work itself is so dependent on the assignment—if I’m working with Annie, her process is totally different from, say, Steven Meisel’s process. Continue Reading “Behind-The-Scenesters: Mary Howard” »
Fashion favorites the XX (pictured) hit the cover of April’s Dazed & Confused this month. In the accompanying video, styled by Dazed‘s Robbie Spencer, they turn slowly and blurrily to tunes from their debut album. In fairness, there’s really no other way to move to that music. [Dazed]
The Times declares Assembly to be one of the best-stocked men’s stores in New York. In hearty agreement: Robert Geller, who has curated his own mini “Key Shop” at the boutique, where his own clothes, Joseph Beuys art books, and copies of Me magazine are currently sharing the space. [NYT]
Yet another nude photo of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is going on the auction block in London tomorrow. Ho hum. Wake us up when a clothed photo of the French first lady goes on sale. [Page Six]
And Alberta Ferretti is soon bringing her namesake and Philosophy lines online for e-commerce. Philosophically, we’re in favor. [Racked]
Cate Blanchett is one of the all-time greats when it comes to red-carpet style. She usually nails it (we’ll look past the ill-received gold fringed Balenciaga gown worn at the 2007 Costume Institute Gala), even at events that are not exactly high-profile. For the 30th anniversary of SKII skincare in Tokyo, the actress—who is also a brand ambassador—wore a scarlet Alberta Ferretti shift with beaded shoulders, which she accessorized with a neat teased ‘do. Judging by images of other honorees in similarly hued frocks, the color might have been a requirement. We think the entire look is tough-chic done right. What about you? Is there another red dress you would have picked for her instead?