August 23 2014

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4 posts tagged "Nicolas Caito"

Prabal Gurung’s Fashion Week Diary


In the lead-up to New York fashion week, designers go through hundreds of behind-the-scenes preparations to arrive at the completed show. This NYFW, we’ve sweet-talked a few of them into giving us an exclusive peek behind the curtain as they cast, score, style, and ready their presentations. Next up: Prabal Gurung.

“It’s all about the details—the perfect draping and fit is crucial to each and every piece. I had [patternmaker] Nicolas Caito come in and work his brilliance. And the blush pink color of this dress…well, kind of makes me blush!” Continue Reading “Prabal Gurung’s Fashion Week Diary” »

Behind-The-Scenesters: Nicolas Caito


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 patternmakers to production designers—the show wouldn’t go on. And in our recurring series, sits down with a few of these pros to find out, basically, what they do.

Maybe the best way to understand the role Nicolas Caito plays in the design process is to think about him as a secret weapon. A coterie of designers come to Caito (left) each season, bearing sketches of their most complex designs, and Caito turns their visions into runway reality. He’s a patternmaker—modeliste, in the jargon. That may sound technical, and it is, but one has only to see the way Caito makes, say, the ruffles on a gown seem as light as a soufflé to comprehend that there’s an art to what he does, as well. Designers such as Prabal Gurung seek him out for a reason. Here, Caito talks to about the art of the cut, his part in the creative process, and the designer he’s dying to work with.

So, Nicolas: In one sentence, what do you do?
I am basically the hands of the designer. The designer creates the sketch, and I help translate that sketch into reality, into volume. I deal with all the technical problems and create the prototype of a garment. The designer is the architect. I’m his engineer.

How did you get into doing what you do?
In France, where I’m from, this is the kind of job you start when you’re young. I didn’t. I was studying international trade, and then, I really don’t know how else to say it, one day this work became a calling to me. Maybe it’s in the blood—I’m from a family of tailors and cutters. But I hadn’t been into fashion at all, until then. I went to my uncle, who has a shop in Marseilles that sells luxury men’s goods, and he took me into the back, to train me. He showed me how to sew, how to alter a jacket. Then he sent me to Paris to work with Lanvin. I was to train for three months, and at the end Lanvin offered me an apprenticeship. I was there for eight years. Then I went to Hermès, when it was designed by [Martin] Margiela; I came to New York, to work at Bill Blass, and then returned to Paris to manage the sample room at Rochas, under Olivier Theyskens. Then, about five years ago now, I came back to New York to establish my own studio. Continue Reading “Behind-The-Scenesters: Nicolas Caito” »

Erro’s Team Spirit


“The best executive,” Theodore Roosevelt once said, “is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done.” Anna Larson is a case in point: The designer of the new line Erro has taken an executive approach to the launch of her brand. Larson, who moved to New York three years ago from Sweden, is culling the talents of the city’s fashion community in order to implement her vision of beautifully made, no-fuss clothes for modern nomads. Ex-Eventide designer Christian Stroble has been helping Larson pull together the looks to be debuted at Erro’s fashion week presentation in September. Modéliste Nicolas Caito is making the patterns. Jewelry designer Bliss Lau has helped hand-stamp the leather—one of several leather treatments that define both the handwork focus and urbane point of view of the Erro brand. Elsewhere, leather is hand-distressed, hand-woven, and hand-knotted into latticelike tunics that, worn over a corset-inspired top and a pair of buckle-detailed skinny pants, look like what Mad Max’s girlfriend would wear out to the Jane. “I wanted the line to be really crafted,” explains Larson. “But for all the work and all the detail, I didn’t want the garments to feel complicated. Everything had to be layer-able and easy to wear.”

Joseph Altuzarra: A Reason To Look Forward To Fashion Week


Joseph Altuzarra’s résumé may be short, but it packs a solid one-two-three punch: six-month internship at Marc Jacobs, freelance design assistant for Proenza Schouler, and former assistant to New York’s premier modéliste Nicolas Caito. That’s the CV in a nutshell, which all leads up to part four: designer for his eponymous line launched for Spring 2009. Given his pedigree, it should come as no surprise that Altuzarra’s name has emerged as fashion’s new one to know. Yet the designer himself is still nonplussed by the attention. “I never planned to work in fashion,” explains Altuzarra, who was born and raised in France and moved to the U.S. to study at Swarthmore. “I was an art history major who sent his résumé to Marc Jacobs on a whim. I feel like I’ve spent the past few years playing catch-up, learning what goes into making a dress.” Continue Reading “Joseph Altuzarra: A Reason To Look Forward To Fashion Week” »