brazilian babe barbara casasola, bringing classy back to fashion
With six days and counting until Womenswear starts, we've made a ones-to-watch fashion casserola, next up? Barbara Casasola!
Barbara Casasola spring/summer 14
Brazilian babe Barbara Casasola was blessed with both brains and beauty. Studying Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins and Instituto Marangoni in Milan, she graduated top of the class in 2007. Post working for big names Roberto Cavalli, Lanvin and See by Chloé, she branched out on her own, setting up her namesake label and making her fashion week debut last September in London. She counts Jamie Bochert as her (naked) muse and her latest showcase, a capsule collection of 'Menswear for Women' in Pitti, saw the model projected on all the walls of her colourful setting alongside hedonistic, romantic phrases such as "it's too beautiful here to get any work done." Too true Miss Casasola.
What were your references for your 'Menswear for Women' collection?
I'm interested in opposites and menswear versus womenswear must be one of the oldest in fashion. In Brazil, where I was born and raised, we have a strong modernist tradition that plays very much on this contrast of pragmatic masculinity and sensual femininity. This is something that informs my work overall, so this capsule collection for Pitti was a nice opportunity to make more of a point of it.
What is it you like about the idea of women wearing men's clothing?
It's not any kind of a-sexual or transgendered statement. It's more about a certain attitude that evokes a strong sense of sensuality and power. I guess I also think that women wear menswear better than men.
Are you more of a girly-girl or a tom-boy?
More granny-gran, I suppose.
What is it about Jamie Bochert that makes her your muse?
My thinking isn't really driven by a one-woman-muse ideal. People see Jamie as a strong and complex woman and that helps to make the point.
How did it feel showing at London Fashion Week as a new designer back in September?
The British Fashion Council has been hugely supportive and it's great to be able to show on schedule in what is now my home city. The show experience also really helps to inform the work.
Can you give us any clues as to what the next collection will include?
As a capsule, the Pitti Guest Designer collection was mostly an exercise on tailored separates and a stepping stone to introducing a fuller wardrobe into my main collections.
How does it feel when you see stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow wearing your designs?
I love it.
Who is the ultimate Barbara Casasola woman?
There's something subversive about formality these days, so I think my woman has a certain attitude and confidence.
Describe your aesthetic in five words...
I can do it in two: Pared-back and sensual.
What are your top three movies for style inspiration?
There are so many inspiring movies. The video I did with Jamie Bochert had a disconnected series of quotations I drew from Nouvelle Vague cinema, which I love. It made for this absurd dialogue that somehow evoked the right attitude. The video had virtually no clothes, so it was really just about focusing on that side of the story.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
On the beach.
Text Felicity Kinsella