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Elisa Palomino

Wednesday 12 October 2011
Words Spindle

Image by Kris Mitchell

Throughout my time of writing at spindle magazine, there has been very few times when i have witnessed the poetry of a designers creative work, translate into their thinking, their speech and their frame of mind.

Elisa palomino is one of these rare creatures who i have had an eloquent dialogue with which proves there is no barrier between her creativity and her daily life. She is her designs and vice versa, however what would you expect from the woman who was appointed head of studio at the romantic house of john galliano? With the beating drum of fashion quieting down after many a fashion week, seeing the highs and lows of what s/s 2012 has to offer, i spoke to elisa about debuting her work at london fashion week, working at the most prestigious fashion houses, her upbringing and surprisingly fairies!

How did it feel showcasing your collection at something as huge as london fashion week? 
It was really touching! I felt very protected by all my st martins teachers and ex interns, as well as all my artist friends, it was a sort of welcoming party

What was the inspiration behind your spring/summer 2012 collection? 
The spring 12 collection was inspired by the victorian fairy painting movement, a new kind of poetic history painting, rich in nostalgia for a vanishing way of life. On these paintings a magic world full of naked phantasies whispers, ‘it’s fairyful there!’ …But who could dream such phantasies if not the victorian age ?

Describe the key features of your collection? 
The collection starts with black stiff victorian shapes, taffetas and leathers, followed by mourning gowns and redingotes but whose sharply cut flowers and butterflies suddenly lift the dresses up, revealing transparently that all mourning shall cease. An uplifted nature crawls into the headpieces with an explosion of birds and butterflies all in pre-raphaelite metalwork. Nymphs dance in their flowing robes, free and wild, running in debauchery.

A murmur of butterflies flitters over light blue organza shades and from some little distance appear ivory coloured lotus flowers, delicately embroidered into the waves of horizontally suspended fringes, an iridescent sea full of wondering water-spirits, a chinese fairy-tale of floating pagodas with tea houses all around. Lilies and hummingbirds on translucent fairy robes, drizzles of a million bugle beads, under ivorian tulle clouds on the enchanted fields.

What do think gives London Fashion Week its edge on the other fashion capitals? 
There is a constant renewal of designers, fresh young blood and the best graduates leaving college and presenting the most challenging collections. This kind of energy you don’t find it anywhere else.

What have you been listening to whilst spending what i can assume as many a night at the sewing machine? 
All my renaissance and barroque music: monteverdi, haendel, purcell and some of the romantic fairy music for the show.

Who do you consider to be your fashion pioneer? 
John Galliano, of course

I read you were inspired to go into fashion through exploring your grandmothers attic, tell me more…
I was born into a family of fashion  devotees. My great grandmother  attended private couture shows already and i inheritated her huge collection of fringed piano shawls . I was a very quiet child and my favorite game was to dress up at my grandmother’s attic , with fabulous hats, chinese robes and bright coloured flower prints…a dream to any child’s  fantasies.

Having worked at an amazing array of fashion houses from cavalli to dior, to being the head of studio at John Galliano, what would you say was the most import rule in design you learnt from these prestigious houses? 
I learnt everything about the fashion business at moschino and i made my most important connections with all the industry. With john i learnt that there was no limits in fashion, that creativity has no boundaries and he pushed me to unkwown worlds to me until then.

Do they still inspire your creations now? 
Of course! They are part of my legacy as a designer. There is always some of the wittiness of moschino clothes in my collections. John’s romanticism is also a part of my universe and all the couture techniques i learnt at dior are somehow translated in my collection.

Being the head of studio at Galliano, it would be impossible for me not to ask about your thoughts on the whole mess dior has created at Galliano’s expense? 
I love john and i will always  be on his side. He is a wonderful human beign as well as the most talented designer of our century.

What has been your proudest moment in fashion?
My first show in new york for fall 1o  was very touching, after all the hard work, when i saw the girls on the backstage , they look exactly how i have dreamt them..

What’s next for Elisa Palomino? 
I would love to work in the opera, making costumes for some of my favorite barroque operas and divine soprano’s that i admire so much!

Finally spindle magazine is all about emerging talent, what piece of advice would you give to the future design talent out there? 
It is always really important to learn from the big ones. Make your mistakes with them so by the time you do your own thing those mistakes won’t cost you as much. Experience and patience are two rare qualities that a designer should always have.

View our Elisa Palomino LFW gallery HERE