FEATURE PERFECT: A TALK WITH ALESSANDRA RICH
Italian-born, London-based Alessandra Rich believes in being contemporary without bending to trends, a formula she masters brilliantly and effortlessly with the right dose of class and sass.
Convinced that “conservatism is sexy and vice versa,” this self-taught designer and avid art collector thinks that melding the two is more a question of attitude than balance. “I always believe that it is the woman that makes the difference,” she notes.
It’s no surprise then that her muses are of the Marie-Antoinette-meets-Kim-Kardashian variety with a roster of inspiring women that includes silver screen divas, Russian skaters, the Boldini woman and Eighties Soap Opera heroines. In short, a blend of bag girls and bon ton ladies.
Her creative process is defined by many elements, from observation to experimentation, ultimately building a solid project infused with a sense, style and passion, of course.
The svelte and chic designer is particularly fascinated by the contemporary era for its capacity to change, for the energy it radiates and for its difficult interpretation. “In my collections, there are often elements of fascination that come from the past but that I always try to make contemporary,” she says.
Indeed. Her impeccably-fashioned collections brim with charm via colorful lace, hints of lamé, puffed sleeves, high necks, cascades of ruffles and prized materials, with a little drama and flash tossed in between. Rich creates the perfect all-occasion wardrobe for self-assured women both sexy and understated. In-control fashion aficionados that are never victims. Or, in her words, “A universal woman, intelligent, sure of herself, someone who enjoys fashion.”
Despite her success, Rich remains down-to-earth and hands-on in developing her collections, from sourcing textiles to overseeing the look books. Obviously, she is aware of the challenges in being a fashion designer today and what it takes to “maintain your identity without being boring.” “It’s important to reconsider your own rules as a designer, researching an equilibrium between creativity and product,” she stresses.
Driven by word-of-mouth success, over the years, Rich has become one of the go-to designers for A-listers with fans including Diane Kruger, Rihanna, Meryl Streep, Olivia Wilde and Adriana Lima. Pop diva Beyoncé wore an ornate white lace tiered dress in her controversial music video Formation.