Last week, I sat down with Macy’s Fashion Director Nicole Fischelis as she ever-so-casually picked up the phone for a brief chat with Giambattista Valli -- modern genius in the art of couture and highly sought-after designer among the red carpet crowd. That’s right, the two go way back. Or, as the super-chic Fischelis put it, “Back to his Ungaro days” politely offering me a bite of her morning pastry...
If you look up “exquisite style” in the dictionary (or good manners for that matter), there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find a picture of Fischelis. Every pleat of her jacket? Impeccably placed. Her makeup? Flawless. Not to mention, this woman’s resume reads like a roster of shows during Paris Fashion Week.
But despite her many accomplishments and her enviable je ne sais quois, there was something both she and Valli possessed that was impossible to ignore: an all-consuming love of clothing.
Listening to them speak, there was none of that Devil Wears Prada attitude so often portrayed in the fashion industry. Instead, I heard two people connecting, talking passionately, about dresses and fabrics and their friends’ most recent shows – because that, clearly, is what they live for. And, after having had a sneak peek at Giambattista’s latest collection I thought to myself, thank goodness for that.
Here, a little snippet from their exchange:
NF: When did you first realize that fashion was your calling?
GBV: When I was 7 years old, very, very young. I remember watching this Italian show on TV every Saturday night. The showgirls wore glamorous costumes with feathers & sequins but the program was in black & white. So the next morning, I would wake up and try to sketch in color what I had seen. That is when I knew.
NF: Tell me about your inspiration for the new Macy’s Impulse Collection...
GBV: The designs are all a part of my DNA – the same material that inspires my Paris collections. It’s all about the glamorous Valli girl in their party dresses. These dresses that are like items to be collected, collectibles.
NF: You speak a lot about glamour, what is it that you feel makes a woman glamorous?
GBV: Glamour to me is in the body language of a woman. The confidence that is, for instance, seen by the man standing next to her. This is the confidence that he can see through her body language.
My grandmother used to always say that, “to be glamorous you should always wear the wrong things in the right places, and the right things in the wrong places”. It’s all about breaking the rules but still maintaining a balance.
NF: Is that your favorite word, “glamour?” If not, what is?
GBV: Allure. The word “allure” is my favorite word.
NF: And your least favorite?
GBV: The term “good taste”. Everything is about nuance.
NF: If you had to pick your most prized possession, what would it be?
GBV: My passion. My passion for fashion. I know you were probably looking for a material thing, but this is the case.
NF: So then, if you were not a Fashion Designer, then what would you be?
GBV: A rock star! Not a pop star, a rock star.
Don’t miss the Giambattista Valli for Impulse launch at Macy’s Herald Square Wednesday, October 26th at 6:00 pm – it’s your chance to meet Giambattista in person and shop the collection before anyone else!