Tia Cibani is one of those emerging designers whose collections produce such excitement from critics and buyers we could hardly wait to know what was in the works for the upcoming season. Not surprisingly we were thrilled when a couple of weeks ago we were invited to meet Cibani in her Meatpacking studio for a sneak peak at her Fall 2014 collection.
Can you tell us about your inspiration for this season?
For the FW14 collection, my inspiration was not coming to me as naturally as it does most times. I was struggling to find a strong pull in any one direction so I sort of just let it ride. Rather than beginning with a clear vision and a firm color palette, I started with visiting all of my favorite textile suppliers. I was drawn to all of the texture and color and still could not find one single direction to center me. I then said that maybe this season, my girl is a sort of magpie, one who embraces it all and is not shy to mix it all up? I then thought of my favorite style icon and fashion magpie, Iris Apfel. I have always admired her courage and iconic style of dressing and here was my chance to reference her. She became my muse, as I began to research her life story and her passions, I realized that she has much in common with me. Her commitment to textile weavers of the Middle East and North Africa hit home with me. I then turned to the idea of east meets west and took further inspiration from Turkey. That led me to the Dervish and the graceful silhouette of the costume for their whirling ceremony and it continued from there becoming a tapestry of tart colors, rich textures, blurred prints and pleated shine.
What is it about Iris Apfel that you admire most?
What I admire most about Iris Apfel is her long commitment to textiles and her confidence with color. She once said that she could never be an urban black widow that she could never live without color and that is so me!
What message do you hope someone like her can transmit to others about your FW14 collection?
Through Iris, I hope to transmit a message of confidence, femininity, texture and courageous color.
We are loving your hand pleated invitations. How long did each of these take?
The hand-pleated invitations all in all, took 5 days to pleat. They were sent through the pleating process in bunches at a time so it is hard to say how long each one took, but it was definitely a labor of love. LOVE for pleats!
Is there a lot of pleating in this collection? Who are the craftsmen behind it and what made you choose them?
There is quite a lot of pleating in this collection. I continue to be more and more experimental with pleating now that I have found two amazing artisans on 36th St. A father and son team that go by the name Tom’s and Sons International Pleating. Destiny brought us together. I have been intimidated by pleating in the past, not approaching it for fear of not knowing how to deal with seams and finishing hems to make it look modern and current. A year ago, I was looking for a pleating source that could pleat one simple shell top for me. I met George and Leon by word of mouth through a samplemaker I was working with…and the rest is history.
Do you have a secret to staying so calm and organized leading up to fashion week?
No secrets for staying calm during fashion week…I don’t think that I am calm at all. I drink more coffee than ever, eat less regularly than ever, sleep less than ever….I do indulge in a glass or two of red wine at the end of each day to help unwind.
Photo credit: Adele Godfrey