By Asma and Reem

Pamela Costantini Fall/Winter 2015/2016: Italian Sole

Already garnering attention from the fashion industry itself, Italian designer Pamela Costantini offers finished luxe with the Fall/Winter 2015/2016 collection from her eponymous label. The designer offers elegant and versatile shoes, ranging from nude brogues and black sandals to red-hot satin ankle boots. Consider her multi-cultural background a cause to initiate a modern appeal without compromising style. Costantini founded her eponymous label after collaborating with Italian bijoux company Schield. 

WVF: Tell us about yourself.

Pamela Costantini: I was born in Rome and lived between Ecuador and Italy. I used to play in my mother's studio, where she worked in fashion and made costumes for theatres. I was also in love with saddles and my father's equestrian boots, which prompted me to study shoes and accessories design. After working in London for two years, I moved to Florence to work for Roberto Cavalli where I am still working as a shoe designer.

WVF: How would you define your brand's aesthetic?

Pamela Costantini: The passion for handcrafted shoes details, with a graphic, modern, and sensual design. My designs are both tough and elegant - something for confident women who aren't afraid to stand out.

WVF: Describe you Fall/Winter 2015/2016 collection.

Pamela Costantini: It's inspired by the new wave of rock music from the 80's. The latest collection has a square-masculine toe; we proposed 4 different styles: a sandal, a D'Orsay, a boot, and a brogue. The leather used is a very luxurious baby-calf in black and nude in contrast with a laminated leather that gave the collection the same spirit of the female protagonists; rock singers of the 70's/80's from which the shoes' names are inspired. The satin is used in both during the daytime and also in the evening, and it's also combined with the laminated gold leather giving a special choice to the client. 

WVF: Where are the shoes manufactured?

Pamela Costantini: The shoes are made in Italy, in Riviera del Brenta where most of the luxury brands create their shoes.

WVF: What is it like working as a design team?

Pamela Costantini: I can't deny that it was very hard at the beginning to tell people what to do, because I'm a workaholic and I have to have everything under control but I'm learning to slow down and trust people... It's amazing when you realise working with great people who believe in your project can really make a difference. 

WVF: What can we expect form you next collection?

Pamela Costantini: Light and colours - laser cuts inspired by plants, leaves and glossy materials. It's a funnier collection but has a touch of 70's with the greatest handcrafted details. 

Images courtesy of Pamela Costantini.

Pick of the Week: Fendi Peekaboo

Our obsession with Fendi's Peekaboo bag started ever since it came out, but then it started to die out a little bit. This year, our obsession for it revived. The entire summer we've been fantasizing Fendi's "mini" peekaboo bag, and then we came across this. Though it is not in the mini size, this Peekaboo bag compromises of patent leather and suede. Now that is a lovely combination isn't it? We believe that the colour combination is perfect! We would love to see more of the same bag in different shades though. What do you think?

Ingenious Fashion: Paolo Sebastian

Modern haute couture is intent on penetrating the industry, and in the city of Adelaide a prominent couture house is swiftly making the rounds. Paolo Sebastian, founded by Paul Vasileff, is a brand emulating a heavenly aesthetic. Like other couturiers, Vasileff's focus on embroidery and sheer garments sets a high note for the Australian brand - every fantasy of a gown comes true with Paolo Sebastian.

"The nightingale sings a song so sweet and true, pale moonlight draped upon her shoulders"

For Paolo Sebastian's Spring/Summer 2015 collection, the nightingale served as muse for the designer. The passerine bird is widely known for its compelling song, a charming tune that is translated into the theme of the collection. Accordingly, feathered embellishments were a main feature that emphasised on the folktales surrounding the beauty of the nightingale. Vasileff offers a fine aesthetic and a rich colour palette that captures the essence of the season, while also focusing on the graceful silhouette of the gowns.

I really wanted to show what we are capable of. I sketched all of the embroideries myself and was so excited to push our craftsmanship into the next level. To me that is what couture is about,
— Paul Vasileff

The collection's campaign gave off an ethereal feeling, the gowns blending in with the location, which was set in the Adelaide Hills. "It was a little bit rainy on the day and that added a great sense of drama to that location," said Vasileff. "The folktales of the nightingale tell the story of this beautiful creature, with a sense of magic and a bit of solemn ending. The outdoor shoot really captured the mystery and drama that we wanted the collection to have." It looks like the designer's own story of the collection was like watching a theatrical play unfolding before our eyes. 

Images courtesy of Paolo Sebastian.

IAMMAI: Native Grandeur

Modern tailoring and clean cuts piece together the IAMMAI identity - an upcoming brand based in Dubai. Founded by Mai Al-Budoor, the brand is renowned for its timelessness and remarkable take on quality. With her background in art, architecture, interiors, and graphic design, IAMMAI is a self-expression of how the designer incorporates these mediums to create an elegant juxtaposition of modesty and minimalism.



WVF: Tell us about IAMMAI.

IAMMAI: IAMMAI is an experimental fashion brand based on capsule collections. It was created in 2014 as an experiment by juxtaposing art and minimalism into modest fashion. 

WVF: How would you define the brand's aesthetic?

IAMMAI: Minimalism, femininity, and modesty are the main elements in the brand's experiments.

WVF: Describe Experiment 2.

IAMMAI: It's an expression of the beauty within strength. Inspired by marble architecture and feminism, Experiment2 is a portrayal of strong women who do not need much to conceal their personality. The concept behind the collection is a lot like marble, which is an element of timelessness, luxury & utmost beauty. What marble and women have in common is their strength, resilience, grace and beauty. Experiment2 consists of 10 streamlined looks that incorporate a silky strong material, and pleats to express elements of minimal beauty, architecture, and elegance.

WVF: Where are the fabrics manufactured?

IAMMAI: The fabrics we have used in our experiments so far have been locally sourced. We also treat and alter the fabric from its original condition so that it fulfills our experiments' concept. 


WVF: What is it like working as a design team?

IAMMAI: There isn't much of a design team in IAMMAI, I prefer designing and developing the experiments by myself, just as an artist would create a self portrait. Such a process rarely requires a team. However, I do consult my sister Meera when I get a designer's block. Sometimes she would tell me things like "This is not so you", as she knows my style and aesthetic, and always steers me back towards my true self when I feel stuck.

WVFRecent contemporary brands are emerging in the region. How does IAMMAI differentiate itself from the rest?

IAMMAI: Before I started designing(as a part of my research process), I looked to the emerging designers' collections, to know what trends are going on in the region. However I studied these trends not to apply them to my collection, but to actually avoid them. I AM MAI, as the name notes, is a self expression, and a self portrait, this is where my background in art comes in. I like to create, and express; not to follow what everyone else is doing. I think this is what makes IAMMAI different.

WVF: Who would you like to see in IAMMAI?

IAMMAI: It always honours me when people who have a similar style to mine wear IAMMAI. But it would be exciting for me to see people who I aspire to in terms of style to wear IAMMAI. I would love to see the likes of Miroslava Duma, Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific, Peony Lim, Ulyana Sergeenko or Denni Elias of Chic muse, in IAMMAI. That would have me over the moon!

WVF: Any future plans we can look forward to?

IAMMAI: Experiment3. It is slowly coming together, and the fabric I've chosen this time is quite different, and that scares me. But don't they say "if it doesn't scare you, it's not worth doing"? So I'm currently scared as much as I'm excited! 

Images courtesy of IAMMAI.

Spot the Similarity: No.21 X Tibi Sandals

One definite fact about this Spring/Summer 2015 season: No.21's duchesse satin mules were an all-star hit. There's no doubt Alessandro Dell'Acqua's genius skills with the footwear were drawn to perfection; something the industry itself hasn't witnessed beforehand. It's no wonder that other brands such as Uterqüe decided to imitate and follow suit, which is what you'd usually expect from the latter. Another brand that decided to join the trend is Tibi, imitating a good deal of Dell'Acqua's design save for the colour and point-toe detail. Now No.21's flat version is priced at $477, while the mule is at $588. As for Tibi, the shoes retail at $425. If it came down to choosing, we'd undeniably go with the original. Now they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but for Tibi it's absolutely not a show for innovation.