Interview with Designer Rosaria
one thing constant about fashion is change,
and up and coming young Canadian designer
Rosaria Lamanna is leading with way with
her modernist and innovative fashions.
This month, LifeTools Magazine caught
up with Ms. Lamanna at a trunk show at
"Presenting Italy" in Calgary,
Canada, to interview her about her newest
line of clothing.
(LifeTools Fashion Writer Juliana Day): What is the
process is getting out your fashion lines?
(Rosaria Lamanna): It's pretty involved because
you're producing everything from beginning to end.
It starts with designing and producing your logo to
designing, perfecting and producing the product in
volume. It has been a wonderful experience. I went
down to New York for the first season, and it has
been growing ever since.
(left) with Presenting Italy
owner Diane Hobson
When was your last show and where was it?
The last couple of seasons, we have been showing out of
the Millennium Broadway Hotel. We set up a suite and invited
our customers and the press. During New York fashion week,
we invited all the New York editors.
Which Canadian stores carry your line?
In Calgary, Presenting Italy. In Edmonton, Blu's Women's
Wear. And in Toronto, Joy Cherry and Urban Woman. We also
distribute across the states in specialty boutiques.
What is your target audience for this collection?
The collection is luxurious - it is really about understated
opulence. It consists of wonderful fabrics that we import
from Italy or France. All the fabrics are exclusive to us.
To me, the definition of luxury is that first of all, the
clothes have to feel beautiful against the skin. Then the
clothes must flatter the female form.
really conscious about proportion - about really making
a woman feel beautiful. I love playing with colors; it's
a lot of sophisticated combining of textures and playing
with interesting colors.
knitwear out of Italy. Then there are real focus items.
For example, a special coat that you can dress up or down
- like a crinkled velvet coat that has an antique quality
to it, but has a wonderful print with all these rich textures.
idea behind our clothes is that lifestyles are so demanding
that clothes have to be able to work, travel and play so
that you can wear a couple of pieces during the day, then
in the evening change the top to something pretty and funky,
making the outfit interesting for the evening. That is the
key to the collection.
I noticed that you have "Inspiration Photos".
Can you explain how they have inspired you?
Sometimes it's the proportions that inspire me; sometimes
it's the color pallet that inspires me. I was craving dark,
inky colors. In this case I wanted to evolve that into what
I call, "Black Current". You see a lot of slouchy,
belted or lower-waisted styles.
is also an evening wear section that has a wonderful sequined
dress. At the same time, I don't like to do stereotypical
evening wear. So you combine a sequined skirt with a wool
turtle neck sweater and wear a cool pair of tight black
boots with it. The idea is to make it interesting. You're
getting a lot of wear out of your clothes and are really
Have you always wanted to be a designer?
My first inspiration was growing up around my parent's
fabric business. They had a retail shop in Toronto for over
40 years. So I grew up seeing interesting and exclusive
fabrics. That grew on me - a real appreciation of weaves
and textures of colors and nuances in colors. At a very
young age, too, I was sewing. I wanted original things and
I loved hand-stitched details or things that gave clothes
soul or personality.
What is your educational background?
I went to school in Istituto Marangoni in Milan. It was
two blocks away from Milan's fashion district. The school
had a wonderful reputation - Dolce & Gabbana graduated
from Istituto Marangoni. The school has been around since
What is the prerequisite to admission in this school?
You have to present a portfolio. At the time I had gone
to the University of Toronto and got a B.A. in Economics.
That must be helpful in your current endeavor.
It certainly is helpful and I'm grateful that I did
get it (the B.A. in Economics). At the time I was racking
my brain thinking, "What did I get myself into"?
But in the end I realized it was worthwhile.
graduating from U of T, I decided I wanted to try out fashion
design. I looked into different schools. I finally decided
on Marangoni because I wanted the opportunity to immerse
myself in another culture. Not only that, you immerse yourself
in another language. I loved the opportunity of being in
a fashion capital where they have a long tradition of innovation
whether it is in textiles or design. It was pretty wonderful!
there you have it! Child of fabric store owner
turns economist turns fashion designer. Keep
your eyes on Rosaria. She is young, she is talented,
she is Canadian and she is going places!