Each of the designers that were showcased at Chictopia 10 had their own, unique vibe. When the ladies of Alexandra Grecco took center stage, it was like a fragrant spring breeze entered the room leaving a wake a flower petals and these nymph-like creatures. I won’t ask how they braved the NYC cold in lacy onesies, but from my view: it was worth it. Meet the lovely mind behind the beautiful line, modeled here by Hannah of Hannah and Landon…
When did you first start designing and/or sewing?
When I was pretty young. My mom sewed a lot when I was growing up so I picked up a few tricks from her. My first design I remember creating and being particularly enthusiastic about, was a newsprint paper shoe held together with giant staples – made for pure comfort and practicality, obviously.
Has your style or aesthetic changed over the years?
Yes, though I’ve always favored vintage. When I was a teenager I was definitely a mod 60’s kid of gal, wearing shift dresses that were probably too short and tacky knee high boots to school. It seems to me that my inspirations gradually go down by decades. Right now I’m really into the 1920’s-40’s. Perhaps when I reach an advanced age, I’ll favor biblical times and dress like a coquettish Moses.
Who is the Alexandra Grecco girl you design for?
She’s a world traveler, even if only in her mind. I imagine she’s a girl who longs to explore and doesn’t mind getting lost in a big city or ghost town. I’m sure she prefers frolicking through fern fields while whistling to shopping at the mall. She’s a little clumsy too but always ever so charming and lovely.
I love the ambiance in your photographs. Do you have any favorite films/directors or photographers that inspire you?
Thank you! I really love Jonathan Miller’s version of Alice In Wonderland from the 60’s, and Bergman’s Wild Strawberries. Some older silent films like City Lights and Pandora’s Box are really gorgeous, as well as Diary Of A Lost Girl and Georges Méliè’s, A Trip To The Moon. I love Blowup and some french new wave like Vivre Sa Vie, and some awful campy 70’s vampire film called “Let’s Scare Jessica To Death”. Gosh! There’s so many! I find most of Sophia Copala’s films to be really lovely, too, like Lost In Translation and The Virgin Suicides and some Wes Anderson, as well. Wendy Bevan is my favorite photographer, I think the colors and saturation in her photographs are brilliant. Other photographers I find inspiring are, Miroslav Tichý, Natasja Fourie, Man Ray, Ellen Rogers and my wonderfully talented friends, Hannah and Landon Metz and Dan Estabrook. I think that should do! Right?
I noticed a lot of scallops and bows in your last collection. Any other details you really love? Or what type of little additions are you currently into?
Right now, I’m on the hunt for vintage buttons and lace trimming. I’ll wait to share the other details till my Fall 2010 collection is revealed ; )
Your pieces are always styled so nicely. Any chance you’ll move into an accessories line?
I would love to, perhaps eventually. I’ve been trying to convince my sister to start a line of vintage inspired headbands, she’s more talented than she realizes.
What are you most looking forward to this spring? (fashion related or otherwise)
Looking for my very own apartment and decorating it!
Do you have a favorite piece from your spring collection?
My “Let Them Eat Meringue Mini” was the first piece I designed for my collection, so It’s pretty special to me. I love the overall lightness and simplicity of it.
What do you like to do when not designing?
I play a lot with photography. I’m trying to teach myself how to use some old cameras I’ve been collecting. I also paint and am planning on doing something paint-related for my next collection!
What are you listening to lately?
It changes often, but I like to dig through the radio archives on WFMU.org. They usually have a bizarre and diverse mix, from Ali Farka Toure to 50’s garage rock and Northern Soul. Last night I found a radio station that was playing really old Greek music which kept me entertained during a drive deep into Pennsylvania. The new El Perro Del Mar album is pretty nice, too.
Do you have goals or a vision for Alexandra Grecco?
I’d like to keep my business intimate and manageable. I don’t know that I want my clothes everywhere because it’s possible they could lose their sort of chic-homespun appeal. I’m also working on ways to incorporate more vintage into my collections.
Can you share one of your favorite memories?
Maybe when I moved to London a few years ago. I didn’t know a single person or much about getting around the city. I had saved up enough money to do some traveling and had absolutely no plans. It was the most surreal feeling to wake up and realize I was miles and miles from home. I was sick to my stomach and confused for days but eventually made my way to a pub, had a pint, an awful meat pie and made some really incredible friends. I don’t know if it’s my favorite memory, but it’s certainly the memory of a feeling I’ll never forget.