1986 – First steps to Italy





I was sitting in my flat on the Balls Pond Road London one evening when I received a phone call from a head-hunter who asked if I would design a collection for one of the most prestigious textile industries in Italy. I felt honored and excited that they had chosen me. A few days later I flew to Bologna to meet the owner and shown samples of exquisite chiffons, taffetas, tussah silks, brocades and velvet jacquards. I‘d never seen so many rolls of fabric in my life; the factory resembled an enormous Aladdin’s cave .

Most of the prints the company were producing had an air of romance about them with pink floral bouquets or fabulous eighties prints of gigantic Bengal tiger heads and purple and chrome yellow Corinthian columns. I chose a lustrous silver slub silk, a squared jacquard and a fine white Irish linen for my collection. I’ve never compromised on my ideas for print and the reason why I designed only a simple graphite drawing of a chameleon for the linen was because the fabric was so beautiful it just didn’t need heavy images. For the other fabrics I designed barracuda fish heads and water surfaces. I gave all the garments a sleek cut and got the models to wear silver and black bob chopped wigs.  A very young Stefano Tonchi,  now editor of W magazine – previously editor of The New York Times Style Magazine – organized a fashion show with new designers during the week of Pitti Trend in Florence. He invited me to participate with this Italian collection which was a success, and my romance with exquisite luxury fabrics and Italy began.

 The music I chose for the catwalk show was Stripped by Depeche Mode

From Sue Clowes bio.

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