Name: Maurizio Galante
City/Neighborhood: Paris, for 18 years!
You are one of the Grand Couturiers who will be taking part in Haute Couture Week in Singapore at the end of November. What will you present?
I’m working on 15 new looks especially for this presentation. But in total there will be 36 looks, which will include the last couture collection I showed in Paris in January, as well as a selection of iconic pieces.
Your last collection was quite colorful and seems to have been inspired by flowers.
The idea was really to create an imaginary herbarium, like a book you would open and you discover new plants. I love nature and plants. I have a collection at home of succulent plants, a specific type of plant that grows in extreme conditions, like in the desert.
Will this new capsule collection be on the same theme?
Not really. I don’t actually have themes; it’s more about ambiance and the continuation of a language, and emotions.
So what inspired you this time?
I’ve worked mainly close to the body. You will see dresses that are “simple” yet complex. That’s what I like. The shapes are very wearable and simple, but they are very complex to realize.
Fabrics and colors?
Lace, silk. I’d say lots of neutrals and blacks.
You were studying architecture but abandoned it in favor of fashion. Why?
At the time, I really didn’t have the patience. When you are an architect you have to wait a long time, between the time you create something and the time it’s realized.
Are you more patient now?
I’ve changed with time. What I’ve come to understand is that you can start several projects at the same time, some get realized more quickly than others.
How does your knowledge of architecture influence your creations?
It’s really the foundation of everything. What you see really is a lot of texture and the construction of a garment is the result of an architectural work. The first time I dressed Zaha Hadid, she told me she loved the construction of my dress. I was really touched.
Do you have a preference between couture creations and your furniture designs?
No. The subject of my work is always the object. When I imagine a garment, I imagine it as an object to wear and it comes to life with the movement of the wearer. I went into fashion because I’ve always been fascinated by its power. Fashion can tell you a lot about a person and help you understand them better.
An object that moves – it’s almost a contradiction.
I call this supple architecture.
What else are you working on now?
The couture collection I will present in January during Couture Week and the new gallery that we’ve just opened in Paris, Galerie Galante Lancman. This is where we present fashion and design, and where we showcase everything. In January we will also unveil a new project called “Couture by Size.” We selected a few iconic pieces I’ve done and we are reproducing them in three sizes: X, M, L.
It is ready-to-wear, semi-couture?
Neither. They are still couture pieces, it’s all handmade, but without the expensive and time consuming fittings.
Who is the woman you design for?
Someone who knows herself well and likes to create her own image. I don’t impose anything, they can mix and match. What I offer them are beautiful wearable objects, not a total look.
Favorite fashion designer?
But if you could meet a late couturier?
Elsa Schiaparelli. For her time she was crazy. She worked on emotion.
Favorite fabric to work with?
Do you collect anything?
I love to buy things and put them in boxes. And then later open them. They encapsulate memories that come back to life. I do have a collection of Japanese carved ivory models of crabs and lobsters. These were made for export in the 19th century and have articulated parts. I also have a collection of Japanese monsters from the Ultraman TV series. Only the monsters.
How do you define luxury?
Haute Couture Week Singapore will run November 27 to December 2.