PARIS– Criloi, by Italian designer Cristina Loi, was selected this season by France’s Fédération Française de la Couture, du Prêt-à-porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode to show her collection in the “Designer’s Apartment” along with 11 other Paris-based fashion newcomers. Loi’s fashions combine Italian sartorial finesse with French simplicity. BACO’s Paris correspondent Marianne Dorell takes us into the designer’s studio for a Q & A.
What was the starting point of this collection?
First of all, it was the first time that I built a complete collection, and it was a true challenge for me.
As always, it starts with the fabric. My work is always inspired by the material.
I have to see the fabrics, to feel them, to get an idea of what I want to do.
When I saw the print that became emblematic of this collection, I immediately felt in love. My previous collections used to be monochromatic, but this print really made me think of summer, a summer in Sardinia. The pale beige with this dark green reminds me the Mediterranean earth. At first, it looks like a camouflage print. However, when you look at it carefully, you realize that’s not the case at all.
Then, I paired it with some pink cotton organza and selected other interesting fabrics, such as technical types of taffetas that give it a raincoat feeling.
Of course, I continued my exploration of the shirt with some new declination. I wanted to do a summer trench that can be very elegant, but also be worn in a more casual way.
What kind of woman do you have in mind when you design your clothes?
I don’t really have a precise kind of woman in mind, but I do think of one who likes to mix different styles, like winter and summer clothes, and who can sometimes be a bit eccentric. A woman who has knowledge, because I feel dressing also requires a kind of knowledge.
Why does Bermudas seem to be one of the key pieces of the collection?
It is a very simple piece for me. With the fabrics I provided, you can wear it during the summer, with a swimming costume underneath, or put it in a more elegant way with a shirt. It allows you to show your legs, which is always a good idea in the summer. It can also be worn during the winter with tights.
Where do you find your fabrics?
Initially, a stockist provides the fabrics in Milan that has the best quality for the best price. He buys fabrics from luxury big brands. However, now that my brand is developing, I can’t rely on this source of supply anymore. I need the clothes in the biggest quantity available, and I need to be able to re-order fabric, which is impossible with this kind of stockist.
Then, I produce everything in France and Italy.
As an Italian designer, do you like working in Paris?
Coming to Paris was a way to challenge myself. I wanted to start all over again, (editor’s note: Cristina Loi started a brand in 2002 in Milan) and Paris gave me the possibility.
People here like my work and support me. I had some good articles that really motivated me to go even further. It is an honor to have been selected for the Designer Apartment, and it’s a great opportunity. They also give us precious advice on our work.