marialuigia bafaro

… fashion in progress …

Which one is your favorite?

pink figureblack figblue fig

Hey everyone. I’ve decided to include you all in my newest project. A friend of mine asked me to design and construct a dress for her that she would like to wear to a wedding or night out. She only gave me two conditions: it had to be streamline and had to have a transparent back.

So, here are my three final picks and now I leave it up to you. Which one is your favorite? Which should be the winner?

I look forward to hearing your comments!

A breath of fresh air….

I went to Florence last weekend. I didn’t used to like it, but now I wonder why I ever dissed it. I’ve been there a couple times for work. This time, however, I was able to walk the streets as a tourist.

I went to see the Duomo, Il Ponte Vecchio, the Palazzo Vecchio, and the Basilicata of Santa Croce to name a few. The highlights of my trip were Palazzo Pitti with it’s Museum of Costume History and the Uffizi. I never realized how much art there was in the Uffizi. Wherever I turned, there were works of art that until then I had only seen in history books. I happen to be a HUGE renaissance art lover, so you can imagine my joy in being able to have Filippo Lippi, Botticelli and Leonardo da Vincis’ works just a few inches away.

At Palazzo Pitti, the Costume History exhibit was great. It’s a pity that they don’t show the whole collection all at once -they constantly change the exhibit so that the clothes don’t get ruined by always being on a mannequin. Luckily, they also have a computer at hand where people are able to see the entire collection in their archives.

The best thing of all was Florence’s atmosphere….a mix of fashion forward people, your average Joe, and eclectic bohèmes all without that poser pretentiousness that is so easy to find in Milan.

The whole trip was a much needed breath of fresh air. Thank you Florence.

The yarn is in!

The yarn I have been waiting for is finally in....I've been looking for a yarn fiber for a spring collection, with the same soft feel and lightness of wool, but not as warm. Hopefully this bamboo blend will do the trick.

The yarn I have been waiting for is finally in….I’ve been looking for a yarn fiber for a spring collection, with the same soft feel and lightness of wool, but not as warm. Hopefully this bamboo blend will do the trick.

Threads, ribbons, and beads….Oh my!!

I’ve been busy these days with needles, threads, ribbons, sequins and stones. I decided to take a course on Haute Couture beading and embroidery. I learned about different qualities of beads and sequins and how to manipulate ribbon and fabric to make flowers, leaves, etc. I found that the most important thing was to experiment with different fabrics and colors and not just concentrate on the design. In the end, the same flower will look completely different in chiffon than it does made out of leather. It’s how you put stuff together that makes it unique.

So after all this, my eyesight is worse and my back is killing me, but I feel awesome anyway! It’s always great to learn something new.  🙂

Here are some pics of the work I created during the course:

Inside WHITE

white exhibit

Sunday I had the chance to check out the WHITE exhibit in Milan. It was really inspiring to see the new talent that was showcased and the ideas that were proposed. The stand that caught my interest the most was Katerina Kouzmina’s.

A talented artist and embroiderer, Katerina founded the Scuola di Ricamo di Alta Moda of Rome, and is now starting up her own hand-embroidered bag line. Her school offers courses that teach various techniques used in embroidery for Haute Couture.

I had the chance to ask Katerina a few questions:

Your beadwork and embroidery are beautiful. How did you get involved in this field?

I created my first embroidered piece when I was in Kindergarten! More than ten years ago, I began working for an embroidery company in Italy and since then I never stopped.

Did you have formal training or are you self taught?

I trained at L’ecole Lesage in Paris; I learned the most working, studying the trade, comparing myself with others, reading books and constantly experimenting.

What inspires your work?

Ever since I opened my school for Haute Couture embroidery, I have been passing my knowledge on to others. Having young minds from all over Europe that want to learn and create things that are unique and special really inspires me.

Out of all the different techniques that you know, which one is your favorite and why?

My favorite embroidery technique is the Silk Ribbon (embroidery with ribbons). I am able to create embroidered landscapes that are so realistic that from a distance they look painted. This technique is not that well known in Italy, but it can also be used on clothing and accessories with the addition of beads and crystals.

What are your future plans?

To start off, I would like to add more unique and practical courses, to help begin a new craft and find a job during these difficult times. I’ve also started my own bag line with embroidered landscapes, that will be soon be available in the best shops in Italy. I hope that my new project goes well!

I hope it goes well too. In the meantime, I plan to take one of her courses very soon.

All work by Katerina Kouzmina.


Works in chiffon

0059 60's style

These three dresses are perfect examples of my work. I’ve always been teased for my penchant for chiffon, but can you really blame me? It’s a pain to cut and hard to sew but the way it drapes the body is unequaled.

All photos by Salvo Gervasi -good friend and partner in crime.

The beginning

This is my first post ever and the first thing I want to write is thank you to my family and friends who kept pushing me to publish my own blog and show my work. This is new for me and a little unnerving, but I think I will follow this quote I found by Joseph Chilton Pearce:

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”

Happy reading to all of you and I hope you enjoy it as much as I will.

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