Paris Meets Asia at PIFA

Tomorrow, the fashions of nine local designers will share the runway with Ralph Rucci during PIFA's Couture Runway Show at the Kimmel Center. In anticipation of the big event, we've contacted a handful of the designers for a taste of what to expect to see strutting down the catwalk.

Up next is Sarah Van Aken, owner of SA VA, a boutique specializing in eco-friendly, locally-made clothing with a global influence.

Your PIFA collection combines the Asian influences of Paul Poiret with the bright, pleated fabrics common to the designs of Fortuny y Madrazo. With this in mind, would you say the PIFA collection is far removed from your usual SA VA designs?
The collection overall is pretty true to SA VA. It may a little more bold in print and certainly a little more couture...We stayed true to ourselves but incorporated some accents of drape from the period. We are using a lot of hand dyed silk pieces in the collection with bright bold color. There are themes of wrapping/tieing/cocoon. You will see the theme of the shibori dye/prints, with fluid movement in all pieces.

How does your collection reflect PIFA's theme of artistic or personal revolution?
Really – it showcases the transition of the silhouette. From a time when women had tight, fitted silhouettes, they were dressed by dressers to more fluid shapes. Overall our collection for the show is a hint of bohemian and subtle drape – it is fluid which speaks to the shift in consciousness of the period. Our creative brief for the collection is posted here.

What was the most daunting aspect of this dress' creation?
Well, we whip things up pretty fast around here given our staff size but the dyeing process is always a little time consuming. After the first fit sample, the garment was done within two days.

How would you recommend accessorizing the dress?
I am a big fan of the mini wedge bootie these days, with basket weave leather – it works for all pieces.

Any SA VA news that you'd like to share?
We just won "Top Innovator" with Apparel Magazine for our unique and sustainable business model – will be out in the May issue.

Be sure to also read our interviews with designers Priscilla Costa, Bela Shehu, and Janice Martin.

SA VA's inspiration board for the PIFA runway show.

The PIFA Couture Runway Show will take place on April 8, 2011, at 8:00 p.m; tickets range from $25-$100.

Related Stories on The Feast:
Janice Martin's PIFA Gown: A Multi-Tiered, Illuminating Experience
Bela Shehu's PIFA Muse Prefers Her Espresso With a Bitter Crema
Priscilla Costa's PIFA Collection: Fit for Princess Di and Angelina Jolie
Local Designers to Share Runway With Ralph Rucci During PIFA Runway Show
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