Priscilla Costa's PIFA Designs

This Friday, April 8, the fashions of nine local designers will share the runway with Ralph Rucci during PIFA's Couture Runway Show. 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.

First up is designer Priscilla Costa, who shares a sampling of design sketches from her PIFA collection (above) and tells us about one of her pieces for the show: an emerald green, silk jumpsuit.

How do your PIFA-inspired designs differ from your usual design aesthetic?
The collection [is] far more oriented than my usual designs because a period, a place, and facts were given as inspiration. However, this collection still truly represents my brand and background.

How does the jumpsuit speak to PIFA's theme of artistic revolution?
[It reflects] the impact that the artistic revolution had on women in that period, due to the social and political transformations. Fashion acted as a mirror of that transformation. The designer who best expressed and encouraged these changes (in my opinion) was Paul Poiret, starting with the abolition of the corset, which freed women and drove even more daring attitudes. The most beautiful aspect of this was that a woman’s femininity was not lost, but she lost the fear of change. My collection showcases how women were affected by and how they responded to these changes.

What can you tell us about the jumpsuit's construction?
I opted for charmeuse silk as a fabric; there is nothing more feminine than silk. The pattern is simple and practical; the loose silhouette truly represents freedom without giving up femininity. I pretended to have the same limitations as Poiret, who would say, "I am an artist, not a dressmaker." He wasn’t an expert on dressmaking, and consequently pattern-making, so I opted to take one of his most-used patterns, the kimono, and reinvent it into a jumpsuit. Also, the period urged for more simple and practical clothes.

How would you accessorize the jumpsuit?
Most accessories should be in the same color family I created, or neutral. A classic shape [bag] with interesting detail, thin belts, gold bangles, or layered bracelets. More texture, but not too much color, for the shoes. Slightly smoky eyes with a pale lip, natural face and sleek hair will complete the look.

Who do you envision wearing the collection? What can you tell us about her?
She loves art! She lives ahead of her time, values couture, but is not traditional. She is strong, yet feminine. She loves her freedom. She is fun and socially responsible. She wants to make a difference in the world she lives in. As a whole model, I would say Madame Poiret, Angelina Jolie, Oprah, or maybe Princess Diana, who would have been a lovely person to wear this collection. However, the collection is intended for the ordinary yet polished woman that leaves for work every day.

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

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