Monday, February 6, 2012

Emerging Designer Profile: Danielle Cicero

Danielle Cicero specializes in bridal and special occasion dresses.
I was first drawn by the elaborate details in the tucking combined with an illusion neckline of one of her shorter dresses. I thought it was perfect for any special occasion because it combined the sexy detailing of a strapless bustier with the security of an illusion top ... The comfort of no need to tug or make sure everything hasn't slipped. Now that's perfection. The convenient pockets are just the icing on the cake.
Below are Danielle's answers to a few of my questions about her style and influences:




 





What inspires or influences you?



I am influenced by many things, such as fabric as I mentioned before, architecture, colors, textures, and art. I of course am influenced by other designers, but I don't like to let their work speak too loudly in my own work, as an indy designer it's important to make sure people hear my voice rather than an inspired by voice. One thing I do love to do is check out vintage design, my favorite time periods being the roaring 20's to the 50's, but I am also loving the mini dress silhouettes of the 60's and the grecian inspired caftan looks of the 70's, so you never know what I will come up with next.







Why did you choose to be a designer and how long have you been designing?



I've been designing since I was about 9. I used to want to just be an artist, so i would practice drawing all the time, but I really wanted to get the human figure right so I used a lot of my Mom's clothing catalogs. It started out with just copying the designs in the catalogs and then I started coming up with my own designs. My Mom noticed what I was doing and got me a subscription to W magazine, and the love just bloomed from there. Also, interestingly enough my most memorable gift as a child was a sewing machine given to me by my late Aunt Pam when I was just 5 years old. I hadn't even started drawing and doing design yet, and she actually passed away before I got into design, so I think it's amazing that somehow she knew this was the perfect gift for little 5 year old me.





For me, design is art. Some people just look at it as clothes, but fashion can be worn again and again for years, and/or you can have pictures of it to put up in your home, on the net, or in others homes. I currently design Bridal and Special Occasions (Danielle Cicero Bridal and Special Occasions) because bridal is my first love, but I also love function with my fashion. I am working on a line of Sportswear that will be inspired by my travels and different cultures. I think fashion and the life of a designer is constantly evolving. For example the US market in bridal is very into cleaned up bridal, and familiar silhouettes but outside of the US, brides are very into the princess look, yards and yards of tulle, tons of crystals and beads, bustiers to create that perfect hourglass figure, all the things that make OTT (Over The Top) bridal appeal to most non-US brides. Don't get me wrong we still have US brides who are into gowns of that sort, but if you look at the offerings of most designers in the US you see that they are pleasing a certain type of aesthetic that is very American in its styling.





Do you favor any specific materials or prints?



I love fabric, all types inspire me. My two faves are a crepe back satin and taffeta. I love crepe back satin because it has a nice slip to it, a soft hand and a beautiful drape. Taffeta I love because it's not too shiny, has nice body, and is great for geometric or designs that need to be able to stand on their own without a lot of lining and fusing. Taffeta creates beautiful architectural elements in clothing.




Where can we get your pieces?



I currently sell online through daniellecicero.etsy.com, and daniellecicero.com.




Danielle's designs are also sold in a boutique in her hometown of Hartford, CT (viceversaboutique.com). She is now in works with a few other US shops and planning to expand internationally (in the UK and Cairo, Egypt).