New directions and tailoring in a unique cultural melting pot

Barbara Casasola

the FW Pre-collection of the young Brazilian born designer

Palazzo Portinari Salviati

An almost accidental encounter in New York with one of the big names in international fashion. But, thanks to chance, it was her real talent, seen in very few, that brought Barbara Casasola to the international runways. Decisive yet understated femininity is the aesthetic look designed by Casasola, this 29-year-old Brazilian who is equally at home in London and Italy.

 
When did your fashion career and passion for design begin?
BC: Well, Florence is very close to my heart because it was Roberto Cavalli who gave me my first break. I met him by chance in New York just as I was finishing-up my studies so the timing was perfect and I’m so grateful for years I spent there.
As for my passion for the trade, this definitely came from my grandmother who was a seamstress where I grew up in Brazil. I spent most of my spare time as a child in her atelier and she taught me most of what I know about the craft of dressmaking.
 
Brazilian Born, you live and work in London and produce your collections in
Italy...Has this "melting pot" of cultural experiences influenced your creations?
BC: Yes, for sure this melting-pot’s been an influence and, in a sense, I owe that to Brazil. The country’s built on this kind of patchwork; my mother, for instance, is Italian, my father’s of multiple extracts and throughout Brazil there’s references from around the world. In this way, absorbing and maybe reconstituting a mix of foreign influences into something new is very Brazilian.
 
How do you define your style? And how would you like that others define your
style?
BC: Brazil has a strong modernist tradition and I draw a lot from that. For me, it’s about a certain feeling that’s both pared-back and sensual.
 
Your muse/ favorite fashion icon...
BC: I hate to say it, but it really is my grandmother. She was very simple, but stopped people in their tracks. It was her attitude – all great women have the same one and I can’t really put it into words.
 
Could you tell us something about the collection that will be showcased in
Florence?
BC: It’s a pre collection and being in Pitti, I couldn’t help but make it menswear-inspired. So expect new directions and a lot more tailoring.