Incognito: Guendalina Isgrò, designer and embellisher
Guendalina Isgrò has a design resume that includes embroidering at Sass & Bide and Valentino. Yes – that is a job. There is someone who is responsible for hand embellishing detail onto designer garments – it’s what sets the high end brands apart from fast fashion. Guendalina’s current status? Designer at M-Missoni. Hear her story…
Occupation: Fashion Designer
My career started… In 2011, after two weeks from graduation, at Maison Valentino, as a woman prèt-à-porter assistant
I was educated at… The European Institute of Design in Rome
On working for Valentino… It was a memorable school. The creative director was the first person to believe in me
The Valentino brand to me is… Home. When I come back in piazza di Spagna, where the Valentino Palace is, my heart is full of joy, great memories and energy. Valentini’s are my best friends for life
On the big move to Australia… After two years in Maison I decided to move. All my parents, friends, and my parter (at the time), thought I was crazy! I was leaving a wonderful job in one of the best Maison in the world!
What did you love most about your time in Australia? Australia is an AMAZING country. The hairy smell, the wildness, the relaxed lifestyle, smiling people, and really good vibes come from the ocean. It’s a really different energy from our country. I loved every single day and every single person, market, animal, tree, vegan spot
The Sass & Bide brand to me… I arrived in Sass & Bide in a very special moment. Heidi and Sarah were leaving the company, and the creative direction was passed on to Anthony Cuthbertson. After a week, there was a great glitter and white party at the Icebergs (in Bondi Beach) overlooking at the ocean. In the middle of this memorable party, I fell in love with Sydney. Anthony is a great designer and I loved to work with him. We had a lots of fun, and the Robot/Bugs/Dragonfly are my favorite pieces I’ve ever created
What made you decide to move back? After a year, Valentino fashion group called me back for a new position in MMissoni. I was so sad because I really loved my lifestyle in Sydney, but I decided that it was an important step in my career. Fashion in Australia had a different timing and season. In Europe there is a different concept of fashion; we don’t produce clothes, but real pieces of crafts, we want to narrate a story, talk about a woman and her world and turn you into her so that the world around you becomes an alternative world, like an alternative you!
Favourite garment you worked on… That is easy! It has to be the embroidery robot/dragonfly/bug pieces for Sass & Bide
Embroidery is… my first passion. I love the baroque allure and drama that the embroidery pieces can give you
Design hero… Alexander McQ, so controversial and fragile, but so powerful
Favourite textile to work with... A heavy male textile, and a fragile organic silk
Current job at Missoni involves… everything! I design the collection, I choose the color, fabric, shape etc. The only thing reserved to my boss, is a model fitting
The Missoni brand is… energy and challenge! It is my first time working with knit!
Favourite design at Missoni…. jumpsuit cactus Jacquard and the current collection I am designing now. There’s no reason why, it’s just a heart feeling.
How many hours were involved in that piece… between the fit design, the jacquard design and fitting, I think more or less 20 hours!
What’s it like working for the famous Missoni name… always a challenge
I work alongside… the head designer
This season for Missoni is all about… circus baby!
Your design aesthetic… it is between a really monastic and minimalistic and grunge, embroidery mess.
For inspiration I… need to travel more and more
My creativity comes from… anything around me
My style is… so clean, so simple
Work uniform looks like… white shirt or tshirt, wool black men’s pant, just a p-coat or a loose fit coat
Weekend attire is… a new Gucci metal sandal
My favourite item is… shoes for life!
On my wishlist… MiuMiu boots
Style muse… Mica Arganaraz and Alexa Chung
For style inspiration I… check the new ID/D&C/GentleWoman issue
Labels I trust… The Row – they never fail
Investment pieces… a Cèline bag
Fashion to me is… having the possibility to change yourself again and again and never lose your identity
Favourite city… Paris of course
Italian style… I love the Italian gal because they show more attention to details
Italian designer to watch… Miuccia docet
Must visit… Azzedine Alaia in Galleria Borghese, Rome, right now
Must try… Everything that comes to your mind, never be scared about trying