MARIA PINTO INTERVIEW - MICHELLE OBAMAS FAVORITE DESIGNER
Maria Pinto Interview With Gabrielle Reilly
Maria Pinto is an award-winning fashion designer and obviously one of Michelle Obama's designers of choice (no wonder the First Lady always looks so beautiful).Maria Pinto has popped into The Global Townhall to share some of her expert advice with us. What pieces of clothing should we buy in a bad economy to make our clothing budget work best for us? What's most important in dressing our body?Maria Pintos Spring Collection is featured in the pictures above (please click on pictures to enlarge).
Gabrielle Reilly:What would be your five most recommended, well-thought-out pieces for a woman to choose at the moment?
Maria Pinto:Regardless of the proportion of a woman's body, a properly fitted shift can flatter anyone. Shifts are offered in a multitude of variations, and within that you can find variations on a neckline or color that will only enhance your best features. In addition to that, I'd suggest a pair of tailored pants, an essential blazer, a beautiful shell in a luxurious fabric and a great over-anything wrap are key.
Gabrielle Reilly:Not all our readers are size 2 obviously and I notice you carry size 0 to 14. Could you give our readers any tips you use to help them dress more seamlessly?
Maria Pinto:My biggest piece of advice for women is to start early and build a great wardrobe and save up for well-made and well-tailored dresses that best accentuate your body type.
Gabrielle Reilly:What is this waistline height for the coming seasons?
Maria Pinto:Each of our pants comes in 3 styles so that customers can pick the most flattering for their body type. We have the Natalie, Marla, and Marte. The Natalie is highwaisted with a long slightly wide leg. This pant is great for my taller women or women who are trying to emphasize a smaller waist (and hide fuller hips!). Marla is our most popular, siting at the natural waist, with a fluid wide leg. The Marte is a slim leg, our version of a skinny pant, for some of our younger and petite clients.
Gabrielle Reilly:What is the short style for the warmer weather?
Maria Pinto:Everyone has a length in skirts and dresses that looks best on them, so my advice for this Spring and Summer is to pair crisp whites with bright bold tanks, blouses and button-downs. I always use color to boost my mood!
Gabrielle Reilly:What do we have to look forward to in Maria Pintos Fall Collection?
"Maria Pinto's Fall 2009 collection pays homage to the influence of the Rococo movement throughout history. With smoky tones of caspian, shell and cassis, Pinto's new tailored silhouettes flatter the female shape by creating a "control and release" construction. The collection features versatile separates for day, sensuous evening wear and plush outerwear made from sumptuous alpaca and embellished wool."Maria Pinto Press Release
Maria Pinto's designs evoke a deliberately modern and confident sophistication.Season after season, she marries the rich traditions of artisanal textiles hand selected from around the world, with the modernity of American design.
Pinto's luxurious women's accessories collection debuted at Bergdorf Goodman in 1991 after being ?discovered' by then-president Dawn Mello. Almost immediately, Pinto received recognition as a designer who could take the most unusual of fabrics and transform them into elegant, signature pieces. It was this initial success that gave her the confidence to expand her brand into the eveningwear arena.
In 2002, Maria Pinto shuttered her doors due to health and business complications. The time away proved vital as Pinto regained her health she also regained her passion for the industry. In 2004, she reopened her doors with a new vision of the brand that would introduce separates for day, thus rounding out her previously successful eveningwear and accessory collections.
Whether her clients are high profile figures or celebrities, they all come back to Maria Pinto for her tailored silhouettes that are made to fit a variety of lifestyles. Maria Pinto's success comes from combining luxurious fabrics with clean lines. Juxtaposing these elements together with sensuality and passion, Pinto creates collections that define ?classic with an edge'.
In August of 2008, Maria Pinto opened the doors to her first boutique, a natural extension of her atelier, located in Chicago's West Loop. Pinto's collections are known for well-edited luxury; each garment incorporates innovative materials and sophisticated tailoring from beginning to end. This attention to detail is reflected in the environment of the retail space from the moment a client walks through the door.
Maria Pinto's collections have been featured in major fashion publications, including Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar and InStyle.
She has received many prestigious design and fashion accolades throughout her career, including the opportunity on two occasions to design seductive costumes for the Joffrey Ballet's Recorde Per Due (2002) and Age of Innocence (2008); the Best of Fashion Award, Chicago Magazine (2000); and the Gold Coast Fashion Award, previously won by Anne Klein, Donna Karan and Bill Blass (1998). In 2009, Maria Pinto will be honored by the Anti-Defamation League as the recipient of their Women of Achievement Award, and the School of The Art Institute's Legend of Fashion Award.
An alumna of Chicago's School of the Art Institute, majoring in fine art with a focus in fashion, Pinto also attended New York's Parson's School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Pinto landed a coveted position working for legendary designer Geoffrey Beene soon after graduation. It was there that Pinto learned the importance of ?attention to detail', the techniques of draping, and the art of editing.
The Maria Pinto Collection is available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney's New York, and Takashimaya as well as other fine boutiques across the country.
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