Veronica Etro is one of the main pillars of the Etro design maison along with her three older brothers. She has been designing the Women’s Collections since 2000, to the joy of Etro aficionados all over the world.
During the research process, which are your main inspiration resources? Is inspiration more of an ongoing process than a specific moment? Where did it come from for this collection?
The first step of my research is imagination and intuition: by keeping your eyes wide open you can find inspiration in everything! Nature, books, photographs, travels, fabrics, art, music suspended between past and future, through different cultures! You have to keep yourself intuitive and open to all there is around you because everything is a possible point at which to start the research and then it becomes part of the collection... Every season is different and the inspiration could come from an infinity of sensations, you just have to be curious about life, about what surrounds you. Boredom is something I don’t understand and don’t accept.
For the spring/summer 2013 collection I was inspired by the Spanish artist Hermenegildo Anglada Camarasa having seen some amazing paintings at the Reina Sofia Museum, and the feminine Orientalist paintings. Starting from handmade paintings, the leitmotif of the collection was 'flora and fauna,' conceived as a modern paisley. Birds of paradise, butterflies, flamingos and geckos cavort within the fantasy foliage, at times mixed with graphic tie prints and Japanese vase prints.
Despite the richness of the prints, there is an essentialness, a cleanness to your designs. How do you achieve that balance?
For the spring/summer 2013 collection I have mixed very decorative and ornamental prints with clean silhouettes and shapes in order to dilute the decorative effect. The romanticism of the prints is cut by sporty stripes, running horizontally, vertically or asymmetrically.
What's the process behind the anticipation of a trend? How do you have to think in order to produce something that will last a season or a lifetime?
Our idea of style is based on a fine balance between fashion and tradition, we are not interested in creating trendy fashion collections; rather, we want to create timeless clothes, pieces that people want to collect and wear through the years. The Etro woman is a contemporary woman who likes to mix different patterns, colours or prints; she loves to travel and to discover new cultures and tribes. She’s eclectic and loves to play with fashion without taking it too seriously. She’s not a victim of the latest trend but she prefers timeless clothes, always being elegant and sophisticated. I always find it interesting when people in the street interpret the Etro style, rather than picking the complete look. Clothes are our second skin, and I think it is of vital importance that you can feel good, feel free to personalize, to play with it, to have fun and be happy.
How will you incorporate paisley – the signature pattern that you always somehow manage to transform while remaining true to Etro’s aesthetical roots – into the new collection?
Each season we develop and reconsider the paisley design in new ways. It’s always very stimulating to deal with such a decorative pattern as you can easily blend it with more geometrical designs, or mix it with flowers, stripes, polka dots, or even with different techniques. You can also change the design technique, for instance using blurring, felt and graphics, even airbrushing. Being so decorative as a design, it is always stimulating to work with it.
What is the most challenging aspect of figuring out a theme for a collection? Or does it just come together organically?
It’s a six-month process, so actually we may start with a theme and then end up by mixing it with different inspirations. In my opinion it is a lot about intuitiveness, you keep your eyes and senses open to what you might feel right at that special moment.
What in your professional life has been your greatest source of pride?
That my collections gain interest and success and that the Etro label is enjoying continuous growth, that’s enough for me.