Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Get to Know Designer: Yoana Baraschi

Romania born designer YOANA BARASCHI(pictured above) launched her namesake collection in 2002 with samples created right in her bedroom. Yoana is known for her timeless and whimiscal pieces for fashionista's of any age. Coming from a family background of artists, Yoana delevopled her love for art at an early age that would soon lead her to fashion career. After receiving her BA in Sculpture at the Fine Arts Institute of Bucharest, Yoana went to Paris where she got her first design job working for Emmanuelle Khahn and then at the Studio de Style Jean Azel as an Associate Designer for Mugler and Faconable among the few. In 1983, she moved to NY and worked in different roles in fashion for several companies that includes WWD, Mario Valentino and Guess. It wasn't until her role as Creative Director for Betsey Johnson in 1999 that she wanted to follow her passion and create her own contemporary collection. Yoana's first order came from Saks Fith Ave. which garnished her an invitation to the Intermezzo Trade Show. With showrooms in NY, LA, London, Atlanta and Dallas, Yoana Baraschi's line is loved by many fashionista's. She developed a strong celebrity following which includes Heidi Klum, Halle Berry, Lala Vasquez, Dita Von Teese, Rachel Bilson, Selena Gomez, Jessica Alba, Taraji P. Henson and more. What I love about her collections, are the flirty tops and dresses in different bold prints and colors with intricate detailing that are simply but stylish and ageless. Fit is key in all of her collections which I think is an important element when putting a line together. I had the opportunity to ask Yoana some questions about collection, continue below to see what she had to say.

1. What are your inspirations for the collection?
Spring was designed around one question: What would MonicaVitti wear? She was this knock-out Italian screen siren in the ’70s. I pictured her on a holiday in Capri, in these super-luxe embroidered pieces I dreamed up during my yearly trip to India, and this amazing jade green neo-classical print that’s an interpretation of a’70s statue scarf print I found at a vintage market. Each collection is always influenced by the high-powered glamour of the ‘40s and ‘70s from the super-fitted jackets, pencil skirts that give length to the legs, and lots of sparkly embellishments. I get so much inspiration watching old movies, and I love how dresses are more fitted through the abdomen in a way that slims the body and adds height, and the skirts have a swing shape that is so universally wearable.

2. What are your favorite pieces in this collection?
The neo-classical print pieces. That’s the kind of print I get a gambler’s rush from. The print looks beautiful in uber-practical pieces like the shirt dress or pencil skirt that you can wear to work, but it also looks really dreamy in the caftan, which is my piece de resistance of the collection. I love bright colors, which you can see in the use of orange, jade,and purple throughout the collection. But the white, gray and navy anchor that color palette, as those colors allow the amazing embroidery work,embellishments and prints to speak for themselves.

3. Describe the Yoana Baraschi women?
The Yoana Baraschi woman is a confident and ladylike risk taker. I design for women who are looking for a playful luxe aesthetic. Each collection is for the women who love a dress that starts a conversation and always looks flawless on the body. It has become a favorite of some of Hollywood’s most dynamic women: from burlesque artist Dita Von Teese; to supermodel Heidi Klum; to Gossip Girl herself, Blake Lively. These are the type of women I keep in mind when designing.

4. What's next for you?
Right now I’m finishing up the final touches on my fall collection. I’m very excited about a collaboration which will be launching in New York this spring!

Yoana Baraschi's collection can be purchased at Neiman Marcus, Macys, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Intermix, Fred Segal and via the designers website at www.yoanabaraschi.com.

Credit:Yoana Braschi

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