Last week, as part of our pre-Fashion Week video series, we were invited to Joanna Mastroianni's studio to hear her talk about her A/W 08 collection and her preparations for fashion week. Having worked as a designer for over twenty years, she a graceful aplomb that reflects her extensive experience creating collections that inspire the wider design community. In an age where partying and visibility are signs of a successful designer it was refreshing to engage with someone who values the craft over bread and circus. We left the studio, literally, in a fit of inspiration, mouths agape, when one of us broke the silence with 'I want to live there. In that studio. With her. You know? Do you know what I mean? I bet she has really nice bathrobes.'. At this point in her career, as other designers leave their work to an under class of creative personalities, her involvement couldn't be more grounding.
Joanna took us through the collection from starting from its first stages as a nugget of condensed information. We realized, while other designers have inspiration boards replete with kitschy references and brooding moods, Joanna has a conceptual and visual arsenal. Where other designers explain 'and then I made this dress', Joanna explains 'and then I made this drawing, and then this embroidery, and then these six interpretations of that embroidery, and then this panel, and then this dress.' The idea is not that other designers are somehow lazing through the creative process, rather, that Joanna is so meticulous in her involvement that her vision and work leaves others in the dust. It is no wonder she is such a success.