Kastner & Pallavicino is a brand new addition to the Italian fashion scene, offering a luxurious line of sophisticated evening bodies that we just adore! Created by Helena Kastner and Virginia Cosentini Pallavicino, the pieces are colorful and very elegant – and comfy! – and we sat down for a chat with the brilliant Helena and Virginia to learn a bit more about the philosophy and minds behind the brand…
What’s the strength of the body as a garment?
Helena: We saw an alternative to the usual blouse or top in the body, and decided to reinvent this garment once hidden underneath the clothes, making it an essential wardrobe piece for every woman. Using materials such as silk and velvet for the top part – and lycra for the bottom part, adapting perfectly to the shape of any female body – we’ve created an elegant yet comfortable body.
What’s the strength of Kastner & Pallavicino as a brand? You come from two quite different fields?
Helena: K&P is a brand completely Made In Italy, from the Tuscan fabrics to the tailors in the outskirts of Rome. This allows us to closely follow the entire production line, from the samples to the finished product, and with this waterproof overview we never loose sight of the quality of our product.
Virginia: What is also important is our cultural backgrounds and approaches that despite being different – or because they are different – bring us together. Aside from our different passports I think Helena and I make a well oiled machine in the sense that we create a perfect match to carry the company forward. For instance, Helena knew exactly which tailors to work with and I have “the know how” of the communication side. The designs instead are a perfect blend of both our tastes in style. I have studied photography, philosophy, and have worked in a P.R Firm in Rome, nevertheless fashion has always been something that intrigued me.
Helena, you have a long experience in the fashion industry working for 12 years at the Fendi atelier next to Karl Lagerfeld… in pursuing your professional career with a line of your own now, what’s the most important ingredient your are taking with you from that time?
Helena: Working at Fendi has been a very important formation, in many senses.. to move from the sketch on a paper to watching the garment on the runway. But it’s also been a personal development of course, not only opening the mind but also providing it with references – to see and recognize beauty, in all things.
… and has the Eternal city been an important inspiration for you in your work?
Helena: Roma is an open air museum! You just have to open your eyes and you will find inspiration in shapes, lines, colours, light, shadows – everywhere…
Lastly, share a Roman secret of yours with our readers:
Virginia: Clearly not a secret anymore… But I do think that the best time to visit Rome is October… the famous “ottobrate romane”, going around Rome or around the Lazio country sides on Sunday, when then weather is cool and warm at the same time; enjoying the heat during the day with a glass of red wine, because it’s not that hot anymore, and maybe a cosy fire in the evening. Priceless.
Helena: The secreted courtyards that you will find sprinkled across the city… these small parts of paradise remain the secrets of the lucky ones living in the palazzi. But if you are visiting the city, try and enter! The worst that can happen is that the restless doorman asks you to leave…
Virginia and Helena.
Photo courtesy: Mikel Errondosoro, www.bleuete.com.