Can you introduce your brand and yourself in a few sentences?

My name is Filomena Saltarelli. Feelomena is an Italian brand born with the aim of making women to feel feminine, unique and unconventional with their style. Our clothing is completely handmade in Italy, using the finest and natural textiles—focusing on quality, craftsmanship and creativity. Juxtaposing Italian style with glamour and minimalism, Feelomena epitomizes the personality of its founder and of today’s women: elegant, contemporary, charming, yet still cool though embracing several concepts of femininity. Our company values? Femininity, Italian style, Charm, Innovation, Art, Craftsmanship, Sophisticated Trends, Minimalism, Natural Textiles, Respect for Environment, Elegance, Difference.

As to me, after attending the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) in Turin, I moved to Antwerp, Belgium to study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. After graduation, I worked for some famous international fashion designers and in 2014 I decided to pursue my dream, by setting up my own company to become a new symbol of Italian style and elegance in the world. 

What sparked your interest in fashion design?

My interest in fashion design was innate since my childhood, when I started sketching tall girls with fancy outfit! I could not stop sketching even during high school, when I filled all my books with fashion drawings. I guess it was at that point in my life when I realized that I wanted to transform this passion into a real job!  

Can you describe your creative process?

The creative process always starts with research. I seek and gather inspiration for a new collection from many sources every day.  Suddenly I fall in love with something (it can be a work of art, a sound, a place). At that moment I start my research and detailed study, discovering new culture and habits. At the same time, I start drawing and looking for fabrics. Loud music and none around me are the best atmosphere. Grass instead of a floor would be recommended!

What is your favorite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?

The favorite part of being a designer? Translate your feelings into drawings and give free rein to my creativity!
As I have mentioned before, I draw inspiration from my surroundings every day:  it could be an old man walking the street, a movie, a sculpture, a travel…ideas and inspirations are behind the corner! You just need to be a curious person!

How do you find working as a designer where your brand is based? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?

Working as a designer in Turin is really cool: we are not so far from the fashion capital (Milan) and the city is very stimulating, unconventional and full of art. I lived also in Antwerp for many years and I use to travel often for work and pleasure. I consider myself as a world citizen: I am often affected by foreign cultures from all over the world as it happened for the collection I will present at Vancouver Fashion Week. Of course I have a special bond with Turin (and Italy in general), as well as with Antwerp and I guess both cultures influence my design aesthetic in creating a collection: Italian art classicism and its tradition in fashion, as well as the formal rigor and modernity of my Belgian University.

In anticipation of your runway show at Vancouver Fashion Week, what are you most looking forward to?

Vancouver Fashion Week is a great opportunity for Feelomena to be known and appreciated in a great country like Canada. I hope we will get the chance to distribute the new collection in Canada and get some new inspiration for our next collection!

What is the inspiration behind your S/S20 collection to be showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week?

Feelomena 2020 is inspired by Kendo, the legendary martial art of Japanese Samurai. Every outfit expresses its main features: rigor, pride, elegance and balance. Sharp lines, delicate trimmings follow one another on Italian men fabrics giving a strong though feminine allure. Severe colors such as black, blue and grey alternate like in a contemporary dance.

What are you hoping are the reactions from audiences seeing your designs (perhaps for their first time)?

I am hoping that the audiences will love our designs—appreciating the craft work behind every single piece, the fine Italian fabrics, the pattern study, and the design which characterize the whole collection. 

Thank you for speaking with us, Filomena. We look forward to seeing your collection on the VFW runway this October.

Photos contributed.



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