happy monday, dolls!!
i am excited to introduce you to a fabulous local talent: Graciela Rivas.
graciela is a mexican-born, self-taught fashion designer who in the last few years, has put down
roots in boston- and simultaneously built her very own brand, offering two sophisticated, playful, chic collections online at nineteenth amendment. her latest collection, "darling blush" features five
unique dress silhouettes in the universally complimentary color, blush.
i had the chance to ask Miss Rivas a few questions about her inspiration,
her history, and of course, her future plans for her eponymous line.
here's what she had to say:
A Glimpse of Glamour: I see from your bio that you were voted as one of the Most Stylish Bostonians in 2015, but there is little written about your background in design- can you tell me a bit about how you started designing, where you studied and who inspired you to go into fashion after studying international business?
Graciela: I’m actually self-taught, but I’ve taken classes, done a great deal of research online, and have spent countless hours just working on my craft. After learning how to sew, I started by learning the basics of draping with muslin, then using fabric for my construction. This probably sounds really difficult, but I just iterated on this process, over and over, until the pieces started to come together. I’m a perfectionist, and have a lot of patience when it comes to making clothes, and believe this has been very important in my development as a designer so far.
The first time I was able to make something I could wear, it was such a satisfying moment, it was really then when I knew I wanted to make a career out of fashion design. I think I always knew that I would end up in the fashion industry in one way or another. I grew up in a big family, where my Mom along with my sisters were always involved in fashion, and had such an appreciation for the industry, so part of my early inspiration came from family. Workwise there are so many amazing, innovative designers out there today that have played a role in me becoming a fashion designer.
Looking back on it all, I also always wanted to own my own business, and after finishing my degree in international business, the United States seemed like the perfect opportunity to begin my career in fashion. Boston is one of the best cities in the world for entrepreneurs, as well as offering everything you need as a designer, from inspiration, to the young community, the architecture, history, and its beautiful surroundings, so I thought it would be a perfect place to start my career.
AGOG: Your latest pre-fall collection, "Darling Blush" offers five different dress silhouettes, each inspired by the natural curve of flower petals, with ruffles that appear to be your "signature" embellishment. Did you have any idea that ruffles would be so big this season? How did you choose the Blush tone as one that would appeal to a broad spectrum of ladies? And how did you come up with the name for each dress?
Graciela: My inspiration comes from all over. I like nature, architecture and art. There could be a line, a color, a shape, a feeling, even a texture that inspires me. Although, nature is where I typically find my inspiration, I think as an artist you have to be always open to having inspiration guide you in your process. Throughout our collections, as you mentioned we’ve shown feminine silhouettes that we believe are refined and polished. So for Darling Blush I wanted to design playful ruffles, with weightless volume that were designed to be worn on any body type, and add a new look to those silhouettes. Ruffles are the perfect touch to embrace a woman’s femininity, and I’m happy they are so big this season!
At Graciela Rivas we wish for the individual woman to shine in our designs! We attempt to do so by using color palettes that are both timeless and seasonless. For Darling Blush a soft blush hue was chosen as it’s flattering on every woman’s skin tone, and is such a chic and timeless color. I think every time I wear the shade it makes me a happy girl! As for the names of the dresses, that’s really a team exercise, and I’m fortunate to work with some imaginative people.
AGOG: Your dresses for the collection are very "seasonless" and look like they could be layered and styled many different ways. Would you say that living in Boston, a place where the weather can change in an instant, somehow inspired you to create clothing that could adapt to any climate?
Graciela: We work hard to present styles that are elegant, beautiful, and on trend, but we also want our designs to be worn effortlessly with a level of comfort that works for all types of events and occasions. Living in Boston, as you know, we have all four seasons, which facilitates the styling options throughout the seasons we’re able to show. As a designer I think it’s important to present pieces that can be styled in many different forms, so you can incorporate your own personal touch to make the look your own. So, yes I would completely agree with you, living in Boston has offered creative freedom to design clothing that can be worn across the various climates we have here.
AGOG: On your Instagram and facebook page, you actually show how you wear the various pieces that you make, mixing fluttery tops with high-waisted denim, cozy sweaters with petal-like skirts, do you feel like YOU are the girl you are ultimately designing for?
Graciela: The Graciela Rivas woman really values charm and likes being presentable for any occasion, you only get one chance to make a first impression! When we say “Our wish is for the individual woman to shine in our designs” we’re ultimately trying to present sophisticated lines that connect with women through an elevated playful, yet approachable style. These designs embody my taste in fashion, and all the chic girls of our generation! It’s just a great time we live in to express yourself through the clothes you wear.
AGOG: Your "Darling Blush" and "Waves" Collections are both available on fashion platform, Nineteenth Amendment, where everything is made in the US- how important is it to you to have your clothing produced here? Are you planning to have your collection available in brick and mortar stores as well? Or a local showroom?
Graciela: We were one of the first designers chosen by 19th Amendment and it has been a great experience for us. We like that they offer exclusive access to fashion before it’s available anywhere else. We love the idea that we can be in front of our customers worldwide and ship anywhere in the world, all while keeping our designs manufactured right here in the United States, which is very important to our business. At the moment, we are exploring our options for partnerships with retailers, as well as other ideas to expand our business through direct consumer sales via our website www.gracielarivas.com
AGOG: Who are your biggest fashion influences?
Graciela: Designers like Valentino, Chanel, Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta have always been my favorites. I’m also a really big fan of Marchesa, Del Pozo and Zac Posen. I also appreciate the style of the socialites and fashion influencers/bloggers out there, since they have such a huge impact on the industry.
AGOG: What can we expect to see in your next collection?
Graciela: Right now I’m working on the next line and I’m so excited to go through the entire process once again. That’s all for now, but look forward to sharing it with everyone!