Photography by Eeva Rinne
Styling by Alessandra Conti
Words by Carlotta Buosi
Model Ana @ M+P
Italian-born, London-based Alessandra Rich is the ultimate proof that having a dream and the desire to pursue it can turn life toward the most unexpected of directions. With a background working alongside her art dealer husband, first, and then in property, Alessandra’s affair with fashion started a lot later than many designers her contemporary - launching their own brands today - which is probably what gave her the chance to develop a such a clear, strong and wildly unique identity for herself and her design. Known within the industry for her uber glamorous dresses and retro appeal, Alessandra’s work is appreciated internationally: stars around the world bite into her refreshing aesthetic with gusto, choosing her pieces as preferred options to some of the most exclusive events around the world. But Alessandra - who’s approachable and extremely kind nature shines through the initially intimidating allure surrounding her world of beautiful clothes, beautiful art and beautiful people - designs for a woman who doesn’t need a special occasion to shine. She makes the occasion special with her own presence and, obviously, what she wears too.
Alessandra, how would you describe your aesthetic to someone who never saw your work?
It’s a contemporary aesthetic, strong and ironic. It’s aimed to an independent, clever and self- assured woman who know exactly what she wants.
Last year, Beyonce wore one of your dresses in her video for the mega hit Formation. How did it make you feel, being among the selected fashion brands to be worn by such an iconic woman?
Very excited! She was stunning and I was very honoured to be amongst the many brilliant designers who have had the chance to dress her.
Generically speaking, your brand is very appreciated by celebrities and It girls all around the world - Bella Hadid, Penelope Cruz, Amber Heard, Alessandra Ambrosio and Dua Lipa are some of them. Is it one of your goals as a designer, to provide glamorous options for these women’s special occasions?
One of my first goals as a designer is to be loved by women and make them feel beautiful. I don’t think you need special occasions to wear my dresses. They can make any occasion a special one.
Every season, you seem to have a different muse who inspires you and guides you toward a particular direction. But who is the Alessandra Rich woman?
Yes, every collection has a muse - or more - to celebrate: the rebel bride, the “hot mess” girl, the attractive diva, the perfectly proper wife. The Alessandra Rich woman has a bit of all of them within herself. She is amusing, curious and confident. She embodies a mix of cleverness and madness.
Tell us more about your latest collection - AW17 - we just saw in Paris this season. My latest collection remembers Ginger Rogers, Joan Crawford, the divas of the 40s and the fabulous women of the 80s. Floral pleated dresses, a tartan jacket, a ruffle tulle coat, lurex shirts, white gloves and huge bows are all among the pieces features in the collection. My current muse is a proper woman who stops getting things wrong. She wants to be the best and is always good! She deserves all the compliments!
Despite the season, you have a very particular style which doesn’t necessarily follow the current trends. How important is for you to keep updated with everything else happening in the industry and how much do you think that influences your work?
I’m interested in what young designers are doing, but I don’t suppose I’m influenced by them or current trends. If I am, it is not in a conscious way.
You have quite an international presence. How do you see women from totally different countries and with totally different styles styling your pieces in order to make them their own?
Whenever I think about the way in which different women interpret my pieces, it makes me so enthusiastic: I don’t think there are borders in fashion and every woman is free to wear them as she believes. Fashion must be free and fun.
What is that you absolutely cannot do without, when you work.
My phone, a cup of tea and something beautiful to see out of the window.
Are you working at any special project or collaboration this year?
We shall see…