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Blog — Inspiration RSS


Nine years ago, newly graduated from college with a biology degree and an amateur interest in fashion, I traveled to Peru.  I had spent the previous four years preparing to enter the workforce in the field of environmental conservation and community development, though I had not figured out exactly how to do that. Then, my junior year, it hit me.  My grandmother had become one of my closest friends in my teenage years, and now, heartbreakingly, she was suffering from a fatal illness.  I flew across the Atlantic a few times that year to be near her, and the rest of the time, she was on my mind a lot.  I had grown up wearing the fabrics she designed, printed in her...

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My Design Philosophy

When I design a new collection, I think of the inspiring women in my life. I think of my friends, my idols, my mom, and the women in my family. As I picture each woman, I wonder what kind of style would flatter her body; which features does she like to accentuate? What does her lifestyle demand from her clothing? What details might make her life easier?     I draft the clothing patterns myself and sew prototypes to check the design. I usually create three to six prototypes to get the fit just right. Then I select one of my grandmother’s fabric prints, and then a color combination. My aim is to not only choose beautiful prints in vibrant...

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  I received a message from an Argentine Silvania fan who bought this shirt in 1986 on a trip to Lima and still wears it. She told me: "Celebro tu decisión de seguir con ese fantástico emprendimiento... ¡tu abuela, y las mujeres latinoamericanas lo merecemos!!!" Translated: "I celebrate your decision to carry on this fantastic venture...your grandmother and Latin American women deserve it!!!" What better motivation is there to get to work, albeit on a Saturday?!

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Aunt Victoria

I'm fresh off the plane from Europe, where I spent two weeks visiting friends and family from Rome to London.  One of many inspiring moments of the trip was flipping through my aunt Victoria's modeling portfolio while hearing stories about her from my cousin Phillippe.  She's precisely the kind of woman who inspires me to design; strong, smart, and adventurous.  She left modeling to become a neurobiologist at a laboratory in Paris.  An animal lover, she collected unusual pets including a lizard who made its home in her Paris apartment bathroom.

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My grandmother, Silivia, created Silvania Prints in 1958 after falling in love with the ancient artwork left behind by long-gone artists that surfaced in modern Peru as 'artifacts'.  Taking inspiration from textiles, ceramics, and the Nazca Lines, she sketched her own version of motifs from relics she found in museums and on expeditions throughout Peru.  Her fabrics brought new life to the ancient deities and designs she found, bringing them into the modern world as clothing, curtains, pillows, and purses.  I can't believe my luck in having a catalog of her designs; not only can I keep her memory alive by using her fabrics in my clothing designs, but the legacy of precolonial Peruvian artists spanning two millenia!   When...

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