Clockwise from left: ARIA by alison’s Callas cloche, Cherubino cap, and Boheme beret.
BC: What do your designs mean to you?
AM: Most of my designs are inspired by an experience or a person. So every time I see these designs I am reminded of the specific place in time. It’s also great to see how they evolve and build into one another.
BC: Do you have a favorite item or design?
AM: In my knitwear line, I love the Violetta Capelet. It’s so classically beautiful, ethereal and understated and works with any outfit. I also love the Boheme beret. It’s the perfect little slouchy beret with a little interesting pizzazz, keeps your head warm, and doesn’t mess up your hair. What more could you want?
It’s harder to pick a favorite in my bridal line, since each is an individual piece, but I love the feather sashes, like the Ariadne feather and rhinestone silk sash. They not only work on brides, but they also look great on a cocktail dress. One time Jenna Lyons said she loved a feather fascinator of mine, Papagena, and I almost fainted. It was the best compliment ever!
BC: Have you ever created something and ended up not liking it?
AM: Oh, all the time! It’s just that you won’t see it. If I’m inspired I’ll try to make anything, and on a first try it can be a hot mess. Or I miscalculate as I am making up the pattern and the hat is too small or looks crazy, but in those mistakes come the greatest inspirations. Many of my disasters have turned into total triumphs.
BC: Where do you find your inspiration?
AM: I mostly find inspiration in 1940s fashion and music. I am a classically trained opera singer, so I often hear something that inspires me to create a hat or head piece that is evocative of that song, production, or a specific singer. But sometimes I can look at a lollipop and it will inspire me to make something.
BC: If you could have any celebrity, living or dead wear your stuff, who would it be?
AM: For knitwear: Zooey Dechanel. For bridal: Grace Kelly. For anything: Audrey Hepburn.
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Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.