Italian designer Antonio Grimaldi’s collection of kaftans to celebrate Ramadan are available exclusively at House of MC in Dubai.
Antonio Grimaldi launches a Ramadan collection in Dubai
While the Salerno-born designer may have studied advertising graphics at Istituto d ’Arte, his passion from boyhood has always been fashion.
In fact, Antonio Grimaldi told us that at age 15, he made a bridal gown for his sister on her wedding day. Only going onwards and upwards, he has been a part of the fashion scene through various collaborations and labels for decades.
In 1996, he presented the first his first collection as a part of Grimaldi Giardina at the AltaRoma AltaModa fashion week in Rome, and then later joined the official calendar of the Haute Couture Parisienne week. Since then, Grimaldi has grown to have his own label named after himself and launched a Ready-to-Wear line shown at Paris Fashion Week.
Bringing a taste of his global brand to Dubai, Grimaldi has launched a new Ramanan collection in House of MC.
See what he had to say as we found out more about his Ramadan collection and discovered about his love of creating bridal gowns.
An A&E Interview with Antonio Grimaldi
Talk us through your Ramadan collection
This is a capsule collection, so it’s very small. My idea was to give my contemporary-modern style into the kaftan. I’m in love with the magical moment when a woman goes out in the evening for Ramadan, so I was thinking [to design] something very elegant, very light, with a sophisticated colour with this touch of embroidery. My embroidery is something contemporary… Silver, gold and copper with colour.
For inspiration… I was thinking about the desert. So there is the white, the light, the sky and the baby blue, the yellow is the sun, the sand colour for the dessert. The different pinks, light to fuschia colour, is for me the flower that is in the desert, like the woman that lives here in Dubai. I did the collection especially for the House of MC, is onto for them so it’s very exclusive
How do you cater to all kinds of women with your collections?
I think it’s very easy with this collection… I was thinking about comfortable dress, not just a kaftan. Something women can wear when it’s not Ramadan. Many clients say I want this to go out for dinner or to go to a wedding, not just for Ramadan. The idea of the kaftan is very ethnic, so I tried to make it more modern and contemporary, more every day. I think we focused it around all kinds of cultures because many women want to feel nice and comfortable, they don’t want to show their body. With Haute Couture, I also have lots of clients that like soft lines, they feel comfortable with something that doesn’t touch their body but can still be feminine and elegant.
And which is your favourite item in the new collection?
In this collection, I love them all, but I think the sand one with the metal fringe [in the main image at the top]. I like the simple cut.
What’s your earliest fashion memory?
Actually, since I was born I was thinking to do this work. And I started with my mum and my sister working for them. When I was 15 years old and I designed my sister’s wedding dress. So in the summertime, I started to go to this Haute Couture atelier because I really wanted to learn this work. At that time in Italy, fashion school was only for women… Which is why when I started I went to graphic and art school. But I can tell you I was a born fashion designer.
What is your philosophy when it comes to your work?
My philosophy is that I like a woman that likes to enjoy the dress. I don’t like it when, for example, people that buy dresses only because of a trend. My philosophy is that the woman has to feel comfortable and to be in love with what they are wearing. I think that the dress is not nice if you don’t feel it. For me, the woman comes before the dress.
Sometimes the fashion industry now feels like a fast train that runs so fast it forgets to stop. I’m a courtier… I take my time and have meetings with clients. I’m in love with what I’m doing… I think that it’s better to have a soul otherwise its a piece of material.
You also have a bridal collection… Why is that something that is important to you?
I’m in love with bridal dresses. I think the wedding dress is something that is special… When you buy a special journey made for you, it’s an important day for women, so I can put myself in their shoes to think about how they want to feel on that day. I feel like an architect [tasked] to build a tower.
How does it make you feel that the dress only gets worn once?
That is true, but imagine: we can wear a t-shirt every day but who can remember our t-shirt? No one. The wedding dress is only for one day but it’s a part of the story of your life. I mean, it’s not important how many times you wear something, but this dress has to be wow. In twenty or thirty years, they still have to open their eyes wide when they see it. It’s a very magical important day, so that’s why I put all of myself into making something special.
How do you help women have the perfect wedding dress?
For me, the first step is to understand what kind of dress this girl imagines, how she wants it to be, the lines she likes. Of course, I give all my suggestions about what is best for her and show her my work. But it’s very important, as I told you before, that people have to feel comfortable and nice… There is nothing worse than someone who doesn’t feel good in the dress.
When it comes to your work, what do you say no to?
Now there are so many brands that don’t really do Haute Couture and there are so many people who don’t understand the quality of the work or the fabrics and so that is something that I’ve really hated. Nowadays, it’s not important anymore about how bravo or good you are but how much money you have behind you. Some companies are very strong but are not high quality and that makes me very sad. Many people can not understand what they are buying too, and that is upsetting.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
A big lesson that I’ve learned… I was thinking about a sentence that Karl Lagerfeld said: “If you are cheap, nothing can help you.” That is very strong and it’s true. People can have money but if they don’t have taste, if they don’t feel what they are wearing they look awful. I learned that. I’m very positive in general and I give my best.
What’s your biggest achievement?
I’m very proud that I’m in the official calendar in Paris. At one point – I changed names because I worked with another designer – I was feeling that I had lost my train and it was finished. So I am very proud of that and I will never be tired to say that. I feel like I started again.
Antonio Grimaldi’s exclusive Ramadan collection is now available at House of MC.