Pursuing your dream career takes determination and self-belief. Born and raised in Montreal, Antoinette Di Carlo was immersed into fashion at a very young age. Today, she runs her atelier from the heart of Little Italy, where all her designs come to life. Specializing in custom made bridal and evening wear, she knows exactly how to capture the essence of femininity and sensuality. I caught up with Antoinette to talk about the recent collection she has presented during Toronto Women’s Fashion Week.
Where did you look for inspiration and how do you approach designing a new collection such as this one?
I love to travel (when time permits) and observe people, therefore my inspiration comes from a combination of change of scenery and everyday people. I embrace diversity and part of designing custom gowns is to be able to adapt to a diverse clientele giving my design touch and esthetic. Also, more often than not, I am inspired by fabric, more specifically drawn to texture and combining different fabrics creating an out of the ordinary design.
How much work went into creating this collection?
Countless hours!!! The whole collection came together over a period of approximately 3 months. It starts with an initial concept and ends up being tweaked, refined, adding/removing certain elements as part of the whole design process resulting in what we saw on the runway.
What is the most important thing you have learnt from your years in the fashion industry?
To me, the key to being successful in this industry is to listen carefully to your consumer/customer in order to bring to reality what they are envisioning along with my design direction. It is a careful combination that requires balancing out the creative aspect with the business/marketable side all bringing value to the brand.
Di Carlo Couture is a favourite among Canadian celebrities and notables including Jessica Mulroney, Cheryl Hickey and Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau; a go-to for red carpet fashion during awards season.
Photos courtesy of @georgepimentel1 @dicarlocouture_official @nobadpress