Keys to fashion

Silvia Tcherassi has seamlessly married fashion and hospitality.

Silvia Tcherassi has seamlessly married fashion and hospitality. It’s not for nothing that her label is termed as prêt-à-couture.

Slowly and gradually, Silvia Tcherassi is reclimbing the ladder as she wishes to secure her name on the top. With over 25 years of experience in the fashion industry, where she was mostly fan followed in and around Columbia, she has now recently burst into the American scene. In 2017, she launched her eponymous label and as they say, the cat was out of the bag.

But, initially what influenced her? As a little girl, she would always play mix and match, trying different clothes that helped inculcate a sense of fashion in her. She tells us, “I used to try my mother’s clothes and would transform my dad’s shirts using shoulder pads and big belts. I even created my very own fragrance combining various perfumes.” As she grew up, she went on to pursue a diploma in interior design and alongside played with a lot of elements to produce a garment. As she describes, “In a natural and organic way, my brand was born.”

Silvia is a lady who was born to never stop. She pursued her dreams, followed her passion, and strived to do what she liked. She is not just a fashion designer, but also an interior designer and a published author. She had always set her priorities straight which is when initially she decided to hone her skills and maintain her focus on fashion and as they say, never looked back. Silvia whole-heartedly followed it.

Effortless Elegance, as she titled her book, speaks volumes about her experiences in the fashion industry. Writing the book helped her to spread her wings and speak about following ones dreams. She might just publish another book very soon.

With her designs, she transports us back to the era of everything voluminous. With inspiration driven from the ’70s and ’80s, her brand is an extension of her own style philosophy. But, what inspires her designs? “Colombia, especially the Caribbean region where I was born and raised. My Caribbean roots are an important component of my brand’s DNA.”

This is why you can notice vibrant energy and optimistic spirit of her people imprinted in her collections. Ruffles, fluid silhouettes and the artistic handle of colours and prints have been her trademark since her beginning as a designer 30 years ago. Today, she believes, they are more current than ever.

Her design process begins when she selects her fabrics. She creates samples and tries to build links between them. She likes playing with a lot of different colours, patterns, and textures. According to her, “Fashion needs to be playful and joyful.”

But fashion is not the only thing that interests her. After showcasing her collections at several fashion weeks, she decided to translate her vision and step into hospitality industry. She remembers the time when brands such as Armani, Versace and Bulgari had forayed into the concept of fashion hotels, and she realised how she would be able to create a balance between fashion and lifestyle. This very thought made her open the doors of her very own hotel chain, Tcherassi Hotels.

Her first luxury hotel in Cartagena is housed in a colonial building and as she began with the creative process, she first started as a lab test to put herself to realise if her vision would relate to interior design. With the building regarded as a UNESCO heritage site, she wished to play around with elements that turned out to be respectful but fashionable at the same time.

Taking us through the interiors, she explains, “There are a lot of fashion touch ups. We designed hanging lamps using delicate lace, the bed decorative accents are crafted using my brand labels and care instruction labels creating a beautiful texture and napkins are artistically folded as a blouse, amongst other details. In addition, the rooms were named after my favourite fabrics such as radzimir and mousseline.”

Through her hotels, she wanted to simplify luxury. She wanted to incorporate the elements that could capture her ideas and put forward calmness for the travellers. She wanted to make it big, but not loud. The design was made in a way that it activates the memories of visitors.

We could not resist to ask if interior designs  should be overwhelming? “Interior design can be invasive and over the top. Signature hotels can be ego-driven sometimes. But it is possible to create something warm and stylish at the same time,” she says. At end of the day, the travellers need to be inspired.

With brighter hues forming an integral part of her collection, the latest Resort 2019 collection is all feminine and versatile, perfect for a holiday season. For most of her Spring/Summer collection, she played with fabrics such as silk and cotton while tweed, wool, and velvet play major role for her winter collection. In her designs, she also makes sure to incorporate haute couture materials and couture techniques to make her garments stand out. She remembers the time when during her first showcase at Milan Fashion Week her collection was called as ‘prêt-à-couture’ by critics.

But, as she tells us, Silvia is not solely responsible for the success she has achieved. Her family too, is equally involved. Her mother is the perfect critic for her and the best companion. Her son, Mauricio has started to handle her business development that focuses on wholesale strategy, while her daughter, Sofia, who is currently studying fashion, has her own distinctive point of view. “With them, my legacy is in good hands.”

She is currently working on her Fall/Winter ’19-20 collection which will be known as Poeticus as she wishes to include the elements of poetry, romanticism, and nostalgia. She will be reintroducing rhythmical layers, subtle embellishments, and new couture-like embellishments designed for women who value little details.