Soledad Twombly has an impressive atelier in an historical building two minutes away from the Spanish Steps, in Rome.
Honestly, it looks more like a tango ballroom in an imaginary castle in Neverland than a fashion studio. She is the undisputed queen: slender figure, bright eyes, strong personality. In fact she is a fashion designer (‘an artisan’, as she puts it), not a queen, but if she were one, it would be difficult for her to pick a country to rule on.
Born in Buenos Aires, grown up here and there, settled down in Rome. The only place where I could see her wear a crown would in fact be Neverland.
Soledad, what brought you to Rome? Can you call Rome your home now?
I moved to Rome permanently in 1999 and then I definitely fell in love with this city, which became one of my main sources of inspiration: its pure beauty is unquestionable and I’m particularly sensitive to beautiful things. I like living and working here, but I also enjoy leaving it: when I come back, I find it more interesting and inspiring then ever. I call Rome home right now, but only because my kids are living here at the moment. The day they leave it to go anywhere else, that place will be home for me. Personally, I’m a gipsy, so I don’t need any home: my heart is where my family is.
Have you always wanted to be a fashion designer? Was it your childhood dream?
I wouldn’t call it a conscious dream, but rather a way out from an historical situation [the one in Argentina in the Sixties and Seventies – under the military dictatorship] that didn’t allow any importation of foreign goods. Disassembling old clothes and re-sewing them was a way to express myself, and also the only one to have new dresses. It felt natural: I come from a family of artists, and that was my creative flair. Then I’ve just kept doing it and developing my skills for all my life.
As a womenswear fashion designer, which is your mission?
My mission is to make women more beautiful, strong, confident. My creations are my tools. I feel sad when I see a woman whose body and soul are not enhanced by the dress she is wearing – this is why when my clients visit me in my atelier, I give them precious advices, and help them find the pieces that better fit their figure and personality. A beautiful world in inhabited by beautiful people and I contribute to this.
Do you feel comfortable in wearing your pieces in your everyday life?
Of course I do! My dresses, coats and shirts are different from anything else you see around: they have soft shapes, precious fabrics and feminine character. They are pure couture and they can be worn all day, in the office, during free time, for an aperitif with friends and in the weekend. And I do love to mix them up with other brands’ items. I enjoy going shopping and buy accessories from other designers: it’s a way to keep up-to-date about what’s happening out there.
What kept you going for almost 25 years as a fashion designer?
I have no doubt about this: the love and support of my clients. I’ll tell you a story: when I turned 40, I went through a crisis phase of my life: my body and soul were changing, I was no more the IT girl I used to be at the end of the Eighties and I was struggling with it. I thought I would quit because I felt I had nothing more to give. Then my most affectionate clients came to me and invited me to keep going. And I realized my creativity had to evolve into something else: from that moment one I started doing interior design as well as clothes – I started selling a lifestyle. This is what my clients were asking for.
Would you like to be part of the creative team of one of the corporate giants of the fashion industry?
I guess I would like to try, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to work under such a pressure. Right now I’m free to follow my own creative flow, and to work much more or way less than what is necessary to close a collection. I set my own pace. But I fear that pressure might pinion me, and this is a risk I’m not willing to take at the moment. Of course, freedom comes at a price, we all know that.
Have you planned your next trip?
I haven’t planned it yet, but it could be anywhere and anytime. I’m always ready and in the traveller mood. I would love to go to Myanmar, a country I’ve always been fascinated about, because of its amazing natural landscape.
What will you be doing in 5 years?
I would love to keep doing what I’m doing right now, with the same passion and enthusiasm. But I would also like to broaden my horizon and work in hôtellerie interior design. Every time I check in in a new hotel, I do minor adjustments to my room, to make it more suitable to my personal taste and homier – I would love to make hotels a better place for me and for all the other travellers.
After visiting Soledad at her atelier and after seeing how beautiful it is, I wouldn’t be surprised if this dream comes true. Come on, Soledad, travellers united can’t wait to check in!
Soledad Twombly mi ha accolto nel suo atelier nel cuore di Roma e mi ha raccontato di come disegnare e realizzare abiti sia sempre stata la sua passione. Dopo un’infanzia trascorsa a Buenos Aires durante la dittatura militare e un’adolescenza con la valigia in mano in giro per il mondo, Soledad da 25 anni vive a Roma, citta’ che continua ad incantarla ed ispirarla con la sua bellezza. Nelle sue collezioni, Soledad unisce le note couture delle stoffe più’ preziose, come velluto e sete, con accenni eco-chic. Il risultato sono pezzi dalle linee morbide facilmente indossabili da mattina a sera.
For the chat at Soledad Twombly‘s atelier I was delighted to wear:
White T-shirt: ‘S Max Mara
Black silk pants: COS
Gold bracelets: vintage
Ring: designed and realised for me by Gianni Martinis
Trinity ring: Cartier
Pictures at Soledad’s atelier were taken with my white Sony NEX-5T.
For all the other pictures, special thanks to Soledad Twombly, and in particular to photographers:
Alessandro Vasari (for pictures #1, #2, #5, #7, #11);
Eugenio Mazzinghi (for picture #3);
Roberto Montanari (for pictures #4, #6, #9).[map id=”81″]