If central casting’s ever looking for a new fairy-tale princess, it need look no further than budding fashion designer Cristina Ottaviano, whose warmth and charm match her beauty.
WAG had a chance to catch up with Cristina recently at Mary Jane Denzer in White Plains, where she held a trunk show of her delicately textured designs. Think floral embroidery on an angled silk faille bodice or bugle beads on lace. Such embellishments are important to Cristina, who learned crocheting and hand-beading lace from her Spanish-born great-grandmother. From her Italian-born father, Cristina absorbed a love of fashion as well as art and architecture. The rest came from hands-on experience.
“I started modeling at 16,” she says, “which is how I learned about fit and construction.”
After graduating from The Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, this native New Yorker apprenticed with Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta. Of her time with the late, lamented Oscar, Cristina says, “He was such a joy, so inspiring. To be able to hold up pieces of fabric or a design as he chose this or that, well, I learned a lot.”
There’s a touch of Oscar in Cristina’s columns and ball gowns, which accentuate the female figure and often make bold use of color, particularly ruby red. It was featured along with black and white in the florals amid her Chinese-inspired fall collection. Not surprisingly, she’s chosen a gown from this group for her appearance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s May 4 gala celebrating The Costume Institute’s “China: Through the Looking Glass” exhibit.
Still, the Spanish filigree in her designs is all her own as is their frothiness. One confection in particular caught our eye — crisscrossing swaths of pale gray tulle fanning out and trailing off, just waiting for some star to wow in on the red carpet.
Who needs 50 shades of gray when you can have one by Cristina?
For more, visit cristinaottaviano.com.