Document 90842

The Vienna Review
March 2011
On the Town
Three of Maurizio Giambra‘s current collection of evening gowns presented at a fashion show sponsored by Stella Models held at Aux Gazelles on Feb. 4
with subtle elegance and grace is his upbringing in relation with his mother’s affection to
classiness and sensibility. He feels strongly attached to timeless movie
divas like Grace Kelly, for instance. This is very
much reflected in his fashion.
“I am constantly looking for curves, lines,
and new silhouettes. My drawings and cuts are
always geometric and naturally elegant.” And
the Italian influence is everywhere, and while
some of his designs may appear to be simple,
his fashion sense is very feminine, especially
compared to the French, who avoid the curves
Aux Gazelles, attracting a phalanx of reporters in favor of a more angular look. During his
by Philippa Hohenzollern
“The woman I design for is strong, self-con- and TV crews, who were excited by what they studies, he learned how to draw architecturfident, and graceful,” Maurizio Giambra tells saw. Not only were his cuts unusual, but also ally and in his opinion, it contributed a lot to
me, gesturing with his hands to show how “she” the fabrics, including chiffon, satin, silk and his love for clean, geometrical lines.
might emphasize a point. “She combines my partly even a touch of lace, decently adding exGiambra is still often surprised about his
fashion with her own imagination: Depending tra attention to the designs, which he carefully clientele. His fashion attracts women aged 20
on her mood, it can be casual one day and el- selects in Italy, France and Spain.
up to 80, as it can be combined with many
egant the next; but it is always très chic.”
“Shiny colors and materials are downright things and worn in a wide variety of settings.
Not only does this statement suit his fash- essential for evening gowns,” he said while Which is also why jewelry designer Henri
ion perfectly, it also emphasizes how his own pointing out some of his outstanding pieces J. Sillam got in touch with him in considsense of style associates with it. Although he was spread around the store. I immediately recog- eration of a joint show presenting the jewelry
dressed casually that day, wearing a black shirt nized one of the dresses I had seen it before on- together with Giambra’s evening robes, that
and dark plaid trousers, his visual appearance line. It was one of his most popular designs, he took place at Sillam’s store in the first district
implied smartness. Meeting at his store in Vien- said. Again simple, yet, it has a small belt that on February 25th. The beautiful, luminous
na’s 8th district, there was no awkwardness or is tied around the hips; that extra little detail dresses in combination with the outstanddiscomfort, just a warm welcome at the sunny making it stand out.
ing jewels made a remarkable appearance and
Maurizio Giambra is not the kind of designer displayed how an evening dress can suddenly
shop on Lange Gasse that opened nearly a year
ago; it was a bit like seeing a friend you haven’t who goes out seeking to find inspiration. He is have an entirely new meaning by adding a
not trying too hard to discover yet another muse piece of jewelry to it.
spoken to in a while.
The store has clean lines and from outside like most people involved in the fashion indusIt might sound slightly tricky to host a
and from outside you can peek into the tai- try. Instead, he lets people and surroundings act show at a jewelry store, but in this case it was
loring and get a glimpse of his dressmakers on him. From his point of view, a woman does the ideal location. The entire setting of the reat work. When I entered, a black satin dress not necessarily have to be interested in fashion cently redecorated store and the glamorous inhung on a mannequin by the entrance, not in order to be elegant or glamorous.
terior, which primarily contain the colors black
quite finished; it was arresting, with long
“It doesn’t really matter if a woman is and hot pink, worked perfectly along with the
streams of fabric that tie around the neck in a working in a rice field in Vietnam or at a glossy fabrics and the glowing pieces of jewelry.
collar or a loose bow. We walked in between market, she can still be naturally elegant. This Even though it was such a high fashion presen17:42 Seite 1
is what inspires me most,” 1he 27.04.10
said. He also
racks to the back room behind the store, walls Anz_ViennaRev_2010:Layout
tation, the overall atmosphere was pretty laid
covered with his sketches, where a dressmaker shared that part of the reason he is obsessed back and open to discuss the designs. was at work on a transparent, chiffon blouse.
I shook her hand while Giambra showed me
the sketch of the newly blouse that he had
drawn in fine lines with a pencil. Throughout the store, racks were filled with his fashions in sleek colors, ranging from pastel coats
from his spring collection, light silky blouses
in black and white as well as summery flower
patterns to mannequins dressed in shimmering evening gowns and plain black skirts.
Maurizio Giambra was born and raised in
Sicily but moved to Rome at the age of 18,
where he studied at the Academy for Fashion
and Design. Living abroad had always been
of interest to him and having had an Austrian
roommate in Rome, he decided to move to
Vienna in 1988 without speaking a word of
German. He started his career as a costume designer for television shows, which he did (and
still does) with great passion and enthusiasm
for the past 18 years.
With the worsening economy and television jobs decreasing, he began to look for a
hobby or another activity to focus on to keep
him entertained. “In September of 2009 the
idea of creating my own fashion suddenly
came to me,” he said smiling with excitement.
“It had always been a dream of mine to make
my own designs and work independently,” he
told The Vienna Review.
“Maurizio is really unlike any Viennese Designer,” said Roberta Manganelli of Stella Models, “elegant and glamorous, yet also simple”
Kirchengasse 41, A-1070 Vienna, ++43-1/522 66
– which is why Giambra works so closely with
the agency. They hosted a show together in early
February at the hip, oriental bar and restaurant
Puristic colors, plenty of silk, precise cuts and “constantly
looking for curves, lines and new silhouettes.” Simply timeless
Maurizio Giambria:
Design for Living
Photos courtesy of Maurizio Giambra
This season he will be surprising us with further elegant cocktail and evening dresses as well
as with light chiffon blouses and fresh flower
patterns. The plain cuts in combination with
these fine patterns add a lot of excitement and
edginess and can easily be recombined, whether
it’s a casual or fancy occasion.
After working for the television for such a
long period of time, Giambra feels like he is
permanently discovering new ideas and catching up on the creativity he could not fully act
out during his years of only costume design.
He described his recent experiences as more
harmonious and less hectic, though he still
very much enjoys working on costumes. Most
of his designs are made at his tailoring in the
store. He also plans to concentrate on the issue of dresses within the upcoming months.
There are so many occasion where a dress is
essential, yet, it is always difficult to find the
perfect match.
“Even for television roles it was never easy
to find a suitable dress for the actress.” Especially during Vienna’s ball season evening
gowns are of such importance.
For the time being, Giambra’s designs are
only available at his store here in Vienna. Of
course it is of interest to him to eventually
expand, primarily because his timeless designs would suit women all around the world,
though momentarily he is very pleased the
way things are going. He has managed to catch
people’s attention without creating something
so absurd that it could only be presentable
at a fashion show and at the same time, his
designs add a lot of refreshment to Vienna’s
rather conservative fashion scene. Although
his reasons for coming to Vienna did not include standing out through his own creations
in first place, Giambra has established a name
with meaning behind it and most importantly; he has surprised himself.
42 rooms and suites.
Good architecture and great art.
Charming and unique.