Veni Infantino seems to start every new design with such a deep understanding of the women who will eventually choose it. She knows that person already, without having met her; knows the hopes, aspirations, dreams and, maybe, fears, that will all come together on that day, because she designs for real women of flesh and blood, people like you and me.
Because of that, her objective is to be affordable and practical but without compromise to cut, style and fit. Veni understands her customers, she knows that the basic choice will be for either the full, sparkling embellishment of a dress that celebrates the day; or a more simple style, perhaps capturing the sophistication of a woman who wants to say, “I'm joining you, but I will always be me”.
Veni says that designing is easy. When she feels a new fabric for the first time she can almost see the dress that it will become; but that does not do her skills justice. She knows that today’s mother of the bride is likely to be a size 14 or 16 but perhaps wanting to be a 10 or a 12, so she starts designing from the inside out, ruching and gathering, often on the diagonal, to give the most flattering background to the embellishment of front and back.
The Italian heritage, suggested in her name, is of course there leading her on the road to fashion while pinning and stitching for her Italian grandmother and learning, from an early age, the most basic elements of the dress maker’s skills. Those abilities were then nurtured by designing and making her own clothes; a new creation every week, her experience building in layers in what was her first collection.
Now, there are not many people who would put their success in life down to their school careers officer, but Veni does just that. She thought that becoming a fashion designer was just a sixth form dream, at best possibly a hobby that might make up for having to a more practical choice of work. For Veni a few positive and encouraging words from the adviser were enough to build the confidence and commitment that would take her from school to the London School of Fashion where she graduated in 1987, not even having to search for a job as three of the UK’s leading fashion house were waiting in the wings with job offers for this emerging talent.
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