Beyonce Francesco Scognamiglio Dress VMA Performance MTV

Who is the designer behind the dress that Beyoncé wore to the MTV VMAs ?

Byline : Jessica Michault
Photo : Instagram @Beyonce

Last night Beyoncé took the title away from Madonna as the person with the most MTV Music Video Awards in the history of the ceremony. For this auspicious occasion she alighted on the red carpet, with her daughter Blue Ivy, in a show stopping dress by the Italian fashion designer Francesco Scognamiglio. The sea foam green gown was hot off the catwalk of Scognamiglio first haute couture collection on the official French couture calendar. Antidote caught up with the designer.

Francesco Scognamiglio might be a new name to the official French haute couture calendar but the Italian designer started his carrier in the rarified air of couture over fifteen years ago.

Born in Pompei, Scognamiglio, whose mother was the director of a local post office and whose father was a lawyer, learned his craft at the Naples College of Design. Then tmmediately after graduating he launched his signature brand in 1998, out of an atelier that was once the home of his grandparents. Just two years later he was presenting his highly feminine and romantic but slightly rock and roll couture creations in Rome where his friend, the budding supermodel Maria Carla Boscono, walked in the show.

Francesco Scognamiglio haute couture fall-winter 2016

But in the history of the Francesco Scognamiglio house this year will go down as one where the brand really started to take off. Not only does it mark the 15th anniversary of the debut of his first ready-to-wear runway show in Milan the designer has also just opened an impressive new headquarters in the city inside a gilded 17th century palazzo on via Morone. And let’s not forget that this week he will have his first appearance on the official French haute couture calendar.

We spoke with the designer on the eve of his Paris debut about what showing his couture in the city of light means to him, how he would describe the Scognamiglio woman and what he needs to get his creative juices flowing.

Francesco Scognamiglio haute couture fall-winter 2016

Antidote: How did you feel when you got the call saying that you had been accepted to be an invited member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Française?
Francesco Scognamiglio: For me it was the realization of a dream I have had since I was a young boy. It’s a monumental honor and when you think that the last Italian designer who was an invited member was Giorgio Armani, it’s a bit of a shock. And now I am rushing to finish 19 masterpieces that I hope will show the world what I am capable of.

When did you first discover your love of fashion?
It a beautiful question because every time I get asked it takes me back to when I was young, like when I was 5 years old, and I use to go with my mother to go dress shopping. She was a beautiful woman and I would watch her dressing up to go out and realized that there was this sense, within myself, of wanting to create this sort of beauty myself. I started drawing when I was about three years old and then growing up I just continued to loved to draw. Eventually I started to draw naked women and then I stared to put dresses on them. That was when I realized I wanted to design dresses. But for me designing is sort of art that, through my hands, I can express to other people.

« Couture is like drinking a glass of wine for me, it’s super easy.« 

You are celebrating the 15th anniversary since your first ready-to-wear show in Milan. You have really seen Milan as it started to come out of its slumber and has a whole new generation of designers coming into their own. What do you think about this shift?
I think there is still a lot of confusion these days because before there was a more precise method, to build up a real DNA and designers would slowly grow season by season. But now a lot of designer, to be cool or try to stay cool, they change what they are doing every season so you don’t really understand what they are doing or what they represent. I don’t care if some press says to me “oh again with the ruffles” because for me I have a very specific vision for my brand to only create the most beautiful things. I love the world of lingerie. I love the world of transparency. I love the world of lace and ruffles. And then I use my skills to made women feel at their most beautiful with my designs.

Francesco Scognamiglio haute couture fall-winter 2016

When are you at your most creative, when does the design spirit grab you?
It’s all about intimacy. When I am alone in my office is the moment when I make love with my pencil and with my colors and with my lights. This is a very intimate moment that I have to dedicate to transforming a white piece of paper into something special. To create a new story, the next chapter in the story of my brand. That is the most beautiful moment when you are alone with your ideas.

What do you see is the biggest challenge you and your brand are facing right now?
Well putting on the couture show, in a way. Its really another world, it is the smell of the fabrics, it is the tailor around a woman’s body. But I started my company doing couture back 2000, so it’s in my DNA. Couture is like drinking a glass of wine for me, its super easy. But still there is the pressure of showing in Paris on the official calendar.

So who is the Francesco Scognamiglio woman?
My woman is a mother. My woman is a lover. My woman is very sensitive and a very special person. And she is a woman who loves men. She knows how to love. She knows how to cry and knows how to look chic, provocative and sweet at the same time.

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