High-Powered Glamour: Exclusive Interview with Yoana Baraschi

Like what you see? I do. Meet the beautiful designer behind the pieces, and find out what she thinks are the best Holiday gifts! I got the great honor of interviewing Yoana Baraschi, a Romanian beauty full of creativity and the passion to make the best pieces possible. She was also the Creative Director for Betsey Johnson, and started her own line in 2002, which was very successful. “Yoana Baraschi now has showrooms representing her collection in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, and London and can be found in approximately 500 specialty boutiques globally such as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s West, Intermix, and Fred Segal.” (view her website, here.)

CRW: What inspired you for your new SS’ 12 collection? I know you are a big fan of vintage, is there a certain era that you drew inspiration from?

YB: There is a high-powered glamour to the ‘70s that always influences my collection: super-fitted jackets, pencil skirts that give length to the legs, and lots of sparkly embellishments. In this collection, I also drew on the silhouettes of the ‘40s. I get so much inspiration watching old movies, and I love how dresses are more fitted through the abdomen in a way that slims the body and adds height, and the skirts have a swing shape that is so universally wearable. And of course, I always love vintage prints—I get a gambler’s rush when I see an amazing print

CRW: How did you select your fabrics for this collection?

YB: There is no formula. I just have to look at everything I can, and I see what excites me at that moment. It’s almost impossible to predict—sometimes the way a fabric moves totally surprises me and I respond to it unexpectedly. It’s exhausting, but when you find that fabric that’s just right, it’s worth it.

CRW: From viewing the lookbook, I see you have a lot of white pieces with amazing detail, but then also have many pieces with brilliant bursts of color. Were you trying to do anything in particular by mixing the light and bright themes?

YB: I love bright colors, which you can see in the use of orange, jade, and purple throughout the collection. But the white, gray and navy anchor that color palette, as those colors allow the amazing embroidery work, embellishments and prints to speak for themselves.

CRW: What particular pieces are your favorites and what makes them stand out to you amongst the beautiful collection?

YB: The neoclassical print pieces. That’s the kind of print I get a gambler’s rush from. The print looks beautiful in uber-practical pieces like the shirtdress or pencil skirt that you can wear to work, but it also looks really dreamy in the caftan, which is my piece de resistance of the collection.

CRW: Which pieces in your line as a whole do you think make the best gifts for the upcoming Holidays?

YB: My cashmere scarves are the ultimate holiday gift. I go to India twice a year, and I dedicated an entire trip to finding the perfect cashmere that would drape just so, and the right artisanal dying techniques that would make the scarves totally unique. I wear one nearly every day to give my outfit that final dose of elegance. They are true statement pieces.

CRW: When did you first feel that you accomplished something important in your career and what was your breakthrough that lead you to design your own line?

YB: Seeing the creative energy of Bestey Johnson when I worked as her Creative Director really inspired me. It helped me realize there wasn’t one way to design—you could think outside the box, you could be playful and have a sense of humor while still creating something incredible.

If you were already envisioning the wondrous scarves Yoana mentioned (be honest…) Here are a few! They would make incredible gifts for the Holidays and as an added bonus (on top of the scarves’ good-looks) you can tout their authenticity, as Yoana mentioned they are the perfect blend of cashmere she hand-picks in India.

It is “Black-Friday.” If there is a day to splurge, today is the day. #JUSTSAYING

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