Creativity Comes Custom: A Conversation with Gramercy Atelier
From the beginning of Gil Walsh’s career, it was evident that fashion would continue to play an integral role in her designs and personal expression. And with the launch of her first fabric collection, it wasn’t only other interior designers who took notice of her colorful textiles.
Gramercy Atelier, a New York-based design studio specializing in bespoke jackets and dresses began using the fabrics to create custom masterpieces worn by their clients, and now, Gil Walsh herself.
We had the pleasure of interviewing the owners, Maria and Robert Pucciariello, on the lost art of tailoring, translating the Gil Walsh Collection into bespoke clothing, and the relationship between interior design and fashion.
GW Interiors: Maria and Robert, it’s lovely to meet you both. In your own words, what does Gramercy Atelier do best?
Maria: We specialize in very well-tailored clothing. We started with making jackets using upholstery fabrics. And now after 12 years, we make dresses for special occasions, but always our focus is being well-tailored.
GW Interiors: It says that you live by the true values and practices of traditional tailoring. What does that entail?
Maria: This means that first of all, we produce everything here in New York in our atelier. And it means that our tailors are very well-trained. We incorporate tailoring techniques like welt pockets and piping. We dye our buttons to exactly match the fabric. These things cannot be found anywhere in stores. It’s very customized and it’s becoming obsolete.
GW Interiors: So you guys are the exact opposite of the fast fashion movement that’s going on, that’s really amazing.
Robert: And it’s also like a collaboration, which could be translated into the way an interior designer would work. You look at the client, you find out what they like and we think about it together. We take into consideration what the event is and other ways that they will wear it. It starts with a meeting and then it goes through phases. In a few months, they get their finished piece.
GW Interiors: How do you balance creating a traditional garment that will stand the test of time with also being very tailored to the clients that you work with?
Maria: I think our clients are similar. They believe in investing in their personal style. They are confident in their style and they know their colors and what they like. So this is a good starting point to design anything and to learn from each other.
GW Interiors: That’s a great correlation between the way our companies run. An expert’s opinion combined with a client’s personal style. Whether you’re dressing yourself or dressing your home, beautiful things happen when you trust your vision with a designer! This leads me to my next question. What drew you to the fabrics of the Gil Wash Collection? What inspired you to create those pieces?
Maria: I love them for jackets because of the texture, and I love that you didn’t do linen, which wrinkles easily. Everything has a little bit of texture that I haven’t seen anywhere else on the market. I knew instantly that I would love them for our jackets. They’re so beautiful.
GW Interiors: Robert. Is there anything you’d like to add to that?
Robert: There’s a strong personality we find with what Gil has done. We’re not just taking other interior textiles in a slapdash methodology and saying “Well, that’s it.” There is a way that we pair the right details with that textile as the basis for the garment. Whether it’s the piping or trimming, a button we’ve chosen, or the way we do a buttonhole, there’s a sort of unifying theme working with that fabric.
GW Interiors: I’m glad you found so much inspiration! Do you think you will continue to create more pieces out of the Gil Walsh Fabric Collection?
Maria: Yes, certainly. They’re wonderful and they’re different. They don’t look like copies of something else. They have their own authenticity and it appeals to me.
GW Interiors: That means a lot to us. Thank you. I have one more question for you and it’s a bit more of a heady one, but do you think fashion takes its inspiration from interior design or vice versa?
Maria: So I was thinking about this question and I think that both fashion and interior design take inspiration from art, more so than each other. If I walk into a room, I don’t know if I would be inspired by it as a whole, but I can feel inspired by a certain fabric on the couch or the curtain fabric, or the artwork.
GW Interiors: That’s very interesting.
Robert: I think Maria makes a point that it’s not necessarily that fashion and interiors have a direct correlation to each other, but I think they’re both absorbing what is in the zeitgeist to reflect the mood or the period that we’re in. The sentiment of an interior with what is being worn in a given time, you know, maybe it’s a celebration, maybe it’s a sitting room, but they sort of work together in that respect.
GW Interiors: I love that. Fashion and design are really just a reflection of our time, but shown visually. That’s a really interesting perspective. Thank you so much for your time. We’re looking forward to seeing what you create next!
Located on New York City’s Fifth Avenue, Gramercy Atelier designs and produces fine clothing for special occasions. You can view their ready-to-buy collection at gramercy-atelier.com.
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