Elisa Palomino‘s blackened, seductive SS12 collection “A Fairy Dance” mines the eerie worlds of Victorian art and Rococo design and realises mishapen headwear, intricate print designs and pastel-splashed hosiery. The designer, who studied with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Antonio Berardi and Hussein Chalayan before moving to Moschino, spoke to Wonderland about her dazzling new display.

How did studying with McQueen and Chalayan et al. inspire you to follow your dreams and career ambitions?

I had a great chance to have classmates like Lee, so talented yet so down to earth. It was a very special time in fashion and St Martins was full of talented and creative individuals. It was highly competitive and we all try to stand out in such a bright and colourful crowd.

How did your work with Moschino’s Cheap and Chic collection come about?

Me dear teacher and fairy godmother Natalie Gibson told me that they were looking for a print and scarf person at Moschino, I went and fall in love with the team and soon later I started working on the cheap and chic collection as well.

You then got a job at John Galliano. What creative leeway did the role grant you?

John is such a generous person with his creativity and huge knowledge in fashion that I managed to learn pretty much everything I know about fashion. He gave me total freedom in my job and pushed me to go as far as I could and to break boundaries in my work. I had the chance to work with the most sophisticated old suppliers and with a fantastic atelier where nothing was impossible.

What about your role at Diane von Furstenberg – was it a particularly creative one?

I am no longer at DVF, but the experience was terribly inspiring from a business perspective and I learnt a lot about the American market, and how different it is from Europe.

Explain the major themes at play in your SS12 collection.

The collection is inspired by the Victorian painting movement of fairies and strange creatures that happened at the turn of the century in England.
The looks start being really rigid corseted pieces and as the collection goes on, those strict victorian women start getting inspired by the fairies seen in ballets like giselle and they lose all the layers and corsets to embrace an ethereal fashion made of transparencies.

How does it differ from previous works?

All my collections keep growing organically and have a similar vibe to them. This season there is a huge amount of techniques and the headpieces have taken a really important role in the collection.

Name five of your biggest heroes.

My grandmother, the soprano Emm Kirkbi, the composer Barbara Strozzi and Monteverdi, Paolo Uccelo.

Words: Jack Mills