Catalina Paladi

Specialized in Fashion Design.

Catalina Paladi

About Catalina Paladi

Catalina Paladi is a Fashion Designer in love with culture and history. She tends to bring the old-school techniques back into the modern perception of fashion, and doesn't shy away for experimenting and bringing to life every idea that has potential in her eyes. As an empathetic designer, she promotes a sustainable and conscious use of materials, pleading for natural biodegradable fabrics where possible, and gives a hand in reducing the offcuts that lie forgotten in fabric warehouses. Her artistic side interfere harmoniously with her technical skills and attention to the details, for neat designs with good finishings.

  • Winner of the A' Design Award.
  • Specialized in Fashion Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Fashion
Turquerie Womenswear Collection

Turquerie Womenswear Collection

Fashion Design

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Interview with Catalina Paladi

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
I dreamed of becoming a fashion designer since I was a 4 years old. I started drawing frontal and back views of gowns before I started to read and write. The love for beauty and uniqueness together with the powerful desire to become a designer determined me to achieve my goals.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
As a young designer, I'm at the very beginning of my career. I design develop my works at my home studio. Hopefully I'll launch my brand soon.
What is "design" for you?
"Design" for me is a point of view, my point of view. It's the concept together with the way I do/make a certain thing. In fashion, "design" for me is a far deeper than just a piece of clothing. It's a masterpiece, an artwork, a materialisation of my heart and soul.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
For me every piece of clothing is an entire project. I like designing gowns, but recently I got addicted to designing coats. One thing that I like most is creating a coat that is beautiful on the inside as well.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
I haven't designed for a company, but for private clients. The first design for a client was an asymmetric black and white evening dress in silk satin.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
Velvet is my favourite material, despite all the unpredictable issues that may appear during the design process :D The softness, the intensity the colours embrace and the shadowy tones when draping are the effects that turned velvet into an addiction for me.
When do you feel the most creative?
Creativity is spontaneous and it usually appears in the most busy moments: when I'm working on a project, before an emerging deadline, or late at night...
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
When designing i care most about the feeling, sensation and perception that the wearer will experience, the story behind the garment. That can be achieved through details: an interesting lining, decorations, contrasted textures, something small but unexpected that would make the garment stand out in the crowd.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
Expressing feelings is a important distinctive feature of a designer. When designing i have the opportunity to exteriorize myself, to free my ideas and thoughts. All these make me enthusiastic and excited to share a piece of my heart and spirit through the design.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
To me, the creative process starts with the anxiety of not being able to execute everything that I would like to, since imagination can fly much further than reality. Still, that's a positive sensation, a motivational force that helps me follow my aspirations, to follow my passion and to keep persevering during the process. Lately the anxiety turns either into uncertainty related with decision making process or into an strong self-confidence, if the idea is good enough to be convincing. At the end the result can lead either to satisfaction and a certain dose of pride, if the design is magnificent; of to bitterness and disappointment (in the most of the cases) since both me and the very majority of the creative minds I know are difficult to be pleased, especially by their own works...
What makes a design successful?
They use to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, that is why, to me, a design is successful when the concept of the creator is received, understood and appreciated by the customer/client,thus the design is like a dialogue between the two parties.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
People unconsciously trust the first impression when judging a certain thing and I am not a exception. It's only later that I start to weight the proportions, contrasts, texture, materials, colour and quality of the execution. If talking about fashion, I also judge the quality of the stitches, the accuracy from the interior of the garment. A good design is beautiful both from the outside and from the inside, it is enduring, functional. Another important feature is how comfortable the client would be in it, that's why I choose high quality materials, mostly natural fibres and linings, if that suits the concept.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
A designer should never be selfish and put his interests above the welfare of the society and environment. If everyone considered ethical deontology, there wouldn't be so much pollution,labor exploitation and a type of modern slavery in the industrial countries..
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
Referring to clothing, I'm happy to notice a certain retardation of the fast fashion tendency, and a gradual return to the old school. People start to shop more consciously and there are more and more who tend to appreciate more the quality than the quantity. To me, this is the future of the fashion design: a renaissance of the small brands, manufacturers, brilliant minds and talents.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
My last exhibition was in November 2018, in Milan. It was connected to my artistic activity, where I exhibited 5 artworks in different techniques. The next exhibition is not planned, yet, due to the covid19 restrictions.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
I'm an observing person that's why I find joy and happiness in little things. My attention to detail feeds my creativity and helps me to find the inspiration from everything. Besides that, I also look for inspiration in magazines, books, music, fine arts, movies and culture… Another very prolific source of inspiration for me is history. I adore designing modern stuff with historical allure that helps the viewer to travel in time.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
The style that describes my activity best is eclecticism. I like to experiment with different styles, shapes, textures and colours. I prefer eclecticism since it gives me freedom, and lets me add many different influences in my designs. Maximalist, vibrant, sophisticated, textured and colourful, that's how I would describe my style. Sometimes I start my designs with sketching and then looking for materials that would suit the project, but, more often I do it on the opposite: I start with the materials and then I decide what interesting, crazy garment I can make from it.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
For about three years so far, I live in Verona, Italy. I'm in love with this city from the very first sight. A simple walk downtown could be enough to fulfill my creative battery and to inspire me to design. Verona is a great place to live in for the artistic people because of the architecture,arts, cultural events, cousins, and of course, Opera Festival. It's location is proper as well, since it's not far from Venice, Florence, Milan, some other significant cultural destination. There are also many pros regarding sourcing and business, since it's close to the fabric warehouses from Florence and it's close to the Milan fashion events and exhibitions. Some disadvantages may be correlated with the very quiet and slightly conservative lifestyle, thus the high fashion is not frequently among the priorities in people's list.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
You can't know until you give it a chance. Often companies put the work experience higher than the talent, or refuse to give a chance. In order to select a good designer they should give a chance first. More chances, greater the probability to find a good designer.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
I start with a brainstorm, putting together the concept, materials, and sketching the product, then making the pattern, cutting and sewing the maquette from a plain white cotton fabric. Then we try the maquette on the model, see how it sits and what changes can be done to improve the garment. Only after the approval of the maquette, i start to cut and sew the final garment from the chosen materials with some fittings during the process.
Can you describe a day in your life?
My everyday life is directly influenced by my "mom career". Happily I've got a small studio at home, that way I can do both: looking after my child and working on my projects, with cooking and housework stuff in between.
Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
I'd advice the young upcoming fellow designers to never give up on their dreams. When you're young you may not have the money and the resources you need to build a business, but you've got the most valuable resource ever: energy. Don't waste it on building someone else's dreams. Use the energy and time you have for building your own dreams.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
"Everything is relative". "Everything has got potential". The second one I usually apply to materials.
What skills are most important for a designer?
I think that technical skills are very important, as well as creativity, and modesty- to always consider the aspects that can be improved.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
If talking about a simple project it may take from some days to some weeks, if a bigger project (a difficult garment or a collection) it may require up to a year or even more, depending how much of the work is done by hand.
Who are some of your clients?
Recently I started designing exclusive garments for some classic musicians from Russia, for their concerts and contests. For their privacy I wouldn't mention names.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
At the moment I'm working hard on laying the foundation for my brand. I want to create exclusive garments, artworks and sell them online.

Extended Interview with Catalina Paladi

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?
I graduated from the Technical University of Moldova in 2017. Thus, besides the qualification as Fashion Designer I am privileged to have both the artistic and the technical background, aspect which is very relevant to my design projects.
How did you become a designer?
I'm a lover of beauty in general. And designing is my way of bringing my contribution to creating beautiful things. I became a designer because I think that's my vocation. I wanted it badly from when I was a four year old. That's when I started drawing frontal and back views of dresses. Lately I started sewing for my Barbie and sticked to my dream despite the pressure to seek for more "comfortable" professions, if I can call it that way..
What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?
I chose to become a designer, and happily I have supportive parents that encouraged me to pursue my childhood dream..
Which emotions do you feel when designing?
I'm a designer that likes challenging projects, especially those that seem impossible to complete. Thus, I get very excited and enthusiastic about most of my projects, since I like to look for its potential...
What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?
To be a designer nowadays is very difficult, since it's almost impossible to come up with something new. The foundation has already been laid and everything has already been invented. But, what CAN make a designer great, is an original approach. The way You create something that the humanity has already seen, the way you catch people's attention... And if there is clearly seen the amount of your soul, effort and dedication in your design, then the goal is reached.
You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?
To me, design together with arts, music and literature is very important. Especially in this pandemic circumstances, some may say that these are not essential for our existence. That may be true on one side. But on the other, it is in our nature to seek for beauty, to look for it and to nest in it's warm and pleasing feeling. It's now more that ever, that people start to meditate about existence, to look for answers and to look for motivation and comfort. And arts and design can bring a bit of alleviation in our lives. So yes, it's wise to invest in design.
How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?
I'm very inspired by culture and different ethnicities. And I love very much the portraits. So my dream project is to create portraits of people from different ethnicities, and to introduce them into fashion. This way I would bring closer the cultural diversity that, unfortunately separates us nowadays rather that unifies. And we could have been stronger!
How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?
My secret ingredient would be: to never be pleased with average... To seek for excellence.. If doing so, the feeling of being pleased with your work would be delighting.
Who is your favourite designer?
My greatest design is one I started during my Bachelor degree. You won't believe but it's still unfinished, but I still consider it great. It is great in the material choice, in the lines, in the proportions, in the contrasts and in the dynamics. And the most important thing is that at that point when I designed it, I was at the very beginning of my Design degree, and had very limited technical knowledge, and even then I chose a project that seemed impossible. Now, I just have to wait for the right time to finish it.
Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?
Self improvement is very important for a designer that wants to excel. Reading, studying, looking for inspiration and keeping updated with the fashion industry is very important, cause Fashion is moving with a huge speed. You can't be a good designer if you're slow and lazy. That's it.
What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?
Design to me is a confession. Is the most intimate way I expose my inner self, my ideas and thoughts. While designing I am powerful. I have freedom of speech and decision. And this feeling is very motivational.

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