Senior Fashion Student Profile: Gabrielle Amaturo
Senior Fashion major Gabrielle Amaturo answers questions on why she started fashion designing, her design aesthetic, hopes for the future, and everything in between.
What made you get into fashion, and what made you want to start designing?
I’ve been wanting to do design since I was a baby, and I’ve being doing it ever since. When I was really, really little I was always drawing clothes; my designs from when I was five years old are hilarious compared to now.
What do you look to for inspiration?
I think of how I want my customer to feel, and use that as my main inspiration. For my pieces that I’m working on right now and with my personal connection to fashion, it’s extremely important how the clothes make you feel. I want my girl to feel magical and glamorous.
What’s your design aesthetic? What’s your style?
I would describe it as funky, fun, whimsical, not too serious, but also fabulous.
What do you hope to do in the future?
My dream would be to have my own brand. I’ve been doing a bunch of things throughout the past few years, interning and freelancing, so maybe after school I may continue to freelance for a little. But hopefully I’ll always continue designing.
What has been the best part of your fashion career here at Marist?
I don’t know, that’s so hard! There’s been so many crazy things that have happened; it’s been a long run, but I guess it’s also gone pretty fast. A big thing that happened this year was the Good Morning America segment that my friend Kate Norkeliunas and I were featured on. We had the challenge of taking apart a wedding dress and upcycling it to make a new, completely sustainable fashion-forward garment. It was really hard to start of senior year doing that because we were working on our senior thesis at the same time, but it was really cool.
Another one of my most memorable experiences would have to be in my junior year when I was honored with the opportunity to be one of the three finalists in the country for the CFDA Liz Claiborne scholarship. I never thought I had a chance, so when I got to go to the CFDA Headquarters to present my portfolio, marketing, and business plan to the judges, it was one of the most exciting, nerve-racking, and special opportunities of my life. It was so exciting for both me and my teachers in the fashion department that had helped me so much along the way, and I hope to get more opportunities like it in the future.
What’s been your favorite or most memorable class here at Marist?
With design classes they’re all kind of similar, and you’re always doing draping, pattern-making, and making portfolios. Everything kind of bridges together and in all of your classes you work simultaneously with each professor and on each of your projects, so I don’t know if I could pick a favorite class, but the teachers are all awesome. Going into tailoring with Jared [Aswegan] last year, I was extremely nervous and anxious because I didn’t think that my aesthetic aligned with tailoring. I didn’t think that I would be able to make something that I liked that still met the requirement, but with Jared’s expertise and what I learned junior year I was really happy with the experience in the end.
What advice to you have for younger students, or prospective students looking to pursue fashion design?
If you want it, go for it. For everything that you do here, whatever you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it. If you want to pursue fashion design be ready to always give it 110%.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever designed?
I have to say what I’m working on right now. I think that you’re always so excited about what you’re doing in the moment, and you think that it’s great, but after you’re done with it you think to yourself, “Okay, but I could definitely do it better, or do something more.” You can always surprise yourself with what’s coming next.
If you could work for any designer, fashion house, or brand, who would it be and why?
I guess right now as a senior I’ve really been thinking about that a lot, and I’m very interested in Diane Von Furstenberg the new direction that they’ve been taking. I’m really impressed by what they’ve done with the brand, and I think I could definitely see my aesthetic aligning with theirs.
If you could have lunch with anyone in the fashion industry, who would it be and why?
I used to work for Betsy Johnson, and she’s my favorite designer. My dream job when I was twelve years old was to work for her, and it still is. She’s the best and it would definitely be my dream job to work for her.
Also, I hope it isn’t too cliche, but I would love to sit down with Tim Gunn. He’s great, I’ve met him a couple times and he’s really nice and funny. He fences with my next-door neighbor, and it’s a funny story, but I think he’d be a really interesting person to talk to. I would love to get his opinions and his feedback on some of my work.