Designer Diaries MICHAEL SMALDONE, CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF ADRIANNA PAPELL

“We are conscious of real women’s bodies, and fit our clothes on a model with curves.”

From celebrities to soccer moms, Adrianna Papell has been dressing women for their monumental moments for more than thirty years. BELLA NYC sat down with Michael Smaldone, the brand’s creative director, to learn their secrets for success. Listen in…

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Adrianna Papell has been creating glamorous evening wear for more than 30 years. What are your signature styles?

I think when people think of us, they often think of our banded jersey dresses. They hug curves and make women feel sexy and powerful. We make many different versions of them, in lace, in chiffon; they’re very versatile.

We’re also well known for our lace dresses, which come in a variety of silhouettes, and for our beaded dresses. The

beaded dresses are a backbone of our business. We’re one of the few labels that offers beaded dresses for under $300, which I think is amazing.

In addition to these styles, Adrianna Papell is known for creating clothes that fifit beautifully. What’s your secret?

The fit was already well-established when I joined here two and a half years ago, but like the brand, I’m really fanatical about fit. We always want to make sure that our designs fit in all of the right places. We are conscious of real women’s bodies, and fit our clothes on a model with curves.

In terms of fifit, what should women keep in mind when shopping for formalwear?

I always think it’s important to have something tailored. No one can put on a dress and have it be absolutely perfect; at the very least, you need to adjust the hem. I think it’s important to be mindful of those little touches. It’s also important for you to understand what works for your for your body and to know what you feel comfortable in. If you feel sexy and beautiful, you will look it, too.

Long or short, sequined or chiffon – there are so many formalwear options from which to choose! What’s something any woman can throw on and instantly look red carpet fabulous?

I love our new high-waisted ball gowns. There’s nothing more flattering! They are tailored on top and then poof out to full skirts with hidden pockets. They’re fun and feminine and also cool and casual. They’ll get you party-ready in an instant.

What’s your favorite style from your current collection? We are making some beautiful jacquard tea-length and full-length ball gowns. The silhouettes are simple – fitted on top with a full skirt – but the fabric is really innovative. Tell us about your Spring/Summer 2015 offerings. What Hollywood trends will we see in Adrianna Papell’s designs this season?

Overall, I think the styles are softer, prettier and more elegant. We’re working on spectacular beaded dresses and dresses made from rich, textured fabrics and ethereal, printed chiffons. It’s not just about full-length gowns for formal occasions anymore, but also shorter, tea- length gowns with full skirts, too.

What’s your favorite Adrianna Papell red carpet look from a past award show?

It’s really hard to pick one look, so I am going to pick someone we dress consistently – Amy Robach (Good Morning America anchor). She is a beautiful woman who makes everything look easy to wear. She wears our sportswear line, our formalwear. She’s the epitome of what we stand for both on and off the red carpet.

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