Thursday, August 9, 2012

Designer Tidbits: Lonni Rossi


French Twist, by Lonni Rossi for Andover Fabrics, is a whimsical collection full of soft colors and French motifs.  Take a peek at her lovely collection, and continue reading for insight into her Parisian inspiration, favorite projects and long list of famous "friends".


Q: To what or whom would you dedicate the French Twist collection?
A: When something inspires me, I feel the act of creating a piece of art -whether it is fabric, a drawing, painting, photograph, art quilt, or even a journal entry- is a kind of dedication to the person, place or thing that inspired it. So, having been inspired by the theme of an event in Philadelphia last year (Phila International Festival of the Arts, PIFA), I designed a number of motifs to evoke the Belle Epoque in Paris circa 1899-1910. It was the end of the Victorian era, heralding freedom, collaboration and inspiration for artists, women, and culture in general. It was the beginning of an era of high fashion (haute couture), as well as highly decorative arts in jewelry, architecture, design, music, and theatre.


Q: What is your favorite project using this collection?
A: My assistant, Molly Werner, and I collaborated on this beautiful quilted coat, and it is my favorite piece thus far. We wanted something with that “WOW” factor, and this Vogue pattern really fit the bill! Molly layered the Raindrops purple fabric, thin bamboo batting, and the cream/grey color of the large damask motif fabric. She placed the pattern pieces very carefully on this “quilt sandwich” and then cut all the fabric pieces an inch bigger all around. I spent over 30 hours free-motion quilting the outline of the damask motif on the fabric. When all the quilting was complete, Molly re-cut the pattern pieces to the correct size and assembled the coat. She expertly finished all of the seams and the hem. It is really quite a work of art. The Vogue pattern, size 10 coat is on display (and for sale) in our studio.


Q: If time travel became possible, what year would you want to be in?
A: Since I can’t do without technology, air conditioning and the freedom to be whatever I want to be, I certainly would not want to go into the past –especially as a woman, unless it was as an invisible observer. However, I would love to be able to see many beautiful items as new. Textiles of all kinds, architecture, interior designs, sculpture, paintings, clothing, the chance to meet people like Michaelangelo, Dante, Picasso, Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. I would also like to go forward about 100 years to see how and what the world is doing.


Q: If you had to change your first name what would you change it to?
A: I like my name now. Changed it once already when I got married. (It was Longina Derowski…Longina Rossi for thirty years now!) Lonni Rossi works for me!

Q: What was your favorite childhood TV show?
A: Gees, just one? Lassie, Howdy Doody, The science dude (can’t think of his name!) and the Mickey Mouse Club!


Q: Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
A: In my lifetime, I’ve had the opportunity to briefly speak with and shake the hand of George Bush, Sr., Rev. Jesse Jackson, VP Joseph Biden, and singers Patti LaBelle and Chubby Checker. I’ve had dinner with Ricardo Muti, Italian-American novelist Gay Talese and Ed Rendell. Because my husband (Kenny Rossi) is a somewhat “famous” person, I have met Dick Clark and his wife Carrie on a number of occasions.

Q: What is your favorite App to play on your phone?
A: “PA Got Wine?” is my new favorite. And I’m also addicted to “7 Little Words.”


Q: If you could marry a technology, what would it be?
A: Well now, wouldn’t it be just peachy to marry a Macintosh computer –that fulfills almost all my professional wants and needs, never talks back unless I ask it to, fixes itself, plays me music and videos, and always has a book ready for me to read. Best of all, we could make lots of really smart, artistic little digital designs together. Oh wait, I did that already!