Chiara Boni gives women plenty of reasons to feel beautiful. Her signature bold looks in black and white and bright colors were displayed at her show downtown during New York Fashion Week. “My inspiration is always the same. I am inspired by women. I always try to do dresses that make them feel beautiful and happy to wear,” Boni said.
’60s supermodel Pat Cleveland modeled them on the catwalk along with her daughter Anna. All the looks were bold. “I think you’ll know it’s mine, and that’s important to be recognized for a designer,” she told me backstage. Usually, backstage at fashion week, the dressers are busy steaming all the looks. What’s impressive is that at Chiara Boni, the dresses are washed and worn.
This is how Boni’s creations make women happy, too. She spent years trying to find a fabric that could be cut like a couture gown but be low-maintenance. Eurojersey fabric fits the bill. It’s wrinkle-free and eco-friendly, with low water and carbon footprint. Boni is used to people not believing it. After all, who puts a red carpet look in the washer or even the sink to hand wash? But she insists.
“It’s really like this, and you can wash them. I think I washed the shirt about 100 times. I washed a few things in the sink of the hotel the other night,” she told me. Boni has dressed stars like Fran Drescher, Jane Seymour, and Priyanka Chopra but says her comfortable dresses and jumpsuits are made for the busy everywoman.
“I know that in America, everyone goes to the dry cleaner, but in Italy, it’s not like this. So my mentality came from something that you can wash by hand,” she said. “I think it’s much easier. I go home, I put everything in the washing machine. After half hour, I hang it up, and the next day it’s done,” she added.
An outfit that you can roll up and put in your handbag and then throw on for a cocktail party or even the red carpet? Boni is an Italian designer, but she certainly understands the needs of a fashionable New York woman.