From Ballerina to Designer, Philosofée

From Ballerina to Designer, Philosofée

Wonderland Collection - Alice Dress.jpg


Fashion Designer

A former ballerina, Brazilian designer Glaucia Stanganelli’s journey spans three continents, from Sao Paulo, Brazil to London and now New York. A graduate of both Universidade Anhembi Morumbi in Sao Paulo and London College of Fashion, Glaucia Stanganelli started her career at Brazilian designer Maruzia Fernandez’s couture atelier honing couture techniques followed by stints at Zandra Rhodes and Topshop before founding Philosofée.

How did you get into fashion?

Growing up I was always involved in the arts; painting, dancing and all sorts of manual crafts. I was really committed to ballet and for me, that was my future, until I started to see other things that I felt connected with. When I was 16, it was time to pick a college and I didn’t know for sure where to go, so I started reading a brochures explaining all the careers and options, fashion caught my attention and I decided to give it a try. Since day one in college I loved everything about it, I was totally connected with all aspects of the creative process, the techniques, and specially getting in touch with other people with similar passions.

What’s the story behind Philosofée?

Philosofée is a combination of the words philosophy and fée (fairy in French), a contemporary fairy tale. The ideal behind it is to create clothes that makes you feel special, unique, where every piece is perfectly tailored and finished with fine details, beautiful inside out, soft to your skin and specially make you feel beautiful.

I finished college in Sao Paulo, Brazil and then went to London to complete a Post Graduation program, where I had the opportunity to work for Topshop and designer Zandra Rhodes.

It was a great experience to work to a successful big company as Topshop, in London, in the heart of fashion forward style, it was really inspiring. Plus London in general have influenced a lot my aesthetics, all the amazing tailoring harmoniously leaving together with street style is a beautiful thing.

Years later, back to Brazil, I moved to an island called Florianópolis, where Philosofée was born and launched. Ten years later, I was back to São Paulo, and needed to find some new inspirations and shake things a bit, so I went to New York and after a couple years in the city, I launched Philosofée in the US. Since then lots has happened and I moved to Los Angeles, where our contractors are based and the lifestyle is more balanced with my personal values.

We produce everything locally, I believe it is a compromise with the community where I am based, paying fair wages and valuing each professional involved in the process.

I source as much as possible locally made materials, giving preference to recycled or low impact fabrics, trims and packaging. 

How has your background as a ballerina influenced your work?

I see both careers as creative expressions.

From my time as a ballerina I cultivated this strong feminine aesthetic and attitude, I learnt the possibility of having a strong image as a focused woman and still be delicate, elegant and whimsical.

Tell us about the inspiration behind and creation of your Fairy Tales and Ballet Collection.

As a continuation of last season which drew inspiration from Justi Peck’s ballet “Everywhere We Go” and Tim Burton’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass”, this collection is encapsulated by feminine and fun silhouettes and a play of color-blocking and geometric shapes. 

The elegance of contemporary dance and traditional ballet movements continue to serve as inspiration with wool, mohair, Italian satin, taffeta and silk organza as key fabrics. Hot pink, royal blue, navy, black & ivory, and a touch of deep red add a contemporary emphasis to the highly skilled workmanship and quality materials used. 

In general, as part of my creative process, I collect images and histories that inspire me, I categorize them into folders and themes, and then when it is time to develop a new collection I go back and connect everything that makes sense together, with the current mood, the current season and trends, creating a history around it.

From there I use classic silhouettes that flatter the body as a white canvas to interpret that history. I also sometimes end up developing a print that tells a lot about that history. Then my team and I put together materials, colors and start to do the patterns, sampling, adjusting, modifying, until we have the final approved pieces.

Do you have a favorite piece in this collection?

not really, depending on the day, my mood or occasion I will change my favorite.

What can we expect from Philosofée over the next few seasons?

Wherever our customers, fans and the universe wants it to go...

The goal is to grow as a brand and community, reach more people to share our message and beliefs, using the business as a channel to empower mindful businesses.

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