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Edited by on November 18 2011 at 4:33 PM

Jessica paid a visit to designer Alice Ritter as part of‘s new feature, “Tales of the Atelier”:

Through the concrete and brick columned hall of the CFDA Incubator, past glass doors with names like Bibhu Mohapatra, House of Waris and Prabal Gurung etched upon them, sits a room on the end that houses the studio of a French expat with a beautiful concept. Alice Ritter works seemingly solitary in a tidy, brightly lit room with a towering cubic bookshelf, a sewing machine and inspiration all around. Her style rings from the authenticity of growing up in the late 70s in France, where Yves Saint Laurent was god and high power glossies were sacred. Having studied economics, she created a fashion lab within her home with her Brooklynite husband to pursue her true art of design. Poring over books and dissecting vintage clothing lead to her creating an aesthetic that is uniquely hers. 

Alice Ritter Tells Tales and Recommends Some Fashionable Reading

What are your three fashion books you recommend to an aspiring fashion designer?

Oh! This Madeleine Vionnet book I’ve had for a long time, I know it by heart.  Madeleine Vionnet is such an inspiration. It was just so modern what she did, and she invented a new way to drape fabric and to drape the woman’s body. She not as famous as Gabrielle Chanel or Christian Dior. I mean she’s famous amongst fashion people and she’s more influential for me.

This Balenciaga book is beautiful not just because I’m fascinated with Balenciaga, but the book its self is just a beautiful object, the way its printed, paper. Its really good. He was very forward thinking  He was like a sculptor almost.

Fashion Design 1850-1895 is a good one. It’s a classic. It’s a very well curated collection of clothes, and their details. It’s an endless source of inspiration. And a really good way to learn about costume and this sort of fashion.

To read the rest of the interview, click on over to!

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Story by Lester Brathwaite

I was center square from 1969 to 1978, during which I perfected the art of the zing as well as a crippling cocaine addiction. Bea Arthur was responsible for both. @LesFabian lester dot brathwaite at gmail

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