“What started as a passion, became my profession 11 years ago”
Mallorcan designer Tania Presa is one of the most prominent figures from the world of haute couture in the Balearic Islands. With a love of fashion that has been running through her veins since she was a small girl, she tells PREMIUM magazine about her relationship with fashion, her inspiration and what’s in store for the future.
Where does your love of fashion stem from?
I don’t know if it was by chance or destiny, but I have been passionate about fashion ever since I was a little girl. My grandmother was a dressmaker so this world has been a part of my life ever since I was very young.
Fashion has always attracted me in one way or another. I suppose the fact that my grandmother was in the business and made me dresses when I was small must have had a lasting impression on me as I started to make clothes for my dolls and created my first designs at a very tender age.
I always had a special interest in handcrafts and I studied many different artistic techniques, which I have been able to apply to the world of fashion. And without even realising it, fashion became my passion, in the form of another artistic outlet. I always say “a painter shows his work through his paintings and as a fashion designer, I show mine through my clothes” So what started as a passion, became my profession 11 years ago. I love my job. It can be difficult some days, with moments of incredible pressure. I am always saying: we make the dreams of many girls come true on one of the most important days of their lives, and with this comes a great deal of responsibility.
You also need to consider the ‘time’ factor, which is sometimes against you as we work to very fixed deadlines. But it is also incredibly satisfying work on a personal level.
You have to love this job, as it becomes the very centre of your universe, to such an extent that your personal life takes second place. It’s hard to imagine but it take 100% of your energy to get ahead. It is a complicated world, but I reiterate, very rewarding and I’m so happy to be able to devote myself to it.
Where does the inspiration for your collections come from?
I base my ideas on the principles of haute couture, and my inspiration comes from my diverse range of clients, of all ages, styles and types. I don’t work in the same way as most others designers, who find a theme, research it and base their collections on it.
I like my collections to be very diverse and it is important for me that my customers can identify with some of my pieces when they come to a fashion show, after all, it is them I am designing for. I make one collection a year, which I present to the public at a runway event. I present my seasonal previews at Palma’s largest annual wedding fair, and the full collection six months later at a private showing.
Apart from making my own collections, I also love my customers to participate in the design of their dress, especially if it’s a wedding gown. I think it’s very important for a bride to wear a dress that carries her essence and is totally unique on her wedding day. I always tell them once we have decided on a dress that it doesn’t just appear by magic if they are not involved in the whole process, and this is something very special. Creating the dress is a lovely experience as they can see the various stages of development before their very eyes, and can judge if any alterations are needed. I think it’s a shame to see the ridiculous amounts of money some girls are willing to pay for very impersonal, mass-produced wedding dresses, knowing there are lots the same out there.
Can fashion and design change the world?
It is us who can change the world, through our actions. But I do believe that fashion can do its bit when it comes to respect for the environment, controlling garment producing factories in under developed countries, where workers are still exploited.
I am a big animal lover and I would like to see an end to processes that cause animals to suffer. From my point of view these points must be controlled in order to make a positive change in the world. More and more more firms are becoming aware of these issues, so too are the end customers who are increasingly demanding more environmentally sustainable products.
Do you think that fashion goes hand in hand with the current feminism we are experiencing?
Future trends are unforeseeable. But I don’t think we are going to see a feminist fashion trend, it seems ironic for me to imagine a fashion inspired by feminism. What would it be?
Fashion reinvents itself year after year. What is the next stage?
The latest trend in Haute Couture has been see-through fabrics, so I really don’t know what the future will bring, as we always seem to go from one extreme to the other and I can’t even imagine us being very covered up right now.