Di Petsa’s genius draping is what sets her designs apart – she started learning pattern cutting with her grandmother at the age of twelve and it shows. From wet t-shirts to diaphanous drapery in Greek sculpture, her garments have a wealth of cultural references. Not excluding Galliano’s actually wet dress in his Spring/Summer 1986 collection titled Fallen Angels, inspired by Europe’s flu epidemic of 1803. It’s ironic that in today’s coronavirus flu pandemic Di Petsa’s innovative design draws a parallel with Galliano’s wet dress. That same irony is then turned up a notch since Di Petsa’s designs went full circle and inspired Galliano to take up her draping technique for Margiela Fall/Winter 2020 Couture Collection. Di Petsa prefers not to comment. Her latest jewellery series is similarly inspiring.
Some hard-line feminists might wonder if Di Petsa dressing Hadid, the Kardashians, and producing bridal commissions, negates the fluid idea of gender performance that underlines the collections since it sits in traditional ideas of womanhood. However, the designer’s openness to all expressions actually reminds us female identity is broad and far-reaching and gatekeeping doesn’t always help. Inclusivity is championed. The self-identified ecofeminist talks inspiration, the concept behind her designs and performance.