Cristina Ottaviano trained with the greats (think: Oscar de la Renta and Marc Jacobs) and studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Central Saint Martins before launching her eponymous line two seasons ago. We caught up with the New York designer in her Manhattan atelier to see her dreamy collection in person, hear about her impressive career trajectory, and talk about the future of her brand and expansion into the world of bridal.
Ottaviano specializes in evening and ready-to-wear, but recently expanded into bridal.
"We began to design bridal gowns to accommodate the many requests from our engaged customers," Ottaviano says. "We hope to do a full bridal collection in the near future. I love dressing a woman who is embracing a special time in her life."
Photo: Courtesy of Cristina Ottaviano
The designer places a high value on her fabrics.
"Each season we search for new, exciting fabrics and textiles, mainly from France and Italy," Ottaviano explains. "I especially love working with lace. It always seems to work its way into the collection. For spring, we introduced our first custom print focusing on hand painted florals and petals. I spend much of my free time painting so the idea of translating that onto fabric was really intriguing."
Her favorite bridal trend: fresh silhouettes!
"I love seeing each woman in the bridal party in her own unique silhouette — one that complements her figure and allows her to feel beautiful and comfortable," she notes.
Ottaviano also offers custom designs for brides-to-be.
When we visited her atelier, it became immediately clear that custom bridal pieces were in the works."We work very closely with our custom clients. The process is very gratifying for them, from the first sketch to fabric selection, and development to final fitting," Ottaviano notes. "Brides-to-be are often intrigued by my collection and call me for a consultation. Many times they are referred to me by a friend. Much of my custom work involves brides and bridal parties. It's such an exciting time for them and our goal is to design that perfect dress that they will fall absolutely in love with!"