Meet Natalia Galbetti
Natalia Galbetti is a fashion writer and editor currently living in St. Petersburg, FL. She is the author of the blog, "Fashionably Late".
Poetry in Motion
Bringing Lamia's Wrath to Life
As a certain supermodel is known for saying, in fashion one day you’re in…and the next day you’re out.
Ben Chmura knows that phrase all too well but now he’s learning that when you’re out of Project Runway, things are just getting started.
“It’s been non stop,” he says just a few days after showing his newest resort collection, Lamia’s Wrath. “I had one month to make this collection and most of it was done in the last two and a half weeks. The show definitely helped in that regard.”
Inspired by the Greek mythological figure of Lamia, a half woman, half serpent-temptress, Lamia’s Wrath unites strong structural elements with soft feminine colors. Geometric patterns and cutouts evoke a reptilian allusion and strategically placed cutouts and high hem lines deliver subtle sex appeal. The fabric choices, raw silk and cotton, are breathable fabrics appropriate for the Florida heat.
“Lately I’ve been very inspired by literature,” Chmura explains. “It has to tell a story, it has to flow and it has to make sense to me. At the end of the day they’re clothes and you’re trying to send a message through them, but clothes are supposed to be worn.”
Chmura’s methodical approach to his designs is also evident in his workspace. An “organized mess with a system,” sequins, buttons and sewing machines are found all around what used to be the second bedroom of his home in Tampa. Racks of clothes have every look from his resort collection hanging neatly in the order they were presented, one after another next to the kitchen window. Lined directly under them, a series of peep-toes. An improvised showroom from a designer who’s making it work.
In his living room, brightly colored handbags used for his runway show lean against a coffee table and directly across from them, comic figurines represent another facet of the soft-spoken 31-year-old, one he credits for his unique point of view.
“I’ve been drawing since [age] one and a half and at [age] ten, I got into comic books and thought I would be an illustrator,” he says. “I’m quiet by nature but comic books and sci-fi bring a juxtaposition with security and confidence that comes out in my designs.”
A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Chmura has designed over 10 collections, one of them shown at New York Fashion Week as a decoy for Project Runway’s finale. Since then he’s been invited to show again in New York in September, has mustered over a thousand fans on his Facebook page, had the VIP section for the Lamia’s Wrath show sell out in 20 minutes and will be attending Tampa Bay Fashion Week as a guest in the fall. At this rate, one thing is certain: Ben Chmura will not be out anytime soon.
Editor’s Note: Wishing Ben Chmura great success as he embarks on a new chapter in New York City.