We had the pleasure of catching up with our friend Barbara Tfank recently in New York.  Barbara’s designs are beautiful, timeless and incredibly feminine, so it is no wonder she is a a red carpet favorite; from the iconic lavender gown Uma Thurman wore to the Oscars, to Adele and the First Lady, a veritable “who’s who” have donned her gorgeous frocks. Her dresses are noted for their beautiful hues, which hearken thoughts of spring for us, which is why we thought she was the perfect subject for our questionnaire as the flowers begin to bloom.

5. Jada Loveless: You are a designer many notable women have turned to when they need to create a dramatic moment. Do you think the early stages of your career in costume design inform the work you do today?

Barbara Tfank: Absolutely! I learned so much working on films. Firstly, lighting and how it distorts some colors while it enhances others. Did you know green is one of the colors that photographs best? I believe my designs are photogenic. I see fabrics and textures through the eye of the camera, it is pure instinct at this point. Prior to designing costumes for feature films, I worked as a stylist for Avedon. It was a remarkable experience.

4. JL: Describe your perfect New York day.

BT: My perfect day in the city usually begins with an early morning walk around the reservoir in Central Park, followed by a cappuccino at Sant Ambroeus. On a rare day off, I might visit The Met or see a show, walk Madison to 57th Street for a bit of window shopping, or meet a friend for a light lunch at Via Quadrono. I’ll pop home to change into something fun and more glamorous later on, then have drinks at the Carlyle, followed by an evening in the theatre… something I am very keen on seeing. Finally, I would wind down with a late dinner at Orso.

3. JL: When you work, is there music, visual, city or a muse that always inspires you?

BT: I actually really enjoy working in silence. I have an amazing panoramic view of the Hollywood Hills sign to the left and the Griffiin Observatory to the right. I like to take a pause, spin around and look at the stunning view to observe changing light and beautiful sunsets. I love how light interacts with my fabrics. It is magical!

2. JL: Tell us about how it felt when First Lady Michele Obama wore your designs.

BT: It is such an honor to have the First Lady wear my work! Perhaps the most memorable moments was when Mrs. Obama donned one of my dresses to meet the Queen and Royal Family. My husband Peter is English, and he was visiting his family in Hampshire in the New Forest at the time. Something woke me up very early that morning. I opened my computer and saw he’d sent me quite a lot of email, which I thought was so odd. I opened the first email, and there was a photo taken from his Mother’s T.V. of the First Lady standing next to the Queen and Royal Life Guards in their bright scarlet uniforms… wearing my dress!
5. JL: Fill in the blank: if I die while shopping, I’d like it to be at ____ with ________ in-hand.

BT: If I die while shopping, I’d like it to be having just left my favorite Roman enotecta Buccone, in the Piazza di Puopolo,with my favorite olive oil, a bottle of barolo, and some olives in-hand!