Chapter 1 - Made-to-measure
Updated: Oct 15, 2020
The Alba Bianchi trunk show circuit had been traveling up and down the East coast for over fifteen years making stops in the wealthiest enclaves of the country. After a start in the Phoenix area with a delightful American tourist, who fell in love with Alba’s pieces on a trip to Florence with her husband and their best friends, the business had grown person by person and city by city to encompass Newport, Palm Beach, Jupiter, New York, Boston, and Fishers Island as well as outlier San Francisco on the West Coast.
Sandra’s Boston townhome on tony Chestnut Street was a masterclass in New England colonial authenticity. The exterior of red brick, wrought iron, and windowpane windows painted in a high gloss sheen from Farrow & Ball was exquisite. As hostess, she had opened her beautiful home and invited 30-40 friends and acquaintances to see the latest AB collection of bespoke and made-to-measure dresses, jackets, pants, blouses - the blouses with sparkle buttons were her personal favorite - and all of the beautiful Italian accessories.
Alba and Francesca were staying with Sandra in her guest bedroom, beautifully decorated in teal, pink, butter yellow, and aubergine - the headboard alone was a work of art with the Japanese pagoda scenes. The Frette linens with aubergine Greek key embroidery complementing it most unexpectedly with the striped bedskirt mimicking the wallpaper that trimmed the entryway to the sitting area - “inspiration” that Alba would undoubtedly reference in her next collection as she was wont to do.
Alba and Francesca stayed at all of the hostesses homes so it was easy for them to be at the ready for any client who had a special need - and there were many. Hip replacements, breast cancer and the subsequent mastectomies, size 6 on top and size 16 on the bottom or the reverse, when you specialize in made-to-measure you see some interesting measurements.