Larger than life American couture designer Dennis Basso is celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the launch of his label this year as well as his first eponymous fragrance launching at Harrods.
Dressing the most stylish of women on the Upper East Side and Madison Avenue, he has created garments for celebrities including Eva Longoria, Brooke Shields, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz and Jada Pinkett Smith. His designs have also been worn on screen by Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago by Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, by Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz in Nine and by Charlize Theron in Snow White & The Huntsman.
Dennis is a great entertainer and somewhat of a frustrated interior designer and he regularly entertains the likes if Naomi Campbell, Joan Rivers, Joan Collins, Diana Ross, Ivana Trump and Neil Sedaka at his Hampton home together with his husband Michael.
Here, the designer reveals just what to look out for this season and what makes a woman stylish.
What made you go into fashion and how did you start out?
I always had an affinity for fashion and in 1983 I took the plunge with an investment from my family. I took a small showroom and presented my first runway collection to rave reviews.
What been the biggest challenge in your career?
Being able to move and progress as the business has grown.
What is your inspiration for your spring/summer collection?
The great American fashion icons.
What three trends should Belles About Town definitely buy into this season?
Tulle skirts, beaded bodices and little capelets.
Who is your favourite celebrity to dress?
Your designers were used in the movies Chicago and The Devil Wears Prada, were these designed specifically for the movies?
Chicago required period designs for the film. The items chosen for The Devil Wears Prada were from my current collection at that time.
What do you think are the differences in fashion between America and the UK?
At one time I thought that they were different. Today, since the fashion conscious women have the world as their shopping Avenue, I think they are truly blended.
I hear you’re a frustrated interior designer, what does your own home look like?
My city home is a mix of French and Continental along with a touch of mid-Century. My home in Long Island is eclectic, with things that we have found around the globe.
How would you design a home if you were given free-reign?
I think today I might do a completely ultra-contemporary home with amazing modern art.
Like us, we know you like entertaining, describe what a dinner party would be like at your home?
A dinner party at our home starts with a great mix of guests; all ages and backgrounds. Next, we blend in attentive service, a beautifully set table, great wines and delicious, copious amounts of food.
And what tips do you have for our Belles when they next throw a party?
Never be afraid to squeeze in a few extra guests, especially if they are new to the group. It makes for a much more interesting evening.
You have just launched your signature fragrance. What made you launch your own fragrance?
I wanted a fragrance that would be a finishing touch when a woman is wearing Dennis Basso.
What scents did you incorporate into it and why?
White flowers, cashmere wood, Italian bergamot and a touch of citrus. This mixture is light and fresh but seductive.
Describe the type of woman that wears your fragrance and your dresses?
The Dennis Basso woman is modern with a touch of the traditional. She always wears the clothes; the clothes never wear her.
Who best represents a stylish woman and why?
Someone with perfect manners, a perfect manicure and a great sense of humor.
What three universal truths do you live by?
Dedication, laughter and love.
Dennis Basso collection 2013