Chhaya Momaya, a life coach and image consultant, met Alberta Ferretti on her recent trip to Ravenna, Italy. The latter is an Italian fashion designer and dressmaker, and designs for her namesake brand – Alberta Ferretti. Although her showroom is in Milan, her studio is in the village of Cattolica, near Rimini. That’s where Chhaya was invited for a heart-to-heart meal. Here’s what happened at the designer’s favourite estate...
What was the best part about meeting Alberta Ferretti?
It was just fantastic! She’s a complete no-nonsense, straightforward, and warm person. I was very excited to meet such a creative person, and more so because she invited me on her own. I was overwhelmed about the whole thing. The best part about meeting her was that she was so down to earth and welcoming; it was so inspiring in many ways.
What was the agenda for the meeting?
Alberta heard about me from a very close friend of mine, Giovanna Lorenzo Quinn, Anthony Quinn’s daughter-in-law. She spoke very highly of me to Alberta, who wanted to meet someone from India who knows her creations and who understands luxury. That was the entire purpose of meeting her. She took Giovanna’s word and invited me to her beautiful estate.
What’s your favourite Alberta Ferretti creation?
She’s known as a chiffon queen and her pretty clothes are soft and structured in beautiful fabrics. I own about three Alberta pieces that I bought 15 years ago! I still cherish them; they haven’t gone out of fashion. When you buy a designer’s pieces and wear them for so long, it says a lot about their work!
Tell us a bit about her house in Cattolica that you visited. We’ve heard it’s her favourite!
The driveway never ended! It’s the longest I’ve seen among all the mansions and palaces I’ve been to, and it had lush manicured lawns and well-kept landscapes. I learnt that this was only one of her many estates. When I went in, she rushed out and greeted me warmly. Her house was filled with pieces she’s collected from all over the world!
We sat at a long dining table in her beautiful patio. She remembered that I’m a vegetarian and served lots of hors d’oeuvres. She brought out handcrafted and hand-painted glasses; they’re a rage in Europe right now and are being revived into crockery. She said that this home is where she finds her peace and where her creations come to life. It’s like she opened the doors to where her heart belongs. I felt very privileged. – as told to Sumana