Two/Tone: Diana LoMonaco

Cara Gibbs

18 August 2021
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For fashion designer Diana LoMonaco it’s about the simple things in life. And that’s exactly what her capsule collection, Classic Six, strives to do. The brand’s less is more credo and style ingenuity solves the problem of a closet full of clothes with nothing to wear. Before long, the cult label quickly caught the eye of fashionistas with each iconic silhouette—named after muses like the Marilyn pleated skirt and the Jackie duster coat—cleverly styled in endlessly creative ways. Here, Diana dishes on dreamy Croatian hotels, her zen environment when she’s creating, and the importance of a classic silhouette. 

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RAPID FIRE

Coffee or tea… tea.

Mantra… think good things and good things happen.

Never without… my Rosebud lip balm.

Less is the new… sustainable.

Color you couldn’t live without… white.

Fave color combo… navy and cream.

Design muse… DVF in the 70’s.

Favorite museum…The Whitney.

Last book you read… American Dirt.

Favorite restaurant… Buvette.

Favorite hotel… Maslina in Croatia.

Design is… life.

Fashion will always… be my form of expression.

If I were a color it would be…  turquoise.

If I were a texture it would be… velvet.

I’m a firm believer in… the power of positive thinking.

I’m deeply grateful for… my bed at night and a roof over my head.

The world needs more… LOVE.

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DEEP DIVE

Tell us how you found your style and expression of fashion. What’s the journey been like?
Probably most notably through my mom. Since I was a little girl I have been dreaming up clothes for myself and begging her to make them for me (she is a seamstress among many other talents). I learned about fashion and fabrics, and the importance of quality craftsmanship through her. Even if I was buying something inexpensive, secondhand or vintage, I was always looking at the stitching or what it was made from. She definitely instilled in me a certain appreciation for details.

What are some of your favorite materials and textiles to work with?
Three of the pieces in the first collection are made from a Ponte De Roma knit. I produced a sample with it as a test and wound up loving the way it wears and washes. It is very comfortable, yet extremely luxe and tailored as well.  

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Do you have any personal favorite collections that you’ve created?
Our Original Six for sure! They were curated in a way to all work effortlessly together. That versatility is something that will definitely be reflected in each collection we do.

Who or what has been your biggest influence or muse?
My customers. Right now seeing the customers in the clothes and hearing what they want in their wardrobes is what keeps me going.

How has the pandemic shifted your creative energy?
I have had so much more time to sit and be creative without the FOMO of needing to be somewhere. It has been a real shift to give up that time now that life is getting back to normal.

Talk to us about your creative approach. How does an idea or concept transition into clothing?
It all starts with a silhouette. I ask myself which silhouettes do I think people need in their wardrobes to create a solid foundation. What don’t they have that they wish they could find? What don’t I have that I wish I could find? What kinds of fits are they looking for? Then I think about how these pieces can all work together in different iterations. How many ways can we wear them? From there I choose fabrics, which is always the hardest, but the most fun because you can then really visualize how it can all come together.

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What is the mood like when creating new pieces or brainstorming sessions?
ZEN! I need to have my office completely clutter-free and at least a full 10 hour day without interruption.

What’s often your source of inspiration? Tell me about the process of getting there.
My inspiration comes from inspiration folders that are 20 years in the making. I like to look further back than my recent inspiration when I am designing for Classic Six because it’s not what I like recently that I know for certain is going to stand the test of time. I go back through years of magazine tears and images that I responded to at the time and try to find what I am still responding to as excitedly about now as I did then. Those are the silhouettes and styles I know have staying power and staying power is what I want for Classic Six. I don’t want these pieces to live in someone's closet for a season. I want them to wear them for years to come.

What type of interiors excite you?
Interiors that feel personal with books and art that chronicle the life of the person living there excite and inspire me. Interiors that are eclectic, with personality, but with great bones. I feel strongly that you can mix mid century-modern with Hollywood regency, with boho as long as you have a solid foundation. It’s kind of how I approach fashion as well. Our white Donna shirt acts as the solid foundation for your edgy combat boots mixed with your dainty strand of pearls. Separately they are two very different styles, but they still work together in an alluring way. C6_JuneLookbookImages_2021

Where would you love to see your collections displayed?  
If I had to pick one store, it would be Bloomingdales. This probably goes back to my mom as well. It’s where she has always shopped and still does. One of my first photos as a newborn was in a onesie that said “bloomies baby,” so to be in Bloomies would be special.

How would you describe your personal aesthetic?  
Classicnotbasic all as one word ;)

What do you think will be the lasting effects on your creative work from the pandemic?  
As much as I miss meeting people in person, I have to say that the efficiency of a 1-hour Zoom call in contrast to the amount of schlepping I used to do through the city to get the same amount accomplished still blows my mind. As much as I sometimes hate zoom, I am actually happy that this kind of technology is an acceptable option now when we need it. As for the lasting effects on the work that I did during the pandemic…well…I launched the brand in April 2020, so this pandemic will forever be part of the Classic Six story. It has absolutely shaped what we are today and has given us the opportunity to tell the Classic Six story during a time when people were home consuming more online content than ever.

What’s next for you?
To keep on building! I want to create a space for a more conscious consumer—one where fashion is less overwhelming and more exciting. A space where we can cut through the clutter created by the endless options out there and make choice easier. I have lots of ideas, so stay tuned!

 

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Cara Gibbs

Cara is a freelance design and lifestyle writer, editor, and stylist residing in Manhattan. Formerly the principal style editor at Luxe Interiors + Design, she now is a regular contributor to Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Wallpaper, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. She is also the co-founder of the artisan marketplace, In The Pursuit, a platform that marries content with commerce through a lifestyle lens.

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