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shaila giacconi resort 2019 collection los angeles
Giacconi Youth Resort 2019Photography Emon Toufanian, styling Shaila Giacconi

The designer outfitting the power femmes of Los Angeles

We talk to Shaila Giacconi – founder of label Giacconi – on the launch of her new ‘Youth’ line and accompanying Resort collection

Compared to the fashion capitals, Los Angeles probably doesn’t immediately spring to mind when it comes to producing exciting fashion labels. Someone who’s intent on putting the West Coast on the map, though, is Shaila Giacconi – founder of upcoming label Giacconi.

Despite being interested in fashion from a very young age – first sketching looks aged five, and sewing outfits from 11 – Shaila’s educational background is actually in dance, and all her design skills are self-taught. The dance helps too, though; “I’m deeply influenced by the human body and movement,” she explains.   

Describing the label’s aesthetic as “sensual punk glamour with an air of feminine drama,” the collections include delicate organza tops and dresses, and tights repurposed into tops. The punk edge is brought via vintage tees spliced together and peasant blouses and corsets with leather straps. Her vision for the kind of person who could wear them: “Power femmes with an astute sense of beauty”.

While the label itself is only two years old, Shaila is already looking to expand – she recently launched a diffusion line called Giacconi Youth, as a sister to the mainline or ‘Pure’ collections. While the new line is a celebration of youth, it was the tragic suicide of Shaila’s father that inspired her to start it – it was, as she puts it, “a resolution for my heartache.”

For Giacconi Youth’s debut collection, Shaila looked to the past for inspiration. “The meeting of theatrical musical icons of the 80s and the dramatic glamour of the 20s.” These references amalgamate to create looks including barely-there python paired with nylon tights as bottoms, distressed knit skirts, and velvet tops that explode into fringe. There are menswear looks too, including snakeskin trousers for him – designed to match the snakeskin skirt for her. 

Shaila enlisted photographer Emon Toufanian and with casting from Akrav Agency’s Sarah Benjamin to shoot the clothes around the sunny city as part of the accompanying lookbook. The hazy images feature a mix of menswear and womenswear, shot in a house that has a nostalgic vibe about it. “The campaign communicates the innocence and solitude felt in youth and was inspired by the Broken Social Scene song, “Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl”,” explains Shaila.

Moving forward, Shaila wants to continue combining her passions for both dance and design. “I want to incorporate dance more by choreographing a performance to present my next collection,” she says. “Eventually in the future, I’d like to open a fashion house where people can interact with the clothes and each other.”