Having worked as the fashion and accessories editor for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle USA and W magazine, Carmen Borgonovo knows a thing or two about fashion. Here, Olivia Keating does a quick-fire round with the co-founder behind the burgeoning dress brand Borgo De Nor.
How would you describe your signature style?
Timeless with a twist. I like to invest in pieces that are not specific to a season but that I can use over and over again.
How does your wardrobe evolve as we move into summer?
It’s almost like night and day. In winter I like solid print and neutrals. In summer I love wearing colour and print.
Carmen (fourth from left) wears the Borgo De Nor Maria Floral-Print Dress.
The top three items on your SS17 wish list?
1. A Borgo de Nor dress. I can’t wait to start wearing our dresses as soon as the weather gets warmer.
2. Delfina Delettrez earrings. I love unique pieces and I’m currently coveting a pearl and gold chain earring with a gold ball pendant that slips into the ear lobe.
3. Céline’s new plimsoll lace-ups for running around the city. I love the white and red version.
Lola floral-print crepe de chine midi dress, Borgo De Nor, €740 at Browns Fashion. Diamond, pearl & yellow-gold earring, Delfina Delettrez, €835 at Matches Fashion. Plimsole lace-up sneaker, €420 at Céline.
How do you approach dressing for work in the heat?
After so many months of covering up, I love wearing light, easy, feminine dresses.
Which labels do you rely on?
Céline, Balenciaga and Borgo de Nor, of course.
What items do you always carry in your handbag?
My phone, computer, moisturiser, and a travel size Neroli by Czech and Speak perfume.
Neroli Traveller Collection, €105 for four 15ml bottles at Czech & Speake
What’s your favourite piece from the collection?
I love them all but right now I can’t wait to wear the Ines pick and red rose printed dress.
Ines pick and red rose printed dress, Borgo De Nor, €900 at Browns Fashion.
What’s your take on Irish design and designers such as JW Anderson, Simone Rocha and Richard Malone?
They are extremely talented and creative with a modern aesthetic and a sophisticated wit. They are inspiring leaders in the industry.
JW Anderson, Simone Rocha, Richard Malone
Favourite decade for fashion and art?
The surrealist period in the 1920’s and 1930’s. With regards to fashion, I love how women during this epoch explored both their masculine and feminine sides. It was a very liberating period for women which I find very inspiring.
Most stylish person you’ve ever met?
Betty Catroux. I had the pleasure of styling her for a shoot and I admired the way she carried herself. She was effortless, confident and cool.
Biggest fashion splurge?
An antique, turn of the century ring from Fred Leighton in NY.
Heels or flats?
Both, depending on my mood.
Costume or fine jewellery?
Most memorable fashion moment?
Other than launching Borgo de Nor, seeing Yves Saint Laurent’s last Couture collection.
Favourite place in the world is…
My husband’s hometown Borgonato in Francia Corta, Italy. The minute I arrive there I relax.
Strivectin mosturiser, sun block and Rodin face oil.
Luxury face oil, €150 for a 30ml bottle at Net-A-Porter. Night Moisturizer, StriVectin, €105 for 50ml at Harvey Nichols.
Spinning, tennis and boxing.
Best book you’ve ever read?
Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig.
The one piece that never goes out of fashion?
A piece of jewellery that has sentimental value.