What happens when the charming fashion world meets Sicilian culture? Glamour mixes with distinctive traits of an island full of traditions to create something exclusive. It’s the power of excellence that has led to the unique make-up of Fram La Plume Prêt-à-Mesure, the brand by Francesca Melia, a designer from Alcamo.
Behind every brand is a story, behind each story there’s the life of somebody that lived that story and decided to tell it through their art. And when we talk about fashion, in many cases projects arise from adolescent aspirations that, thanks to determination and talent become reality. And Fram La Plume Prêt-à-Mesure is no exception.
The soul inside this brand belongs to Francesca Melia, she’s Sicilian and after receiving her diploma in advertising graphics, decided to move to Milan, study as Fashion Designer at NABA (Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti) and fulfil her childhood dream: to become a designer. After many experiences, she came back to Sicily and gave her creativity to her homeland. The fairy tale begins in Alcamo, in the province of Trapani.
I met Francesca at her atelier in Alcamo, since I was intrigued by the beauty of her work, it was unavoidable to ask her how the idea to create Fram La Plume Prêt-à-Mesure was born.
«My brand», she explained, «has been invented to identify those items that have the worth of a sartorial product without assuming prohibitive costs. ‘Made to measure’ is present in the quality of fabrics and in the fact that everything is manufactured entirely in Italy, as well as the privilege to wear a unique dress. At the center of Fram La Plume Prêt-à-Mesure’s philosophy there’s the constant search for a way to think and conceive of elegance as a means for enhancing the personality of those who wear my clothing».
D: Your latest collection ‘Unica Collection’ is completely dedicated to Sicily. Moorish heads and the typical local inspiration are unequivocal. In general, how much do Sicily and being Sicilian influence your creativity and your work?
R: Sicily is part of me. It’s a land with mixed history, legends and traditions and has the flavor of a story that lives through architecture, landscapes and ancient arts. As Leonardo Sciascia said, «Sicily is a fantastic dimension. How is it possible to live there without imagination?». Unica Collection was born after a beautiful day spent around the streets of Palermo that allowed me to see the city from another point of view. I daydreamed of being a tourist, penetrating the lesser known places while exploring each corner and its various wonders, living its contrasts. The result has been an homage from Fram La Plume to her homeland.
D: Your work is a mix of flair and geniality. How can you balance the desire to put something of your personality in each creation along with the requests of your clients?
R: In each item by Fram La Plume there’s without any doubt all of me. To draw and sew is my way of telling about myself, to unveil the shades of my creative being and my world of elegance, flair and tailoring. At the same time, to interpret the desires of the clients means to come into their universe with discretion and mastery while trying to move them closer to a reality that perhaps nowadays is less common, that is the made to measure tradition. The key is to balance everything in the best way possible and push them towards what will ultimately be the finished product. I help them make their dreams come true through my work and the path we take together: whatever they imagine will become real and tangible.
D: Francesca Melia looking at herself in the mirror. What are the traits that make you and your creations unique?
R: The essence of every creation is held in its handmade taste, in the attention to details that make it special. Fram La Plume is craftmanship, refinement of fabrics, embroideries and appliques. Each element provides an exclusive touch turning the item into a magical chest that contains precious treasures: from the uniqueness of the piece to the usage of contemporary sartorial techniques, up to the manufacturing and style, ensured to always be trendy and fashionable.
Before leaving I can’t resist having a look at all the clothes stylishly hung around the atelier and take a peek at the dressmaker’s shop, the place where Francesca creates and now has several dresses in progress. An obvious question arises: is there anything that you would consider makes you an excellent Sicilian designer?
Francesca, humbly answers defining herself as just a creative girl who wants to tell about her beloved Sicily. «I don’t consider myself distinctive», the designer says. «Through my work I try to transmit my great passion for fashion and making fashion to those who choose me and Fram La Plume. One day I hope to be able to say that I succeeded starting from my beloved homeland, from that place where everything could have ended before it even began. I want to honor and give glory to Sicily and all people that believe in me and allow me to carry on my dream».
Francesca Melia’s atelier is in Alcamo (TP) at Via Pietro Longo, 1. Follow Fram La Plume Prêt-à-Mesure on Facebook and Instagram to always be updated about all the creative news on this Sicilian artist.