Eleonora Masciotti: Fresh styles in a Historic Trade

Story by Emily Gagel

The front door jingles, and Eleonora Masciotti rises from the folds of fuchsia fabric she is thoughtfully manipulating. She pauses momentarily to smooth her hair before greeting her next customer, then hurries through the door leading to her showroom.  This is the third time in 20 minutes a new client has walked through her door. A testament to word of mouth around Cagli, Eleonora’s women’s clothing alteration business is enjoying great success.

 About three months ago, Eleonora opened the doors to Fiocco d’Arte, a small shop off the piazza. Eleonora does much more for the women of Cagli than simply repair clothing. She also creates custom garments and patterns.  
Today, Eleonora is making a dress for a young girl to wear to a wedding. The girl brought in a picture from a magazine and asked Eleonora to create something similar with her needles. During the final stages of design, Eleonora invites the girl in to decide on final details -- trim and gemstones.  

Eleonora’s hands glide over the vibrantly colored fabric, weaving the threads effortlessly; she pauses, moving from machine to machine and even to an ironing board, creating pleats and shape. After a few minutes, the piece of fabric becomes an elegant gown. As she works, Eleonora’s soft brown curls fall into her face, hiding her kind, soulful eyes. A bit of sweat collects on her temples. She is noticeably uncomfortable when clients fawn over her handiwork and creativity.
Eleonora exhibited a creative flare from a young age. As a child, she says she always loved fashion.

 “I learned to make clothes from my grandmother, first making clothes for my Barbies, then myself,” she says.

As Eleonora grew, her passion for the arts developed into a love for cartoon drawing, which led her to Scuola d’Libre in Urbino to study art. There, she developed as an artist and began to recognize that her childhood passion could lead to a career.  In addition to expressing her creativity, Eleonora’s occupation allows her to work with people, something else she loves.  It also allows her to work on the same garments that ignighted her interest as a child.

“Even still, my favorite clothes to make are for little girls,” she says.

After finishing school in Urbino, Eleonora worked for another seamstress but felt unfulfilled. She saw an opportunity to be successful on her own and chose a prime location near Cagli’s center for her new business.

In the stuffed backroom of Fiocco d’Arte, Eleonora’s elegant fingers work swiftly under her sewing machine. Behind her lie costumes for a local festival, in front of her stacks of clothes reach the ceiling, and on either side spools of thread jut from the walls. In the front of her shop, she displays some of her more-intricate pieces. A statuesque mannequin draped in a gorgeous, peach gown -- rich in delicate, floral details and gemstones – fills the front window.

“Oh, that’s just something I put together for a fashion show held last Sunday,” she says.

Along the single rack in her front showroom lie pieces just as impressive as the gown, striking cocktail dresses adorned with jewel-toned silk flowers hang next to hip blouses, each tailored thoughtfully for a woman’s shape. Her work has been so demanding that she has little time to think about the future, she says.

“I have been so busy I haven’t even considered what is coming next.”

Eleonora Masciotti in the showroom of Fiocco d'Arte.

Eleonora Masciotti in the showroom of Fiocco d'Arte.

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