Where fashion meets opera: Freddy Gaviria

In El Born, the artistic district of Barcelona, there is the atelier of Freddy Gaviria “artisan of fashion” with a particular passion for the Opera and primadonnas to which dedicates many of his creations.


When did you decide to become a stylist? And what is your first fashion memory?

As a child I already knew what I wanted to do in my life. I have always been attracted to colors, shapes and fabrics. At the age of 10 I was the most ferocious critic of my sisters who were looking for my advice when they had to get dressed to go out with friends.

What would you do if you weren’t a designer?

I can not imagine another job! I am very mystical with my work and sincere with myself. I have always worked alone and all my creations have been created and hand-made by myself.

Gaviria_Mercé Bruguera
Freddy Gaviria for the Spanish singer and violinist Mercè Bruguera

Your land of origin is Colombia. Why did you decide to move and work in Barcelona?

I left Colombia very young and I arrived in Milan, at Istituto Marangoni, to study Fashion Design and then to specialize in Fashion History. Italy has always been a great inspiration, it’s a country very close to me, a place where I found my two great passions: fashion and opera.

Your favorite designers: one from the past, one from today.

Always and forever Cristobal Balenciaga, the master of all fashion designers, creator of eternal and technically perfect garments. Among contemporary stylists, I admire very much Giambattista Valli for his romanticism and the theatrical appeal of his creations.

One of the most dramatic pieces of your collections is the Japanese coat. Where does your love for Japan come from?

Italy, Greece and Japan are always present in my creations like an perennial fountain of inspiration. Unforgettable was my first trip to Japan in 2008: the richness of Japanese culture and their vision of the world have always influenced my work. Then the visit to the Kyoto Costume Museum and its display of legendary kimonos did the rest. From there I created my “Japanese coat” with fabrics in various types of silk, very fine decorations where color has a key importance, architectural silhouettes built with simple and essential lines.

Freddy Gaviria, Japanese coat for soprano Eleonora Buratto

Let’s talk about your relationship with opera…

Opera is fundamental in my life. The music and majesty of the theater is the perfect setting for wearing a special dress! Fortunately, the theater is still one of the few places where people pay attention to what they wear.

You have dressed many women, and among them, many opera singers. Who is your muse?

I could not make a name! I think every woman is unique, with her own personality and a different way of wearing a dress. I admire women who are delicate, feminine, discreet, balanced.


What relationship do you establish with the opera primadonnas you work with?

The trust of my customers is very important to me. Listening to them, analyzing, discovering and respecting their “fears” is the first step in creating a dress.

A primadonna you have not worked with yet…

Many are the opera primadonnas I have not worked with yet. I pay special attention to the artists who starting their careers. I like the idea of growing up with them, working with them to discover their own personal style and to create their public personas.

freddygaviria__Marta Mathéu
Freddy Gaviria for soprano Marta Mathéu

Do you prefer a beautiful woman dressed not really well or a woman who is not beautiful but is dressed very well?

I prefer a woman dressed well. True beauty is not only physical but is a balance of body and mind. Beauty is knowing yourself and understanding what kind of clothes best suit you.

One of your favourite creations? And one you regret designing?

I love the “Japanese Coat” collection, which has been with me for a very long time and has given me great satisfaction! I have never regretted having made a dress even if, at times, I think I could use different shapes, both in terms of silhouette and technique. It is precisely this feeling that pushes me to always undertake a new project that offers new experiences of professional growth.


What is the detail that makes the difference?

Absolutely the color!

Three adjectives to define your sense of fashion.

Rigour, sobriety, perfection

Freddy Gaviria with soprano Marta Mathéu



Photo: Michal Novak, Silvia Lelli

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