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Like many modern-day fashion school students, designer Evalina Galli quickly found herself enamored of iconic sixties supermodel Peggy Moffitt during her studies at Otis College of Art and Design. Cut to the present, when the 2001 alumni and recipient of a Rudi Gernreich (who famously created the first monokini, modeled by Moffitt) scholarship has found her way into collaborating with the Mod style star on an activewear collection.
The Peggy Moffitt "athleisurewear" collection is directly influenced by mid-century fashions worn by Moffitt. Details like color blocking, sheer panels, and fishnet are pullled straight from editorial shoots she posed for, yet are given a totally contemporary feel. Upon seeing the cool collection, their initial meeting feels seriously serendipitous.
Recently we reached out to the collaborative duo to learn a bit more about their first fortuitous meeting, why LA's health-conscious women are inspiring, and Galli's favorite ways to feel the burn.
Peggy, what inspired you to create a line at this point in your life?
P: Athletic wear is very interesting to me right now at this point in design, and I think much of what I admire in great design translates well in athletic wear.
How did the two of you connect?
E: I "discovered" Peggy in my grandma's French magazines when I was growing up and was fascinated by her. In my junior year I won Rudi Gernreich's award for swimsuit design, which was actually inspired by Peggy. Later, when I was teaching at Otis, I met Peggy's son Chris at FIDM's 60's mod clothing exhibition. Chris introduced me to Peggy and we instantly clicked. We had similar taste in art, music, both love ballet and modern dance, artsy movies and importance of aesthetics in our daily lives.
What inspired you to both to explore activewear for the collaboration?
E: Activewear in our interpretation is more of a philosophy of life rather than just clothes that you wear to work out. We believe that clothes should provide freedom of movement as well as provide aesthetic satisfaction for the wearer. Clothes are an extension of who we are and are a medium of expressing our individuality. Both Peggy and Rudi were pioneering those ideals in the 60's, but sometimes fabrics were restricting. Nowadays we have amazingly high-tech fabrics that act as a great platform for creative expression.
How has LA inspired the brand's design aesthetic?
E: Los Angeles is on the cutting edge of originating trends: food trends, fitness trends, coolest apps, music, movies, clothing; LA is a major creative epicenter. Peggy and Gernreich were California based because we have that casual, unpretentious attitude towards clothes. Everybody wears what they feel is comfortable. On the other hand we have, the actors, models and musicians living here and setting standards of looking good, while being casual. LA is a casual chic city with health food addiction and I find it as a most modern place in the world today.
As they say in Latin "Mens sana in corpore sano," a healthy mind in a healthy body. I believe many Los Angeles women personify that statement and it inspires me.
What are your favorite workouts / gyms in Los Angeles?
E: I love Equinox! Every morning I am so excited to jump out of the bed and go there, to take a class, run or just to work out, I never thought I would be excited about anything at 5am, since I am a "night owl," but that's the power of great design! Equinox is extremely well designed. I love taking dance classes at Heartbeat House at Atwater Village because for women it is very important to restore their energy by dancing. For stress relief, I go to Curative Yoga in Pasadena, they have Yin yoga workshops, which are better than any massage therapy sessions. My newest obsession is "Aharaj Yoga" which teaches you how to control emotions and reconnect with nature.
Peggy, what modern day designers are exciting to you now?
P: I think Evelina is VERY talented and I respect her abilities.