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There was a fair amount of gesturing going on at Cipriani Downtown in New York on Wednesday night, where French brand Faith Connexion and Isabeli Fontana feted their recent collaboration: the label’s first cruise collection, which is also the Brazilian model’s inaugural design effort. Revelers including Constance Jablonski, Harvey Weinstein and China Chow mingled in a tight knot around the upstairs bar as a DJ played, suspended in a loft some 20 feet in the air accessed by a ladder and hatch.

“Oh, I’ve always wanted to design. Always,” Fontana said, clutching her chest with one hand, while the fingers of her other were loosely looped through her fiancé Rohan Marley’s.

This story first appeared in the June 15, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“The inspiration is old Italian movies from the Sixties mixed with chic Brazilian hippie,” a representative from the brand explained.

“I look to my idols for the design, like Sophia Loren because she is a real woman,” Fontana elaborated. She drew her right arm across her décolletage, to imply the cut of a neckline or perhaps the fullness of a bust, “her movies are light and beautiful and sensual. And then I wanted to make it also sex on the beach.”

Marley laughed.

“I mean sexy for the beach,” the model corrected herself. “Light, beautiful fabrics, bright colors. None of this…,” the model indicated her black leather jacket over a cropped vest fringed with silver chains, and a floor-length black leather skirt with sailor-style buttons. “I haven’t seen my designs yet. But apparently, I just heard they’re ready. Now I get to decide, I get to say ‘Yes, no, this, that.’”

Fontana laughed as Marley drew her away from the party and towards a glassed-in terrace, adding, “I get to be a bitch now. I get to be a bitch.”

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