Cristina Balestreri is PepiTango’s founder and fashion designer.
Classically trained musician, fashion designer and tango dancer, already in 2001 Cristina created the PepiStudio brand, devoted to the Florentine hand-embroidery.
Later on she developed the exclusive PepiTango brand with the goal of distributing the first Italian collection of female fashion entirely devoted to Argentine tango.
Cristina in her own words.
I came to create tango fashion after a number of life experiences that have enriched my taste. Born in Florence, a city full of art, I have always loved our handicrafts and appreciated art in all its forms.
The first experience, the most important one, was as a musician: for twenty years I have studied music among Florence, Milan and Salzburg. In 2001 I opened the company PepiStudio after four years of studying and researching hand-embroidery and pattern making at the school of the ACAI association, at the time involved in organizing wonderful classes with the best “Maestras” of embroidery in Florence and Tuscany. Having had the opportunity to reorganize the Suardi Collection at the Museum of Textile in Prato, I also had access to the drawings of embroideries from 1500’s to the 1800’s.
Hence my passion for the Florentine high-end artistic handicraft and the manufacturing of handmade finished silk garments, entirely made and embroidered by hand, that will eventually prompt me to open my artisanal firm.
Tango music, that I have always loved, grew in my imagination fed by my grandmother’s tales: she would run away, together with her sisters, from her home in Mantua to go dancing tango during the war. Her tales have stirred up in me since an early age an image of tango as something “clandestine” and elegant.
Later on I was introduced to the dance and fell in love with it. My love story started then, not only for the music that I already adored, but also for the dance and all that comes with it.
Tango is passion, of course, but it is also for me the possibility of a balance, to find harmony between the masculine and the feminine energies. The woman in tango goes back to being “feminine” and even if she depends on the direction of the man at first, she is not a passive receiver: on the contrary she is the main character. The two roles, masculine and feminine, must blend into one another as it should be in life. Each with his/her own role, pivotal to the other to “exist.” The man cannot dance by himself and vice-versa.
Therefore the inspiration came at first from my passion for tango music, but immediately after from my interest for the feminine role in this dance.
I have created tango fashion in order to underline not just the femininity of the woman, but also her movements and her body that, as a dancer, must be highlighted.
The back is highlighted, the splits are designed to allow the movements giving special attention to the heels that should not accidentally pull the skirt down from the back.
The woman must of course be feminine, but never tasteless. She must be sensual, but never vulgar. She must be comfortable, like in the embrace of her partner, but elegant as well.