Tell us a story about your early days.
I was asked to work on Madonna’s video for Like a Virgin, in Venice, when she was still unknown. She was a very small, ordinary girl, no one noticed her, but her American costume designer told me: 'This girl will become someone'. On the set there was a real lion, brought by the Orfei’s family.
Can you describe a memorable moment in your career?
In 1980, I was asked to work on the miniseries Marco Polo, and I had to go to Tibet and Nepal, in the Himalayas, and create my costumes at 4500m altitude. We had no electricity, so we sewed everything with hand-cranked sewing machines. I stayed there two months.
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What do you love most about what you do?
Every day is something different. I love to have my 'creatures' around me, as I call my costumes. I call the tailoring room 'the delivery room', because all the costumes are like children to me.
What challenges do you face today?
Many customers ask me why my masks cost so much. It takes 12 hours to make it out of papier maché and five hours to decorate. But the customer often answers that in other shops they cost two euros, without thinking that they come from China.