The Italian designer behind coat collection Rêve and Like My Mother, a line of lace dresses inspired by her grandmother, talks to us about style and nonna.

My back story is...

I was born and raised in a small town in the center of Italy. My interest in fashion and the desire to start a new life led me to Milan to study fashion design. After my graduation and first working experiences in Milan, I decided to move to New York and work as a freelance designer. During this year I had the time of my life — it was inspiring, exciting and I learned a lot, so I felt ready to move back to Milan and start my own projects.

And those projects are…

Rêve, a collection of luxury coats, and Like My Mother, a collection of lace dresses. At the moment I'm working on something new, which will make me move between New York and Los Angeles — but it's something I cannot talk about yet.

My style is...

Minimal and androgynous but with a feminine touch. I like to be natural and spontaneous, not to think too much about what to wear before going out, keep my hair a little messy and wear light makeup.

And my personal styling trick...

To be elegant without wearing girly dresses, like a blazer and pants with sexy heels.

The inspiration behind Like My Mother...

First thing, I love lace. It's sexy, feminine and modern, but it has something that lets me think about the past and I like this. When I was at my grandmother's house, I used to play with her clothes. She used to have a lot of beautiful lingerie and lace dresses so, with this memory, I thought it would be interesting to create a collection just made of lace. I think every girl has these kinds of memories; I just wanted to make them real.

My style influence…

I get a lot from my grandmother's style. My mum always tells me that when she looks at me getting dressed, I act exactly like my grandmother, that I put things together as she used to do

The best advice I received from my grandmother...

To be real and authentic in everything I do.

Favorite thing to borrow from her closet…

Everything but more jewelry and bags. She gave me her beautiful black crocodile bag as a gift when I was 16; I was so happy! I was looking at myself in the mirror as if I was a woman. That bag made me feel grown up.

And my favorite childhood memory of her…

My grandmother used to spend a lot of time with us in our house. She was a tailor and very passionate about knitting and crochet and, as I've been addicted to fashion since I was a kid, I would take inspiration from magazines and then ask her to do dresses or jumpers. I cannot count how many clothes she did for me!

Italian mothers are always…

Caring, loving, understanding, supporters and big teachers. Italian mothers have a strong sense of family and protection; they're our guides.

One Milan secret only an insider would know...

Everyone thinks Milan is a boring city just for business. Gray, with awful weather and no attractions. This is not true. Maybe it's not so immediate, you have to search a bit, but you can be incredibly surprised by the beauty of what's behind "closed doors." You can find marvelous courtyards, with dreamy gardens and stunning decorated houses that take you back to the past. I find them very romantic!

Quintessential item in every Italian woman's closet…

Any item that is passed on in generations — from grandmother to mother to daughter.

Giorgia, photographed by Noa Griffel, wearing Tory's Brigitte Blouse and Ninian Skirt