Monday, July 27, 2009

Southtown Designers featured in Conexión

By Melissa Rentería - Conexión
San Antonio isn’t home to world-famous designer runways or star-studded fashion shows, but it is home to a group of dedicated and talented artists using fabric and clothing as their canvas.
It being Contemporary Art Month, and with plans underway to launch a fashion week here later this year, Conexión takes a look at some local Latino designers making fashion statements in San Antonio.

Agosto Cuellar
Who he is: The owner of the Southtown vintage shop Jive Refried is a self-taught fashion designer who specializes in deconstructing retro clothes to create an updated and unique look through his namesake label.
His inspiration: Cuellar credits his grandmother, an accomplished seamstress, with sparking his fashion interest when she enlisted his help to cut fabric. His collection of patchwork skirts is a reflection of her style.
Designer cred: He’s auditioned three times for a spot on the reality show “Project Runway,” coming close to being a finalist on the show two seasons ago (he made it to the top 50), and his shop was featured in Elle magazine in May 2005.
Fashion statement: “I’m old school,” he says. “I take old clothing and give it a new soundtrack.”

Henry de la Paz
Who he is: The Brownsville native is a hair stylist and a self-taught fashion designer who calls his creations “urban couture.”
His inspiration: De la Paz started fashion designing when he couldn’t find clothes he liked to wear to dance clubs. He was hooked on fashion after his original designs received compliments from fellow club-goers.
Designer cred: He created two dresses for Colombian rocker Shakira when she visited San Antonio during a 2006 concert stop.Fashion statement: “I do clothes to get my fashion repression out. That’s my art,” he says.

Oswaldo Delgado
Who he is: The Mexican-born designer is a graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word’s fashion design program where he created dress designs for student shows, including the school’s annual Cutting Edge Fiesta Fashion Show.
His inspiration: Delgado credits his mother’s style — and her constant encouragement — with influencing his interest in fashion design.
Designer cred: He was the first-ever recipient of the Most Innovative Collection award at UIW’s Cutting Edge show. He won the honor in 2007.
Fashion statement: Delgado likes using everyday items, including aluminum and latex-coated paper, in his designs.

Angelina Mata
Who she is: The former hairstylist is the creative force behind the city’s annual Art of Fashion show at Blue Star. She sells items from her Reinvintage line of accessories and her namesake ready-to-wear line of higher-end day suits and evening wear at her Southtown studio Euphorium.
Her inspiration: Mata, who learned to sew by making clothes for her Barbie dolls, comes from a family rich in creative people, including artists, hair stylists and musicians.
Designer cred: Mata, who’s a mostly self-taught designer, has studied design and pattern making at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Fashion statement: Mata calls sewing and designing her therapy.
Rodrigo VirgenWho he is: The Mexican-born designer who has made San Antonio his home since 1985 is known for his hand-painted silks, which he often uses to create one-of-a-kind wedding and evening gowns. He’s also designed a menswear collection of denim pants and shirts.
His inspiration: Virgen started designing clothes at age 10 when he started sketching dresses for paper dolls. At 21, he made his first dress when a friend asked him to sew a dress for her.
Designer cred: He’s studied pattern and dressmaking at St. Philip’s College and has taken art classes at San Antonio College. Fashion statement: “I have designs in my head, and I look and look for them,” he says. “But the only way I can usually find them is if I do them myself.”

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