Fashion Reverie Exclusive: Laura Michelle Conjures up “Chuck Norris” and the “Rockstars of Fashion”

Laura_Michelle_Chuck_Norris_05The synergy of fashion and music has become such a constant presence in music videos that the hard work, the style options and the delicate balance that’s necessary to create that seamless flow is not obvious to most viewers. Still, when it all comes to gather—which is a miracle in itself—the videos can create an indelible impression in consumers’ memory.

Who can forget Madonna in Jean-Paul Gaultier’s cone-breasted bustier in “Vogue,”  Michael Jackson’s leather jackets in “Beat It,” Toni Basil in cheerleader gear in “Mickie” or Janelle Monae’s androgynous style in most of her videos. Being styled in certain fashion can bring more audience engagement to fashion designers and/or help launch the career of style. (June Ambrose holler!!)

This cross-pollination of music and style has created some iconic music videos. And the evolution of fashion and music continues with Laura Michelle’s new video “Chuck Norris.” And though the Chuck Norris reference doesn’t necessarily conjure up images of high fashion, stylist Jill Christiansen has injected some Alexander Wang, Alexander McQueen, Gucci and some Louboutin’s into this off-beat video.

After the release of “Chuck Norris,” Laura Michelle spoke with Fashion Reverie about her personal style and how Chuck Norris served as a reference point for this wacky, but stylishly chic video.

Fashion Reverie: How would you describe your musical style?

Laura Michele: That is always such a hard question because my taste in music is very eclectic. However, my musical style can be described as pop rock. The “Chuck Norris” video is more pop, but the rest of the CD. “Novel With No End,” is more pop rock.  There are a lot of influences in my music. One time on the way to the studio to record I was listening to country music and when I got to the studio my sound came out sounding very country western. So, the technician at the studio said ” No more country before you come into record.”

FR: Your have an eclectic musical style, as well as an eclectic fashion sense. Where does this all come from?

Laura Michele: I have always been really silly and quirky, although I was shy as a child. My Dad was always sick when I was kid so I would use humor to try to cheer him up. So, that is where my quirky side comes from. Plus, my whole family loves to laugh and likes to make jokes.  We are a silly family and that quirky silliness comes out in my music and my fashion style.

12_TopOfTheWorldFINAL2FR: I read in your bio that one of your early musical influences was Donny Osmond in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

Laura Michele: My mom would buy me these CDs and she brought me “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” with Donny Osmond. I must have worn that CD out, playing it over and over again. Once when my family was in Hawaii on spring break we found out that Donny Osmond was performing in the show in Maui. My Dad couldn’t get us tickets and later I found out that that particular performance was the last time Donny sang in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” I also love the song he does in the Disney movie “Mulan.”

FR: Who are some of your other musical influences?

Laura Michele: When I was really little I loved all the music from the Disney musicals. As I grew older, I was enchanted with Celine Dion. I couldn’t have a good day at school unless I started my day listening to Celine Dion. Then, I transitioned to N’Sync and Britney Spears. Now, my tastes are all over the place. I find inspiration from so many artists; there are so many good musical artists on the scene right now.

Image courtesy of Venone PR

Image courtesy of Venone PR

FR: Could you talk a little about your musical training?

Laura Michele: I started voice lessons in the third grade. I started with a guy with named Jim Beckford. I started recording in my senior year in high school. And Beckford taught me a lot about studio singing. I later studied with David Corey in LA and he was been vocal coach ever since.

FR: Why did you choose Chuck Norris as a cultural reference point for this video?

Laura Michele: As I mentioned earlier my Dad was sick for most of life and in the last four years of his life we watched a lot of  “Walker, Texas Ranger” that starred Chuck Norris. And I found out that Chuck Norris also gives a lot to charities and his own foundation. And who is more badass than Chuck Norris?

FR: So in a way in this video an homage to your Dad.

Laura Michele: To some extent, this video does give honor to my Dad. I kept thinking when we were shooting this video about how much my Dad would have gotten a kick out of this video. In the video I am wearing a diamond heart pendant necklace my Dad gave me. There is also a framed photo my Dad and me in several scenes of the video.

Images courtesy of Venone PR

Stills from “Chuck Morris” video. Images courtesy of Venone PR

FR: What are some of your styling choices in this video?

Laura Michele: My taste is very eclectic. There some very 50s silhouettes mixed with rock n’ roll.  That is what I am very drawn to. I am also very drawn to comfort that is one of the reason I love Alexander Wang and he clothes are used quite a bit in this video. In the waiting room scene I am wearing Alexander Wang. Jill Christiansen, my stylist, really understands my style aesthetic and is always directing me to get great garments for my own personal wardrobe.

FR: How did your relationship with Jill Christiansen develop?

Laura Michele: I met her through Matt Beard who is the photographer for my current CD. I have known her for ten years and we hit it off immediately. She is so hard working, really understands my aesthetic and so easy to work with.  Most of all she never tries to dress me in clothes that I am not comfortable in. And consumers can see when you are not comfortable in certain stage costumes or clothes in photo shoots.

FR: You are somewhat of a curvy girl, does being curvy dictate how you choose fashion and which designers you are attracted to?

Laura Michele: I gravitate toward what I like and in reality I really only a size 6. Sometimes because of the curves, consumers think I am larger, but I am really only a size 6.  My style is geared toward more what catches my eye.

Images courtesy of Venone PR

Images courtesy of Venone PR

FR: What’s next for you?

Laura Michele:  I filmed a Comcast on Demand special and that should be airing soon. My new CD comes out August 7. I will be touring and doing shows in the fall and I am already working and writing music for my next CD.

For more information on Laura Michelle, go to And to check out Laura Michelle’s “Chuck Norris video, go to

—William S. Gooch






Fashion Reverie Exclusive: “Devious Maids’” Sol Rodriguez Transitions to American Television and the Big Screen

Image courtesy of the Anderson Group

Image courtesy of the Anderson Group

Latina women are becoming a regular presence on television and the big screen. From the groundbreaking performances of Sonia Braga in the late 80s to Academy Award–winning and nominated performances of Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek, Latina women are making an indelible imprint in Hollywood.

Nowadays, Latina women don’t have to just play the stereotypical exotic, docile beauties or the fiery sex kittens that Rita Moreno and Rita Hayworth played half a century ago. The roles are becoming more diverse and multi-layered, particularly for Latina actresses in their 20s and 30s. And the good news, an accent is not necessarily an impediment.

Image courtesy of

“Devious Maids” season four image courtesy of

Sol Rodriguez is primed to be one of those Latina breakout actresses. With her new role on the fourth season of “Devious Maids,” this Argentinean beauty will get the chance to show the width and breath of her acting chops.

Fashion Reverie was given the opportunity to chat with Sol (short for Soledad) Rodriguez on the eve of the premiere of the new season of “Devious Maids.”

Fashion Reverie: You are from Argentina; did you aspire as a child to become an actress?

Sol Rodriguez:  I never wanted to be an actor as a child; I just kind of stumbled on it. I moved to Miami when I was a teenager and I signed with a talent agency in Miami to do commercials for extra money. The agency sent me to an acting audition although it was not my intention to become an actress. At any rate, I learned my lines and I got the job that turned out to be on Nickelodeon’s teen show “Grachi.” And I have been in the acting field ever since.

FR: So, in some sense acting was by accident.

Sol Rodriguez:  Exactly. When I got the job on “Grachi” I had never taken one acting lesson. I was studying travel and tourism in college and when I landed the lead role on “Grachi,” I had no time for my studies, so I had to make a choice, and I chose acting.

FR: From “Grachi” you started acting in Spanish telenovelas.  Could you talk about that?

Sol Rodriguez:  From “Grachi” I moved to acting in Spanish telenovelas; three to be exact. And about a year and a half ago I made the big move to Los Angeles to expand my choices of roles.

Moving to Los Angeles was scary. It was like starting all over again because I was working on Spanish telenovelas nonstop in Miami. I had a very secure acting life working on Spanish telenovelas, also my family lived in Miami.

It was a hard decision, but I knew I wanted to work in the American market. I knew the writing and directing in Hollywood was better than what I was getting in Spanish telenovelas. The work on those kinds of soap operas was no longer fulfilling. I am not the typical Spanish telenovela female leading glamorous character with big hair and lots of curves, so the roles were limited to me always playing ingénue supporting roles.

I just wanted more diversity in roles and more opportunity. I grateful for the opportunity Spanish telenovelas gave me, but it was time to move on. I knew I could reinvent myself in Hollywood and go after roles that were grittier and more multidimensional.

Sol Rodriguez as "Daniela Mercado" in "Devious Maids," image courtesy of Lifetime

Sol Rodriguez as “Daniela Mercado” in “Devious Maids,” image courtesy of Lifetime

FR: Let’s talk about your character, Daniela Mercado on “Devious Maids”?

Sol Rodriguez:  She is a new character this season on “Devious Maids.” I play Carmen’s (Rosalyn Sanchez) cousin who has come to Los Angeles from Puerto Rico to pursue an entertainment career. I crash in on Carmen’s life and unintentionally make her life miserable. Daniela is young and very impressionable, and creates a lot of drama. Daniela also finds out that Carmen is not really her cousin, but her mother.

FR: We know that you love clothes because you’ve been voted 10 Best Dressed for the 2013 Latin Billboard Music Awards. That said; who are some of your favorite designers and how would you describe style?

Sol Rodriguez:  I really like Calvin Klein for the simplicity of the brand’s design. The clothes are very easy to wear due to the minimalist aesthetic employed throughout the collections. Also, I don’t like clothes that fit too tightly and you can be comfortable and chic and Calvin Klein allows me to be that.

My personal style is very eclectic. I lived in Guatemala for a few years and fell in love with the indigenous culture, so you will see tribal prints and indigenous designs pop up in some of the things I wear. I like to mix Central American design motifs with vintage clothes from the 90s.

I really like to be comfortable, so you will not see me in high heels unless I am attending a red-carpet event.  I like to wear crop tops with loose-fitting jeans, and tennis shoes. I like to mix in a lot of different style from all over the world that expresses my mood and how I feel.

Image courtesy of the Anderson Group

Image courtesy of the Anderson Group

FR: How would you describe fashion in Argentina?

Sol Rodriguez: Fashion in Argentina is all over the place. I left Argentina when I was eight and I went back to visit when I was sixteen and a couple of years ago, so my opinions are based on visiting, not living there. However, when I visited my homeland, I saw women wearing platform shoes with boyfriend jeans and crazy floppy hats.

Women in Argentina don’t wear a lot of makeup; they prefer the natural look. I never wore makeup until my early 20s, and even now I don’t like to wear a lot of makeup. I guess I get that from my Argentinian roots.

Some of the fashion is very European with very loose-fitting clothes, not showing off your curves. Just dressing to be comfortable with a sense of individual style.

FR: In popular conversation, there is a lot of conversation of there are not being enough roles for Latina women in Hollywood. But we see that changing with “Devious Maids,” and Sophia Vergara in “Modern Family.” What has been your experience?

Sol Rodriguez:  I am very excited to be living in the era where there are more opportunities for Latina women. This progression is very new and I am a part of it!! A couple years ago it was very difficult for someone who looked different and spoke English with an accent. But, that is changing, for me to have such a big role on “Devious Maids,” is incredible, I feel so lucky.

I look Latin, Sophia Vergara, Rosalyn Sanchez and Eva Longoria, we all look Latin, not a European version of a Latina woman. I hope girls we look like me, and have an accent will see that it is possible to look Latina, have an accent and be successful in Hollywood.

Image courtesy of the Anderson Group

Image courtesy of the Anderson Group

FR: You love to give back to your community with such non-profits as the International Women’s House and PETA Latino, could talk about that?

Sol Rodriguez:  Actors have a lot of free time between acting and other projects. I have been so lucky to have the kind of life I have, so why not give back to people that are less fortunate. And because I am in a career where I have downtime between projects why not volunteer to charities and give back. I volunteer at shelters in Miami, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.

I have volunteered to help at a pet shelter here in LA. In Atlanta, I volunteered for refugee kids in a shelter. I would help them with homework and social activities. In Miami, I would always rally and protest outside of big circuses against their cruelty to animals.

FR: What’s next for you?

Sol Rodriguez:  I have two English-speaking movies in post-production. I am in “Going Under” with Bruce Willis and the other is “You Are Going to Miss Me.” And I am waiting for the premiere for the fourth season of “Devious Maids” which airs on June 6.

“Devious Maids” season four premieres on the Lifetime Channel on June 6, 9PM, EST.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion Reverie Exclusive Interview: Zane Pihlstrom

Company_XIV.jpg_02If anyone has ever attended any production by Company XIV, you are immediately dumbstruck by the seamless melding of dance, music, costumes, and set design. Though artistic director Austin McCormick is solely responsible for brilliant choreography that incorporates movement elements from Baroque dance, classical ballet, modern dance, and burlesque, Zane Pihlstrom is the guiding force behind the set design and costumes that helps brings Austin McCormick’s concepts to life on stage.

And he has a tough job. McCormick’s choreography though grounded in the Baroque dance necessities of grande rond de jambe parterre, petit allegro, and quick petit batterie is also injected with hard Graham falls and recoveries, angular grande battement, and sizzle and pop Burlesque disrobing. Zane Pihlstrom has to design and maintain costumes that stand up to this activity. An arduous tasks indeed, but Philstrom is more than up for the challenge.

While Company XIV was in season with their controversial and titillating “Nutcracker Rouge,” Zane Pihlstrom spoke with Fashion Reverie about his love of dance, costume design and the melding of beauty with the absurd.

Fashion Reverie: How did you first become involved in fashion and set design?

Zane Pihlstrom: When I was a little kid I would stage productions with my dolls and toys. I would make up lives for imaginary people. When I was nine or ten I converted my family’s barn into a little baroque theater or what I thought a baroque theater looked like at that age. My friends and I would make plays and design costumes. I just of kind of always knew what I wanted to do as an adult.

FR: Do you any formal training in set and costume design?

Zane Pihlstrom: I attended McGill University in Toronto where I studied set design ,and for graduate school I attended the Yale School of Drama.

FR: Who are your favorite costume/fashion designers?

Zane Pihlstrom: I love Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. Everything that they do looks like you could pluck it off the runway and put it into a Greek tragedy. I am also inspired by the photography of Ken Blocker. With one image, he can capture and detail an entire story.


FR: How would you describe your design aesthetic?

Zane Pihlstrom: My design aesthetic is different depending of the production. When it comes to Company XIV, I draw on vintage burlesque. The aesthetic of Company XIV really comes from the artistic and creative director Austin McCormick, and I just kind of build from his perspective and point of view. There is a lot of burlesque and Austin’s choreography is influenced by French baroque court dance, as well as classical ballet, modern dance, and jazz. So, I always look at the shape and silhouettes of French baroque dance and that era and incorporate it into the costumes.

FR: How did you first become affiliated with Company XIV?

Zane Pihlstrom: About seven or eight years ago when Company XIV was still located in Brooklyn, Austin McCormick asked me if I would work with him. I was suggested to Austin through a mutual friend. He asked me if I would work on Company XIV’s production of “The Judgment of Paris.” We worked really well together and Company XIV is my favorite company to work with.

FR: You have seen Company XIV’s design aesthetic evolve from “The Judgment of Paris” to “Le Serpent Rouge” to “Nutcracker Rouge.”  How has your design aesthetic evolved with the company?

Zane Pihlstrom: I work with the company so frequently so that even I work with other companies I am drawn to the same principles found at Company XIV. We started off imitating what we thought European costume and set designers were doing.

We were looking for more experimental ways of telling stories that was seen in our earlier work. Now, we pretty much know the tools that we need to tell a story, and we are probably a little less experimental now.

FR: There seems to be this seamless melding of music, sets, costume and design in Company XIV’s productions. How do you achieve this?

Zane Pihlstrom: I work very closely with Austin and he is also very flexible. If there’s something within the design that isn’t working, Austin will often find a way to adjust things.  It seems that he can accommodate any design idea.

FR: What was the design concept behind “Nutcracker Rouge”?

Zane Pihlstrom: We wanted a “Nutcracker” that was fresh and current so we used a light of neon and special effects. We also wanted a dance hall vibe from the turn of the century. So, in this production of the “Nutcracker” you get a marriage of those two disparate points of view.


FR: This revamped production of “Nutcracker Rouge” has evolved. Why did you make some changes?

Zane Pihlstrom: There were some practical reasons. We are now in a smaller, more permanent space. And with this new permanent space, we have the opportunity to evolve several of our older productions.

FR: How many productions have you worked on with Company XIV and which one is your favorite?

Zane Pihlstrom:  I have worked with Company XIV for over eight years and I worked on about 15 productions from children’s shows to productions with adult themes to operatic productions. Our early productions were in a warehouse in Brooklyn right off the Gowanus Canal. So, from those early productions we have figured out what works.

My favorite shows are the ones that combine beauty and decadence. That said; “Le Serpent Rouge” was my favorite production because there is a wonderful synergy of decadence and beauty.

All images courtesy of David Gibbs PR

All images courtesy of Company XVI

FR: What is the challenge of making costumes for a dance company that incorporates such a variety of movement forms?

Zane Pihlstrom: This is perhaps the most challenging kind of work I will ever do. The combination of graceful movement combined with forceful, frenzied movement is difficult because we use a lot of period costumes that in its construction and form  be quite fragile. But, the beauty in this assemblage of different movement forms is that juxtaposition of grace married with violent, chaotic movement and having costumes that support that.

It is tricky to keep the clothing in its period shape and then add in the element of Burlesque where you are seductively taking clothes off. Over the years, we have learned all the tricks of Velcro and fake zippers it!!

FR: What’s next for you?

Zane Pihlstrom: I am worked next with Yana Ross on a Russian political play that will have 100 live dogs on stage. Imagine that!!

—William S. Gooch

Fashion Reverie Exclusive: Misty Copeland, an Unlikely Ballerina

Images courtesy of Vogue Italia

Images courtesy of Vogue Italia

Soloists in the ballet world are usually fairly anonymous beings, except to those who religiously follow the classical ballet world. They are, as one dancer once put it, the bridesmaids of ballet—in a state of constant waiting—to get a precious lead role, to move up, to be the one.

But Misty Copeland is anything but the usual soloist.

Yes, technically Copeland is a soloist with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre (ABT), a rank she’s had since 2007. And yes, within ABT—the country’s second largest ballet company— she is certainly playing the waiting game when it comes to getting plum roles.

But in every other way, Copeland is unique, achieving a level of renown and celebrity that even many principal dancers never achieve.

Images courtesy of Vogue Italia and, respectively

Images courtesy of Vogue Italia and, respectively

Part of that is due to her unique status. Not only is she a black ballerina in the very white classical ballet world, but she is one of a very few black dancers to ever make it to her level—a soloist with one of the world’s top ballet companies. Copeland is only the second black woman ever to be a soloist at ABT.

Then there is Copeland’s unique story. She only began studying ballet at age 13 after a drill team coach at the local Boys and Girls Club introduced her to a ballet teacher. Most girls begin training by age 7, if not younger. After only a few months, she was dancing on pointe. Within a year, she was competing and performing.

But that ascendancy came amid instability at home—constant moves, including a period living in a motel; dealing with her mother’s boyfriends and husbands including some who were alcoholic or abusive; and a battle between Copeland’s mother and her ballet teacher that culminated in Copeland briefly seeking to emancipate herself from her mother.

All of that, to say nothing of Copeland’s dynamic presence onstage, has led to the type of offstage celebrity that few dancers, even principals, enjoy. She’s even performed with music superstar Prince. Nelson George is filming a documentary about her.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

This month, Copeland has released her autobiography, “Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina.” In May, she’ll appear with American Ballet Theatre, including a major new role for her—the lead role in Delibes’ “Coppelia.”

Here, Fashion Reverie offers a brief, exclusive Q & A with Misty Copeland.

Fashion Reverie: Why did you decide to write your book and why now?

Misty Copeland:  When the opportunity came from Simon and Schuster/Touchstone, I was definitely intrigued. I thought the timing as far as where I am in my career could make for a very unique viewpoint.

FR: What did you want to say or feel was important for people to know now?

Misty Copeland: I felt that with the platform I have as an African American ballerina still in the prime of her career, that I could reach so many people. Sharing my story I thought was bigger than me as an individual. I believe it is universal and could influence a new generation to want to dream.

Images courtesy of Vogue Italia

Images courtesy of Vogue Italia

FR: You have been, without question, the most visible and celebrated soloist in a major ballet company who hasn’t—as of yet—been elevated to a principal dancer position. Others have been seemingly fast tracked ahead of you for whatever reasons. Do you think your being so open and public about your issues as a black woman in the ballet world has been a reason why you’ve been held back?

Misty Copeland: I don’t believe this is the reason. I know that my Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie has always been my number one supporter, willing to nurture me through all of my setbacks with injuries. I think that timing plays a role. My late introduction to ballet caused me to have to reassess a lot as I was evolving as a professional, which often happens while you’re still a student. I do believe that more than just the Artistic Director makes decisions and maybe his support alone hasn’t been enough to push me to the next level.

FR: What were the toughest parts of the book for you to write about and why? 

Misty Copeland: The toughest was writing about my childhood. There were situations I never actually spent time analyzing. It was a healthy process though.

FR:  Do you feel a lot of pressure to succeed, even now or especially now?

Misty Copeland: The pressure I feel is not so much from the black community, but from the dance world. Waiting and watching to see if I’m perfect because maybe that’s what they [the dance community] believe a black woman needs to be to reach this level of success in ballet. I have my own expectations of myself that I feel I need to accomplish in order to make my people and myself proud.

Downloads191FR: The subtitle of your book says “My story of adversity and grace.” When did you realize or come to understand that handling things with grace would be a crucial part of your story.

Misty Copeland: I’ve learned in my time as a professional ballerina that the ballet world doesn’t work like rest of the world; which I appreciate to some extent. The structure of respect and history is deep rooted in ballet. So that is ingrained in me because of ballet, to handle things with grace throughout my life.

—Karyn Collins



Fashion and Football’s Brad Smith

Brad_Smith_14Brad Smith admits that most of the time if you see him on the street, the wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles will probably be dressed in sweats or jeans.

“I’m an athlete,” he said, explaining. “I don’t dress up too much.”


Photo by D. King for Visit Philadelphia/Philly 360°

But that doesn’t mean Smith is clueless when it comes to fashion. His closet, he said, includes a little bit of everything. Yes, there’s some Wal-Mart on the rack. But Smith said his closet also contains some Canali and Balenciaga.

If Smith has a discerning eye for fashion—he calls his personal style “subtle devastation”—he also has a sense of the realities of the fashion world. That’s why he’s headlining a special reception Friday night during New York Fashion Week to introduce designer Keser “Kassie” Haji of Columbus, Ohio who won a design contest Smith sponsored.

Brad_Smith_11“We wanted to build something where we can show how much we love fashion but at the same time give somebody an opportunity to be seen, let their art be shown and give them a step in the right direction in building a career in fashion,” he said of the Design for Brad Smith competition.

Fashion is more than just a passing fancy for Smith. He is a fashion contributor to Men’s Health magazine and did a fashion editor internship with the magazine last year.

“Fashion is like an art form. It’s a way of expressing yourself, just like sports,” he said. “For me it’s just a natural carryover from sports. It’s a way to get out of yourself.”

—Karyn D. Collins



Rubix Kube: The 80s Have Never Been This Much Fun

Rubix_Kube_03They’re a little bit Punk, a whole lot of Rock n’ Roll with a healthy portion of Pop bundled into a stage show of miasmic crazy, frothy fun. But, that is why their fans love them. Rubix Kube takes you back to the 80s, a fantastic voyage of bold, kaleidoscope colors paired with a nostalgic purview into 80s music as we would like to remember it, crazy, uncensored, unabashedly liberating and free of restrictions. Yeah, that is what 80s music was all about!!

RubixKube_CherieMadonna“As an entire decade of music, 80s music is the most fun … When you think of the 80s, you immediately smile,” contends David Zablidowsky, Rubix Kube bass player and vocalist. Rubix Kube lead singer Cherie Martorana continues, “Out of all the decades of music, the 80s has the most genres within that decade. Every decade has one or two genres, but in the 80s there was Punk, Dance, New Wave, Hair Metal, Pop, Rap, and R&B. And every one had money and was happy.”

Rubix_Kube_04And happiness and frenzied joy is what Rubix Kube brings to their fans.  They have even found a unique way to make Punk, a music genre that speaks to political outrage and nihilism, a pleasurable stroll down 80s memory lane.  Vocalist Scott Lovelady who has an uncanny resemblance to Billy Idol explains, “We also perform Billy Idol, Adam Ant, The Clash, Oingo Bongo, Bow Wow Wow, Missing Persons, Nena, Vapors, the Thompson Twins; even early Duran Duran. You have to understand that by the mid-80s Punk was a lot more melodic which made it appealing to a wider audience.  It still had a rebellious message but was more radio friendly.”

Still, whether finding a way to make 80s Punk more palatable or successfully mixing all the 80s genres onstage in one show, Rubix Kube guarantees to give audiences the complete 80s experience. “There are other 80s cover bands that try to do what we do. But they sound like they are covering the music from the 80s. Rubix Kube doesn’t cover the music; we sound like the 80s artists themselves. We are a tribute band, not a cover band. We re-create the 80s onstage in our music, in our dress, and also in our attitude,” explains David Z.


Images courtesy of DeWolf Photography

And a 80s experience it is. From Cherie Martorana prancing around in Betsey Johnson frocks to David Z conjuring up images of David Lee Roth in zebra spandex tights to Scott Lovelady performing Spandau Ballet in a 80s Armani suit, Rubix Kube leaves no 80s stone unturned. “We love performing Madonna’s “Like a Virgin,” admits Drummer John Laspina. “Although Cherie performs that tune, sometimes we parody other songs and the guys gets to wear some feminine clothes onstage,” continues Laspina jokingly.

David Zablidowsky in a bustier and garters, hmm, I don’t know? Maybe Rubix Kube should contact The Blonds.

—William S. Gooch



David Zablidowsky: Positively Expecting the Unexpected



When Fashion Reverie sat down with David Zablidowsky (David Z) after our photo shoot, we were struck by the contradictions and polar opposites, all good. Here is a rock musician who doesn’t party or live the hard, wild life of a  rock musician, though he has the party boy swagger and attitude. The long hair conjures up images of 80s rocker style—which is the music he sometimes plays—but his taste and personal style extends to the current punk chic trend with sophisticated tailoring seen currently in high-fashion menswear brands. And though David Z is a bonafide guys’s guy with a strong masculine jawline and ripped body, his complex mix of wild rocker hair, ringed fingers and bangles, black eyeliner and black painted nails demonstrates that he is comfortable pairing the masculine with the feminine in his own unique way. In other words, David Zablidowsky is a kind of modern-day rock n’ roll dandy that appeals to a wide variety of women but is also the man that a lot of men would secretly like to be.


Shirt by Custo Barcelona, leather jeans by John Varvatos, boots by Zara

But wasn’t David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and Alice Cooper rock dandies of their generations?  And you cannot forget Marilyn Manson and Adam Lambert, who have successfully combined feminine and masculine elements with onstage outré theatrics. If that be the case, David Z is in good company and his lists of musical accomplishment speak to his ability to find that delicate balance between performance art and skilled musicianship.  “In addition to ZO2 and ZO2’s reality-based television show Z-Rock, I have been playing with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra for the past 12 years. When I started out with Trans-Siberian, we were playing small theaters and venues; now we play huge arenas like Madison Square Garden … I have played with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. I also play with the very popular 80s tribute band Rubix Kube where I get to wear neon colors and spandex on stage … I just finished a European tour with Jeff Soto who used to sing with Journey. Yeah, you could say I stay very busy.” details David Z.

Image courtesy of Anthony Tudisco, shirt by Custo Barcelona

Shirt by Custo Barcelona, leather jeans by John Varvatos

Still, at the heart of David Z’s craft and stage acumen is his love of head banging music and fashion. “Hey, I love clothes … Believe it or not I shop a lot at Zara. It is a European look, affordable and the fit is great. But, I also love G Star, Dsquared2, Custo Barcelona, Tallia Orange, Rochambeau, and John Varvatos, who is geared toward rock n ’roll, and his shop in the Bowery is in the area where the old CBGBs was, so you cannot go wrong,” confirms David Z.  “It is unfortunate when musicians don’t realize that you have to present a complete package and your look onstage and off is so important. You have to be cognizant of the fact that this is a business and people are always looking at you. KISS was my idol growing up, so early on I tapped into stage theatrics and enhancing your performance on stage and off with your wardrobe,” continues David Z.

And Rubix Kube is the perfect synthesis for David Z of the music he loves, onstage wild theatrics expressed in flashes of bold color and the manic energy found in 80s Punk. “What I love about Rubix Kube is we get to dress up on stage in crazy 80s clothes and have fun!! There are no rules for what is too much. Sometimes, I’m wearing fuchsia spandex with neon sneakers and a Mohawk,” explains David Z. “Rubix Kube does all 80s music so our Punk repertoire in that genre would be Blondie, Wendy Williams and the Plasmatics, David Byrne and The Talking Heads, Adam and the Ants, Billy Idol, Big Country, The Human League, Oingo Boingo, the Pretenders, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Eurythmics. A lot of these bands were crossover, so our audience members recognize the music, even if they weren’t fans of Punk.”

Image courtesy of Anthony Tudisco, red shirt by Mark

Red shirt by Mark

David Z’s Punk leanings go beyond just 80s Punk bands; it extends also to clothes. “I love the mix of styles that pops up in Punk that can be a hodgepodge of interesting fabrics from tartans and denim to vinyl and plastic to the new aesthetic that is more sophisticated and tailored. I love the spikes and hardware. I love the fact that Punk crossed over from music and street fashion to a point of view that you now see on high-fashion runways.”


I guess you could say David Zablidowsky’s musical taste, fashion points of view and life cred could be summed up in positively expecting the unexpected. “I don’t know what every day or prime time work is. My life has be a series of unexpected opportunities … I live a charmed life.” Hmm, we should all be so lucky!!

—William S. Gooch

To view more images from the editorial shoot, click credits image below. For Full Screen click arrow at bottom right of slide.





Fashion Reverie Exclusive: Peter Fletcher

Peter_Fletcher_02Getting young people in the seats for a Peter Fletcher concert has never been a real challenge for his management team. Though the New York Times recently commented on declining youth at what they described as the ‘gray-haired ‘ arts, Fletcher has always had a sizable audience on young people. And its growing.

And they are coming to  luxuriate the ear to the strains of Bach, Grieg, Satie, Ravel,  Mompou, and a host of composers that are sometime not associated with classical guitar. How does he do it? Well, if you have to ask that question, you probably have never been to a Fletcher concert.

Peter Fletcher through his passion and mastery of classical guitar knows how to entertain. He doesn’t use cheap tricks and gimmicks. Fletcher enchants ears and quickens heartbeats with his impeccable technique and his special way of emoting through his instrument.

On April 6, Fletcher will again quicken pulses and rapture spirits at New York City’s Weill Hall. With a program that includes Bach, a rarely heard piece by Frederico Mompou, and the world premiere of Jeremy Gill’s “Diary of a Camino,” Fletcher will demonstrate that great music has no cultural, ethnic or age boundaries.

Fashion Reverie: How did you get started in classical guitar?

Peter Fletcher:  I started playing on a ukulele when I was a young child. I got first guitar as a pre-teen and my instructor John Sutherland told me that if I started with the classical style other styles would come easily to me. And as you can see I have stuck with classical guitar all this time.

 FR: Who are some of your favorite composers?

 Peter Fletcher:  I love Johann Sebastian Bach, Wagner, and Beethoven for classical listening. And for the classical guitar I love Manuel Ponce, Frederico Mompou who I am playing at Weill Hall.

FR: Now, when I interviewed you about five years ago, you stated that the audience for classical guitar was growing to include some younger listeners, is that still true?

Peter Fletcher:  As I am touring I am noticing a younger audience. I contribute my appeal to a younger audience to my publicist sending press releases to high school band directors and increasing music awareness that way. We also make sure there are affordable student tickets. We are competing with pop concerts that young people will spend a lot of money on. So, we have to bridge the gap between what will be spent on popular music by making the program classically diverse and making ticket prices more affordable.

Peter_Fletcher_03JPGFR: There was in article in the NY Times that spoke about the decline of young audiences for what they called ‘The gray-haired arts.’  How are you reaching out to younger audiences?

 Peter Fletcher:  Our main strategy is to formulate the idea that this is something that young people will enjoy; that it is not highbrow, but very entertaining. Our repertoire is chosen for its accessibility. Music is something that you feel. We don’t pander to our audiences. We try to present our musical point of view in a very sophisticated, dynamic, well-constructed, but always relevant way.

FR: Do you think classical music is something that people respond to naturally or can it be an acquired taste?

Peter Fletcher:   I would say both. Music can be an acquired taste. Music that I found boring when I was younger over time I have come to love and appreciate. One of the pieces I always play by Bach is “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” It is a beautiful guitar transcription that allows the guitarist to play the entire melodic bass line. I play this piece because I know everyone will recognize the piece and I don’t think you need an acquired taste to love this particular work.

FR: Have you ever included pop pieces for the guitar in your repertoire?

 Peter Fletcher:  A long time ago I played some good arrangements of Beatle’s songs for the guitar. The Beatle’s “If I Fell” made a beautiful piece for the guitar. I do play the theme song from “Deerhunter” occasionally in my concerts. Most of what I play is categorized as classical music for the guitar. Second to that, I love good rock n’ roll and R&B—Pink Floyd, Motown, Jefferson Airship— and a well-constructed pop song.

 FR: Let’s talk about your choice of selections for your concert at Weill Hall. Some of the movements in the Bach Partita and Michael Praetorius’ Terpsichore mirror Baroque court dances, the pavane, the courant, etc. Why is that?

 Peter Fletcher:  Most partitas and suites are generally comprised of dance movements because they are loosely derived from court dances. You usually start with a prelude, then an allemande, a courante, a sarabande, a bouree, and a gigue. That is how that genre of music was organized during the Baroque period.

The movement I am playing for my concert at Weill Hall is the chaconne from the Bach Partita in D Minor No. 2 for Solo Violin arranged for the guitar. I am only performing the chaconne because this Bach Partita is a rather long piece. The chaconne is a slow dance from Spain. Musically, the chaconne is a theme and variations type of music with four measures of harmony that repeats itself. George Bernard Shaw wrote that the Bach Chaconne is the greatest piece every written for a symphony orchestra.

Praetorius’ Terpsichore has a lot of court dances in it. Terpsichore is the Greek muse of dance and Praetorius had compiled over 300 dances collected throughout Europe. I have included three pieces in this concert, the courante, ballet, and the volta.

 FR: Now, you have recorded the Mompou before, why did you go back to it?

 Peter Fletcher:  I recorded Mompou in 2002 for Centaur Records. That album enabled me to set up a concert career. First, I like the composer, also this year is the 120th anniversary of Mompou’s birth. There are some minor Mompou celebrations going on this year in different countries. There is a Mompou foundation in Barcelona that encouraged me to  reach back and perform this rarely heard Mompou piece to celebrate the 120th anniversary. The piece that I am performing, “Suite Compostelana,” at Weill Hall was written for Andres Segovia, dedicated to the holy city of Santiago de Compostela.

Peter_Fletcher_01FR: Let’s talk about your world premiere “Diary of a Camino” by Jeremy Gill.

 Peter Fletcher:  Jeremy Gill is a friend of mine from my graduate studies at Eastman School of Music.  He wrote this piece for me last January and this work dovetails with Mompou. Jeremy did the El Camino pilgrimage in Spain that ends in the holy city of Santiago de Compostela and the Mompou piece I am performing is dedicated to that holy city.

 ”Diary of a Camino” describes musically Gill’s travels while he was doing the pilgrimage. There is bells, chanting, fog and thunder and clock ticks. He conjures up all these experiences in the piece.

FR: How many concerts do you perform a year?

Peter Fletcher:  I perform about 150 concerts a year, mostly in the US, for about five months out of the year. But, I am living my dream, doing what I want to do.

FR: What is one of your oddest experiences on stage?

Peter Fletcher:  There was a kind of morbid occurrence in 2005. I nicked my finger on a razor blade preparing for the concert, and as I was performing my finger started to bleed profusely on stage. I looked down and my shirt was covered with blood and there was blood on the guitar and the floor. I did have to end the concert. Oddly, the finger healed by the next morning. I realized that as I was playing, the guitar string had opened up the nick on the finger.

FR: You are always look sharp on stage.  That said; who are your favorite designers on stage and off?

 Peter Fletcher:  I love Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, and Armani. Onstage I like to wear a black suit and a white shirt and tie on stage. I don’t want to distract the audience from the music by dressing flashy. Sometimes, I do like to wear bowties onstage like Horowitz.

FR: What’s next for you?

 Peter Fletcher:  My Edvard Grieg album comes out in the fall of 2013. I will be performing an all Bach program at Carnegie Hall in 2015.


—William S. Gooch



Designers Return to “Project Runway: All Stars” with Something to Prove

Redemption, pride, personal challenge, curiosity.

Thirteen designers from previous seasons of the hit reality fashion design show Project Runway have returned to compete in Project Runway: All Stars. The All Stars edition of Project Runway debuts on October 25 at 9 p.m. EST on Lifetime. And the reasons behind each designer’s return are as varied as their design aesthetics and backgrounds in the industry.

This latest edition of Project Runway: All Stars (the second full season version not counting a truncated All Stars special), comes just weeks after Project Runway finished its 10th anniversary regular season.

While fans will see familiar faces at the sewing machines, the quartet of judges and advisors are a different crew from the Project Runway regular personalities of Heidi Klum, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and Tim Gunn. Instead, Project Runway: All Stars features a judging panel of supermodel Carolyn Murphy and designers Issac Mizrahi and Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman. Joanna Coles, formerly of Elle and now editor-in-chief at Cosmopolitan, fills the workroom advisor role.

An interesting wrinkle to this season of Project Runway: All Stars is that this season features a lot of runners-up, all with something to prove.

The runners-up looking for a shot at redemption in this edition of Project Runway: All Stars are:

  • Wendy Pepper (Middleburg, VA) – Season One, Second Runner-up
  • Uli Herzner (Miami, FL) – Season Three, First Runner-up
  • Althea Harper (New Haven, CT) – Season Six, First Runner-up
  • Emilio Sosa (New York, NY) – Season Seven, First Runner-up
  • Joshua McKinley (New York, NY) – Season Nine, First Runner-up

Other designers returning are:

  • Andrae Gonzalo (New York, NY) – Season Two
  • Kayne Gillaspie (Oklahoma City, OK) – Season Three
  • Suede (Barryville, NY) – Season Five
  • Peach Carr (Lake Forest, IL) – Season Eight
  • Casanova (New York, NY) – Season Eight.
  • Ivy Higa (New York, NY) – Season Eight.
  • Anthony Ryan Auld (Baton Rouge, LA) – Season Nine.
  • Laura Kathleen (St. Louis, MO) – Season Nine.

Fashion Reverie talked to three returning designers of this season of Project Runway: All Stars to find out why they returned and how the Project Runway: All Stars experience compared to their original experience on Project Runway.

Wendy Pepper

It’s been eight years since America met the mom who became known as the villain of the first season of Project Runway for her often sarcastic and acerbic comments about her fellow contestants. Since then Pepper, 48, has kept busy designing for her boutique in Middleburg, VA.

Fashion Reverie: What do you think of how you were shown in Season One?

Wendy Pepper: It’s TV and you throw your hat in the ring and do what you can. I really thought it was a pretty amazing experience. I thought all in all it’s been a wonderful experience for me. I think that editing is  a miraculous thing. I really don’t know that person they created on Season 1 but they managed to create it and kudos to them for that. But never once for a minute have I confused it with who I am.

FR: How was the Project Runway experience for you this time and working with designers who grew up watching you on television?

Wendy Pepper: I definitely felt it took me back to eight years ago. It reminded me of the craziness. I can tell you my job does not include challenges like that. It actually made me grateful to come back to my real job. My main observation was it was an extraordinary opportunityto spend some real time with people that are entering the industry in a different way than I did. To me that was invaluable to have a meal with them, and talk with them, and talk strategy. I learned a lot.

Kayne Gillaspie

Since being introduced to “Project Runway” audiences as the pageant gown king of Season 3 and finishing in the top 5, Gillaspie, 33, has been busy building his fashion business. His Jonathan Kayne brand, based in his hometown of Nashville, includes dresses, intimates and shoe lines.

FR: Given your heavy work commitments with your three lines, why did you decide to participate on Project Runway All Stars?

Kayne Gillaspie: I think all of us love the creative process so when else do you get a chance to leave your cell phone behind, and the whole outside world behind and all you do is focus on creating. You get to just zone out and take a challenge at hand and really concentrate on showing what you can do,  perfecting your craft and getting into a creative zone to do what you love to do. On top of that, it’s great exposure for young designers. There’s so much competition out there to get your brand out there. And for so many people to get to see your creative process and talent, it’s pretty awesome. It’s a no brainer. As long as I can make it work with my schedule and my business I will do that. This is another great opportunity for me. I couldn’t pay for a single commercial for my brand on Lifetime. So that type of exposure with television is awesome. For me it was a business move more than anything else.

FR:  Almost half of the designers are from seasons eight and nine. What was it like being with them?

Kayne Gillaspie: They grew up watching us. These kids come in wearing only their product and promoting their product. And even just how [they approached the show], they always had things they might want to say or do. For me it’s just spontaneous. I do what I do. There were a lot of egos I felt from some of the younger crowd. I pretty much get along with anyone but I was a little surprised by how much ego was there without much work that’s been put in before. I just grew up where hard work was number one and everything would come after that. But good for them. Maybe it works for them.

Peach Carr

Peach Carr has been busy since she appeared in 2010 on Season 8 of Project Runway. The 52-year-old mom from Lake Forest, IL.—she hopped on a plane to tape this All Stars season literally hours after watching her daughter graduate from high school—has also been busy with her line of tennis togs and daywear.

All images courtesy of

FR: Why did you decide to do Project Runway All Stars?

Peach Carr: I said no about four times. I think the reason why I finally said yes was because I thought I had really grown so much in two years as a designer since my time on Season 8. I really wanted to show everybody not only how much growth but what Lifetime gave to me because I had no voice before Project Runway. Project Runway really channeled me to where I was supposed to go. I wanted to show everybody what this opportunity did for me.

FR: What was the experience like this time around?

Peach Carr: My daughter graduated from high school and hours later I was on a plane to New York to film so by the time I met everybody I was thinking ‘What did I do?’ It was very weird at first. But I was so star struck by some of the people there that I almost didn’t feel I was on Project Runway at first. I am still star struck with Uli and Kayne. Season 3 is [when] I first got hooked on Project Runway. I am just like everybody else; you feel like you know these people and you want to get to know them.”

—Karyn D. Collins

Andres Escobar: The Master Builder Speaks

“This is the house that Jack built, y’all. Remember this house! This was the land that he worked by hand. This was the dream of an upright man. This was the room that was filled with love,” croons R&B icon Aretha Franklin from her 1968 hit by the same title.

Master builder Andres Escobar just like the character in “This Is the House that Jack Built” pours lots of love and dedication into his craft. Moved more by what his heart dictates than financial gain, Escobar has created a phenomenal portfolio of work that illustrates his passion and creative genius. From designing the New York Times Building interior to the Guess Flagship store in Toronto to the newly renovated and renamed Noir (originally Nikki Beach) in Midtown East, Escobar is riding high on an astonishing list of accomplishments. Still, Escobar approaches each new project as an opportunity to evolve and test the limits of  his ingenuity.

Andres Escobar took time out of his busy schedule to talk to Fashion Reverie about his trajectory, his philosophy of life, and the thing that brings him so much joy.

Fashion Reverie: You moved from Colombia to Montreal to study engineering. During your studies you switched from engineering to architecture/interior design, why?

Andres Escobar: I have always been a creative person, and in my youth I would make model buildings and automobiles. I started out as an engineer major because my family thought that a creative career was too risky. I decided to move to designing spaces and it had taken a long time for me to obtain what I wanted to achieve.

NY Times Building rendering

FR: What were you trying to obtain?

Andres Escobar: I wanted to have a portfolio of a diversity of projects. Obviously, you have to make enough money to support yourself, but it is more about the challenge of designing different venues. Working on a new project is like starting a new love affair. It is fun for me and I don’t feel like I go to work.

It is very important as a designer to work on a diversity of projects that have a different aesthetic. In this industry it is very easy to get stereotyped. For a while I was thought of a designer that only designed very edgy, downtown spaces with a minimalistic aesthetic. But with this new project, Noir, I have been able to show a wider range of my talents, combining Art Deco with neoclassicism, mixed in with Hollywood glamour and modern elements. This space also gives the feeling of the old supper clubs, but modernized.

FR: When you opened your company in 1989 what were some of your first projects?

Andres Escobar: Early on I was designing large supermarkets that had very specialized departments with their own personalities within the food store, like a boucherie, boulangerie or chacuterie.  Early on we had clients in Halifax, Montreal, and even some European clients. That morphed into designing restaurants and later retail stores like Timbaland and sportswear stores.

FR: What sets your firm apart from other architectural/interior design firms?

Andres Escobar: I am able to understand what people are looking for. I am great listener. When I am meeting with my clients I let them talk and I am able to discern what they want, even if they are not clear or so sure themselves. My firm is very good at understanding markets and what works best for that particular market. We are good at not letting the design overwhelm the product.

FR: Your job requires a lot of hands-on knowledge. How do you do the research needed to stay competitive?

Andres Escobar: I am very fortunate to do a lot of traveling.  I love meeting people and different cultures, and I infuse all those experiences into my work. One common quality among all people and cultures is that there is beauty among all people and all cultures. The media would have us to believe that beauty comes in a very specific package, but that is not so.

I make it a point to see what is going on in different cultures. I go outside of the packaged tourist areas. I visit different types of restaurants and hotels.  I always look at what people are wearing, how they accessorize; how the men and the women are beautifying themselves.

Duo Restaurant

FR: What is your design aesthetic or signature look?

Andres Escobar: I try to create a place that has its own unique look. For long time it was very linear, and that was a part of my learning and growing. You know, sometimes it is more difficult to create a clever, minimalistic space than a Baroque-inspired space.  You can hide imperfections in more busy or Baroque spaces. Having said that, you have to understand what is going on right now, but you also have to understand different periods, from Baroque to Bauhaus, etc.  This knowledge really enriches you and you can use those historical references in your work designed with your particular point of view.

FR: How do you select your projects?

Andres Escobar: Most of the projects come by word of mouth, so the more projects we work on, the more people are aware of my firm’s work. I also have to feel that I have the right chemistry with my clients to have a successful relationship. I can usually tell within five minutes if it is going to work out.

FR: What has been your most challenging, and why?

Andres Escobar: We worked on a hotel a while back, and I knew early on that it would be difficult. I followed my financial necessity and not my heart. I did the project to honor the commitment, but I hated the project. I promised myself to never do to that again.

FR: You designed the New York Times Building, Noir, and other significant spaces in NYC. What is it about NYC that lends itself to your design aesthetic?

Andres Escobar: I believe personality is very important. Once people get to know me they understand that I am probably the easiest guy to work with. There are a lot of prima donnas out there that are very hard to work with. New Yorkers like to get down to brass tacks without a lot of fuss and muss. So my personality lends itself to getting things done and meeting deadlines without a lot of drama. I believe also that New Yorkers appreciate when a designer can bring in different elements from different cultures and periods and make the design look like one seamless expression of beauty and functionality. My firm is able to accomplish that.

Noir Images courtesy of Robert Chojnacki

FR: Could you talk about how Noir and how that project came about?

Andres Escobar: I met the owner George Giordano in Florida and he mentioned that he had a club/restaurant, Nikki Beach in New York City. He contacted me when he wanted Nikki Beach to be renovated. When I looked at the space I immediately wanted to make the space different from other similar spaces in NYC. Most marquees in NYC are square, so we wanted to differentiate Noir’s marquee from the others. I decided to bring a little bit of the Champs Elysees to the space, so that is what we did. We built in a beautiful spiral staircase, padded walls and banquettes.

FR: There has been a trend in NYC and other major cities to move toward upscale lounges and away from large clubs and dance spaces. What to you contribute this to?

Andres Escobar: There has been a very big generational shift in populations that desire a night life. The baby boomers want to go out and have a relaxing time in environments that not too crowded and noisy. The clubbing scene is too loud and you cannot have a conversation in those spaces. Also, designers are bored with being asked to always create cutting edge, Jetson-like environments; it is too linear with hard edges. If you notice a lot of beauty comes in soft, round, smooth-edged packages. The Renaissance was all about round edges, and architecture and interior design is having a renaissance of sorts.

People want to go back to the basics. You want all the innovation and accessibility that comes with technology, but you want the beauty of the basics and the quality of great design.

FR: That said; what are the current trends in architecture?

Andres Escobar: Design is becoming a lot more fluid because of access to a wider variety of building materials. In my case, which is mainly interiors, technology has come a long, long way. Through media, like the Internet, consumers are exposed to everything and they have a certain amount of sophistication. Advancements in lighting have changed the industry. LED and longevity of the product is now the order of the day. However, with the new technologies we are losing the craftsmen. Because everything now is done through machines, craftsmen are becoming almost obsolete and with that loss we are losing some of the romance of their artistry. Through machines we can do an interpretation of an engraved wall, but it is not the same.

The retail industry everyone is trying to follow the leaders in terms of personality and branding a interior design look in the store. Each store will have its own individual look. Prada started this, now everyone is trying to copy that. Unfortunately, the branding looks similar.

FR: What comes next?

Andres Escobar: I want to keep evolving and doing the romantic, evocative designs. I want to keep doing what I am doing, and that is always fun and fulfilling.

—William S. Gooch




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