NEW YORK — Cesar Galindo is a traveling man.
A recent trip to the Caribbean inspired the Houston born-and-raised designer to create a colorful spring 2015 collection for his Czar by Cesar Galindo line, which he showcased during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
"I call it the 'getaway collection,' " Galindo said. "I feel like you should always feel like you're away on vacation. It's a very relaxed attitude. I was on the islands — I did several fashion weeks there — and it inspired me in many ways because of the colors.
"I feel like you should always feel like you're away on vacation. It's a very relaxed attitude."
"That's all the Caribbean. You look at it and it's all that vibrancy of the ocean, the landscape and the spirit of the people. You just feel like you're very relaxed. That's what it's all about."
Indeed, the collection has a languid feeling, with flirty pastel skirts and contrasting bandeaus, snake-print caftans, sparkly two-tone sheaths, maxi-dresses in a bold green print, slinky lame gowns and multi-colored beaded jump suits.
"They are made of double layered sequins. I did it in many different colors," he said. "My silhouettes are pretty classical. It's just about the textiles and the prints and what you do with them. And how you wear it."
The Czar collection ranges from $395 to $1,000, much less than his couture line. "I want to make clothes that people can just consume and really collect and have," he said. "I do Cesar Galindo, which is couture. But have many galas have you got to go to?"
Jessica Rossman, who flew from Houston to attend the show, was eyeing a sexy draped silver goddess gown to wear to the New York Academy of Art "Take Home A Nude" art auction and party at Sotheby's Thursday night (Oct. 9) in New York. Other Houstonians included Bambi Lynn, whose Blinc by Bambi Lynn production company helped to produce the show, fashion blogger Roz Pactor, John Dascoulias and eight Page Parkes models who participated in the presentation, including Needville teenager Ashton Zamarron, who was discovered during Parkes' Glamping Across Texas statewide model search.
In addition to Zamarron, Houston models Katarina Richter, Marlee Menendez, Emily Matheny, Shelby Bullard, Sydney Wallis, Charlotte Stevens and Taylor May appeared in the show, along with models from the British Virgin Islands.
The evil stepsisters are clothes whores obsessed with having and wearing all of the latest fashion trends, sometimes all at once.
Galindo was also tapped to design costumes for a new production of Rossini's classic opera La Cenerentola in Milwaukee. Skylight Music Theater artistic director Viswa Subbaraman, formerly co-founder and director of Opera Vista in Houston, knew Galindo from their Bayou City connections and asked the designer to re-imagine the Cinderella story in a fashion-centric way.
In the production, which just ended, Cinderella's family lives in a mansion overflowing with colorful clothing and accessories. According to a description in the press release for the show, "the evil stepsisters are clothes whores obsessed with having and wearing all of the latest fashion trends, sometimes all at once. The mansion is strewn from floor to ceiling with excessive clothing and accessories. Cinderella spends her days sorting, cleaning, folding and hanging their belongings."
Galindo modeled the stepsisters after the boozy chain smoking duo in the classic British comedy Absolutely Fabulous. For the ball scene and he immediately thought of Truman Capote's 1966 Black and White Masquerade Ball and designed clothing that evoked that grand affair.
"It was a great experience," Galindo said. "It's just fun to be part of the theater, where you can express yourself."