Just after the 2012 Oscar weekend, Academy of Couture Art continued the festivities with a special red carpet couture designer guest, Gilbert Chagoury of Chagoury Couture, in the atelier of Fashion Show Prep.
Mr. Chagoury’s meet and greet with our upcoming summer gala designers was priceless inspiration and motivation. Having just dressed Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell and Mingle Media TV’s Kristyn Burtt in stunning Oscar red carpet gowns, the maestro shared perspective on how to cope, work with, and make a beautiful presentation on such a momentous occasion.
The first audience question hit right on business and success. “How did you get started?” His double major in design and marketing took him from design with Dior to PR. Yet, on the side, he continued creating in his atelier. Orders kept growing and soon he was launching his own line. A very valuable example of being born as a designer and finding success in what you love to do. If you are a creator, you create!
As you can image, a common occurring question among designers in the premiere U.S. Couture fashion school looks at the relationship between custom, one-of-a-kind and ready-to-wear. Mr. Chagoury perfects his craft primarily in custom evening and wedding gowns but is growing his ready-to-wear. He has vision for touching more lives with beauty by extending his line to incorporate accessories and other collections.
For inspiration, sometimes one looks far and pulls from the magic and fantasy of the theatre. One source that has recently touched Mr. Chagoury comes directly from Vegas.
And what about taking risks? How does a designer be courageous working with color and fabrics you think don’t match but you love? How do you move forward when people say it won’t work?
“When you have a collection, one bold piece can be balanced by the 24 others. There is one lime green dress in my collection that the industry said would not work. Now it’s my best seller. I was telling everyone, “I see it!” and those are the pieces that work best. For ready-to-wear, it may be different, but for me, when someone wants couture, they want different. When you see a couture dress, you want Wow!”
In final thought we come to the question served in Academy of Couture Art’s degree programs and, more importantly, fashion show preparation and manufacturing courses. Does a designer need to know about pattern making? “Now, I simply do not have time. I have my pattern maker who knows my style and what I like. Yet still I go back and make changes to the pattern. A designer has to understand and know how to work with the pattern.”
Mr. Chagoury’s visit with Academy of Couture Art marks the budding of a growing shared mission to teach, inspire, and promote the next designers. We anticipate with excitement more to come in couture collaboration.