GRAPHIC | BRINSON RENDA
My press pass, unfortunately, doesn’t grant me access to the various fashion weeks held in Milan, Los Angeles, New York or even Miami.
If you are like me, and your local celebrity status extends to nothing more than catching the reruns of New York’s fashion week on the Style Channel, then you are in luck. A slice of couture is coming to Tampa, and the public is invited for a taste. Celebrity designer and stylistIndashio is bringing his To Die For collection to the historic Centro Asturiano on Saturday, June 30. Montage recently caught up with the designer to ask a few questions about his stint on MTV’s 8th and Ocean, his designs and his dreams.
The Oracle: Where are you from?
Indashio: I am from the Pitts. Pittsfield, Mass., is where I was born and raised. I lived there until I was 18, and then I moved with my parents to Clearwater. I was here for about a year, and then I moved to Miami. I launched my line in Miami, and then I moved to Harlem.
The Oracle: What was your experience like on 8th and Ocean?
I: Oh my God! Crazy! We taped in October of 2005. It was during Miami’s fashion week. It was hard because none of the models liked my clothes! The models in New York, you could put a garbage bag on them and they’ll just wear it. But the models on the TV show were like, “I don’t feel comfortable in this. My nipples are showing. This dress is too short!” I was like, “What is up with these models? They’re models. They aren’t supposed to have opinions – they aren’t fashion critics.” They were supposed to put on whatever I tell them to and make it look fierce. It was cool – it was definitely an experience, though. It opened up a lot of doors for me. The Oracle: How did you get your start designing?
I: I started when I was 18. I had just graduated high school, and I didn’t really know what I was going to do. I just started making clothes, and before I knew it, I had a whole roomful of clothes.
The Oracle: How did you get your start styling?
I: One of the magazines where I did my first magazine interview, it was an online magazine called Lucire. Two years later, they started a print edition, and they let me do whatever I wanted as far as styling and photo shoots and stuff. So that’s when I started utilizing that opportunity. I started calling different celebrities, and that’s how I started working with my celebrity clients.
The Oracle: What do you like more, designing or styling?
I: Designing definitely. They come hand-in-hand. It’s weird, ’cause sometimes I feel like I’m a better stylist than I am a designer. I don’t know. Over the last year I haven’t done as much of it because it’s such hard work. People just think, “Oh, you pick out clothes for celebrities, and you get to pick out their outfits.” And they think it’s just fun. And it’s so not at all fun! You have to go on the subway in New York and go to 10 different places to pull the clothes, and you have to call up everyone and pull clothes. Of course, you call Versace and Dior and Marc Jacobs, and depending on the celebrity they will say, “Oh, we don’t have anything.” And it’s a lot harder to get clothes than people think. I love designing 100 times more than styling right now.
The Oracle: I read that for your To Die For collection you didn’t have any patterns, you just sort of freestyled it?
I: Most of the clothes that I personally design, I never, ever use patterns, because I never went to school. I don’t use patterns. I don’t even really know how to sew. I just do what I know how to, but I haven’t really let that stop me. I’ve still made many, many collections. This particular collection I did all by myself. I didn’t have anyone sew it for me or make a pattern for me. Like every time I make an outfit, I just freestyle. I don’t draw it. Most designers will sit at a table and just sketch something out. I don’t do that. I find fabric that interests me, and the magic happens. It’s like freestyle almost. Sometimes my biggest mistakes will turn out to be my best creations.
The Oracle: What made you decide to bring fashion to Tampa?
I: I felt like it really needed it. I’ve been so blessed. I’ve been places. I’ve seen things. I’ve traveled the world, met the coolest people. I’ve lived the most amazing life. It’s really a dream. I wanted to share this with people who wanted to experience this. I wanted to give people here locally the opportunity to live their dreams. Whether it’s modeling, designing, singing, dancing – because all that’s going to be in my show.
The Oracle: What was the main thing that you looked for in your casting call? I: I was really just looking for confidence and people who I thought were right for this collection.
The Oracle: How are you going to incorporate models, singers and dancers into a fashion show?
I: Y’all are just going to have to wait and see!
The Oracle: What should the public wear to this?
I: Anyone should definitely dress to impress. I want people to go all out. I want everyone to dress up like they’re going on the red carpet. Do something out of your norm. Wear a Halloween costume, I don’t care! As long as it’s fun and crazy and wild and sexy, I love it. I want people to go and get attention.