LA Fashion Week (LAFW) brought exceptional fashion, design, and styling for fall winter 2016 fashion week. Michael Sta. Maria was one dramatic exceptional designer. He presented his debut collection, Prelude, for an international audience at LAFW.
The question for many after the show was, “wondered what the story is behind the collection?” Michael Sta. Maria’s debut collection was inspired by a near death experience after an automobile accident. He spent an entire 1 year 5 months confined to bed. This experience brought him insight and humility that he used to draw inspiration into this collection. This inspiration was shown well down the runway as each model presented the designs.
His designs for are anyone walking into a location and everyone looks their direction. This collection focuses on this concept with the inspiration and design style. The styling was dark, dramatic, and drab. This represents the true struggle Michael faced after his accident. The accessories were individual to each design, with a progression as the story unfolds in each designed piece.
The climaxing piece the “Weeping Goddess,” is the hope and struggle coming together. The presentation with gold accessories, champaign gown, and tears falling down her face. You see the moment that Michael was able to step forward and take that first step in over one year.
You felt the emotion captured as she carried herself down the runway. As she turns to return up the runway she stops halfway and looks back. The reflection of the story is seen here as Lauren Elizabeth, the model, presents this moment. She is looking to the past, but leaning forward to the next journey in life. The entire story then begins to snake back down the runway showing the dark depressing struggle and the true light of success.
Michael Sta. Maria not only brought fashion down the runway, but told his story in a dramatic artistic fashion. Each piece was perfectly designed and styled to tell the story of his ability to overcome and survive.
Michael Sta. Maria was a nurse, National Exam Lecturer, and textbook author prior to attending design school at Fashion Institute of the Philippines. He has designed for celebrities in the Philippines. His styling advice is, “dress who you want to be. Dress comfortably, bring confidence as if every step of your way is a runway.” He presented a collection that would allow any person to do just that.
Michael Sta. Maria’s next goal is to design for celebrities in Hollywood. He is focused and driven to complete goals. We will see this designer soon on a red carpet in Hollywood.
Design, styling, and more:
Designer: Michael Sta. Maria
Nails: Ani Michele Nail Polish
Photography: Raymond Forchion Jr.