July 02, 2019
photographs Ghost Blvck
words Cyril Vinchon
interview Chiyoko Takada
Today, Mexican-Canadian designer Antonio Ortega showed his fall-winter 2019 Haute Couture collection during Couture Week in Paris, the city of lights. Sacrebleu! got the chance to chat with the man himself straight after the show.
It was a very unique show. I really liked the way you used the lace, and painted the arms. Why did you do that ? I’m curious.
The collection comes from a spirit that was very wild and very primitive (I can see it in your eyes!) and blended with something more contemporary. To emphasize the collection, I decided to do it. Why not? Because I like to play with our body, and the way we perceive ourselves, so if we put make-up on the eyes, why not put it on the arms? I mean, it’s just to have fun. So that’s the purpose, why wouldn’t it be a fashionable thing to paint the body?
At first, I thought it was a glove but then I noticed it wasn’t.
It’s body painting. (Interesting!) It gives you style and something strong. I think the collection was something wild.
It was wild, it loved it, it was good!
This is obviously because of the music as well.
You chose the music as well?
I choose the music, I met up with the composer. I like his style and it inspired me for this collection because he really fits with the Antonio Ortega style and spirit.
Can you describe yourself in three words (or more), please?
Wild. Sensitive. Seductive… peaceful and funny!
I can see the wilderness, but at the same time it’s very sensual. The way you use lace and the way you cut the garments, you know the dresses.
I try to present sensuality, sensitivity, and not violence. That is my spirit, and we’ve decided to put some music at the end of the show that enables you to calm down, breathe, and “absorb” what we’re living. We managed that because it’s part of who I am.
That’s very important indeed! My next question will be: does your hometown, Morelia, in Mexico, have a big influence in your work?
Yes of course! It’s a part of handcraft that we can see in the coats and the dresses. You an see it in the big jackets, it’s amplified by the techniques I’ve learnt. I just did it in a macro because it’s part of the DNA of the brand and then it’s very important. The colors as well.
You try to project that into each collection?
In every collection I put a part of my soul and the blend of the materials is as well a part of me. The codes that fashion have are not really the ones for me today. I follow the atmosphere of what I’m doing, I’m very active. And yes, when I work, I inject it [who you are, and where you’re coming from] in. So that people can understand me.
Beautiful. It’s so nice to see that you are really injecting some of your soul into each collection. So, what is your biggest accomplishment so far?
Today, more than ever?
Yeah, I’m living the day. With hindsight, I understand that we have to live today and now, with me, with you, with the others. It’s a real accomplishment: I dreamt of it. Antonio Ortega is somebody who’s working with dreams and it is my essential, so I’m very happy. This is my accomplishment.
We are really happy to witness that! Since you launched your brand, has there been a turning point in your career? Because today you are focused on this specific collection, and each collection is one additional accomplishment, but was there anything in particular that radically changed the career of Antonio Ortega?
If I compare my current collection to the previous one, I can say that it is a reflexion: in each collection, I said to myself “Antonio you did that, and now you have turn it the other way around, so that people can understand you more”. I do that in order to project even more of my soul into my work. The meaning has to be there, the essential. Every season is a step to go even further.
So you feel each season is your turning point to grow more?
Exactly, but not only. I take it step by step each season and that’s what keeps me going.
So what can we expect for the future (and for next season)?
I see a worldwide expansion. This is my goal, I’m so glad I’m working on that, that’s a part of my dreams, and until I achieve it, I’ll continue. As for next season, it will be for spring-summer and it will definitely be Antonio Ortega again with the same essentials, another spirit because I like to surprise people!
This show was quite surprising!
I always want to surprise. I’m not boring, so I’m don’t sit here and wait. Those who know me know I’m very active.
Some unexpected things… Well we are looking forward to seeing that ! Thank you so much!
Special thanks Tania Michalik.