It’s approximately 9:30 in the evening in Paris and about 2:30 in the afternoon here in LA. I’m on Skype with one of Paris’ promising and upcoming fashion designers.
At first hearing her voice, a rather shy and very young lady comes to mind, but as we get comfortable and the conversation progresses, the image changes and a young, confident, determined and focused woman emerges. She is charming, as she is honest.
Thus begins my interview with Angela Tagoch.
GS: Hi Angela can you give me a brief history of yourself?
AT: Gladly, I was born in Cavite, a popular city for tourist south of Manila in the Philippines. I am of Filipino/Spanish ancestry. I had my education in Manila graduating college from one of its prestigious universities, Letran. I have a degree in Communication Arts and Journalism. I moved to England only to discover that it was not the place I thought it would be for me. I returned back to the Philippines but then left again to permanently settle in Sweden.
GS: When did you realize that you wanted to pursue being a fashion designer/couturier?
AT: The realization started when I moved to Sweden. I met and made friends there who were involved in the fashion industry and the arts. I had also attended The University of Malmo (in Sweden) where I studied and earned a degree in Fashion and Technology. My experience in organizing fashion shows and modeling in some of them also helped.
GS: No wonder you look the way you do! So you yourself have modeled. Any particular label?
AT: (laughs) thank you. Yes I did model. First in Manila for some of that city’s top designers and when I moved to Sweden and here in Paris, I was fortunate to participate in their respective fashion week shows. I modeled for various designers to mention each one here would take forever (more laughs).
Having been exposed to all that made me realize that fashion design and creation was my destiny.
GS: Do you remember what your first designs were?
AT: Back then I had been designing wedding gowns, ball gowns, party dresses; of course my own dresses were designed by myself. But the very first designs I made and executed were actually Barbie Doll dresses!
GS: Really? And how old were you when you did this?
AT: Absolutely! I’d say I was no more than 8 years old. It started with my getting tired of my own Barbie’s dresses. Utilizing fabric from dresses I was not wearing anymore, I fashioned new doll dresses and gowns. I even made the corresponding accessories. This caught on with my playmates from school who were Barbie Doll owners. They would buy my custom made doll dresses with their allowance. It even got me in trouble for their mothers complained to my mom about their daughters using their lunch money to buy my "creations" instead of buying their meal!
GS: Where does your inspiration come from and how long does it take for an Angela Tagoch creation to come to life?
AT: First of all, inspiration is the heart of my work. I always do my best to be inspired. My inspiration can come from many different things or places. It depends on what I’m up for. Travel is one of my passions and the different places I’ve visited; its culture, traditions and society in general have given me inspiration in my work. The way people look, not just dress, and the way they carry themselves on the street. Especially the women, how they stand in society, not just based on their physicality but in their attitude towards that society.
I also enjoy taking long walks in parks, in Sweden and here in Paris.
You can say that my current fascination is with Paris. This is why I moved here although Sweden will always be home. European women have a unique way of dressing but Parisian women have a certain posh characteristic about them.
And second, I can make a simple dress within 24 hours but more complex and complicated creations take longer, some taking anywhere from 3 to even 6 months. The reason for that is because I make it myself. If I need to have my seamstresses sew it, I make sure that every detail is executed as if I made it.
GS: You have been a designer/couturier for how long?
AT: Discounting the time I was in high school designing wedding and debutante’s gowns and other ensembles for varied occasions, I established myself officially in 2008.
GS: Do you have a personal style and does that translate to your designs?
AT: Yes I do and yes it does!
I am very feminine in my ways and it shows in my manner of personal dress style. Even if it’s considered tailored. I also enjoy dressing down and when I do, I find wearing a nice pair of denim shorts with a not too loose blouse and a pair of sneakers to be most comfortable.
As for translating it into my creations, being a woman, I know that my client would want to be as feminine as myself so I make sure she feels comfortable with me and knows who I am and I in turn, get to know as much about her personality and I imagine myself in her position as well. My dream is to share timeless fashion, confidence and elegance with my fellow fabulous women. It makes for the perfect dress!
GS: So what matters to you most as a fashion designer/couturier?
AT: A great design is always a plus but add comfort and practicality to it and it will bring out the best in the wearer. I do believe that all women are beautiful in their own ways. When a woman begins to appreciate herself and feels confident about her looks, body shape, and wears the dresses that fit her best, then that's the start of her appreciating her own beauty and she is also noticed by the people around her.
If you love what you wear and are really comfortable in it, naturally you will exude the confidence in your appearance, movement, and in your character.
To me it’s more about bringing the wearer to the forefront, then the design.
GS: What do you like best about designing couture? What sets you apart?
AT: The freedom to express more of my emotion, inspiration and be adventurous and not hold back. Of course this may sound outrageous to some but if I don’t "cut loose" and just be confined to the norm, then where is the artistry? However I am not saying that my work is out of this world (laughs).
Aside from what I’ve mentioned, I maximize my creations so that there are variations in the way that it is worn. That way she can wear it to several events without anyone saying that she just "repeats".
Especially in these challenging economic times, I also want to make my clients feel good about spending for my creations.
GS: Let’s talk about models; do you have a stereotype for what an Angela Tagoch model should be like?
AT: I don’t have a stereotypical model look to represent me. That would be too limiting and defeats my purpose of being a couturier.
Having been a model then and a couturier now, I do want my clothes to be represented by models that are healthy looking. Slim is always good but never skinny or at worst, anorexic. Models have too much pressure on them to look like mannequins. Leave those to the clothes hangers. Models, my models in particular, should embody my philosophy of feminism, sensuality and good health and most important, be professional and with good character and personality.
GS: Plus size models?
AT: Of course! Angela Tagoch is for every woman!
GS: What are your immediate goals?
AT: Priority is to get myself better established here in Paris. This is a fascinating and fast paced city. The challenges of establishing a couture house is one of, if not the most daunting, in the fashion world
Fortunately my team and I have been blessed to proceed with some projects and events that would establish my label here.
GS: Oh yes, tell me more about your upcoming event.
AT: On October 4 this year we are launching Angela Tagoch presented by Paris Frivole, the leading Artistic and Fashion Event Organizer in Paris and with special participation of Une Fleur en Liberté, haute couture florist. Promoted in the USA by V8 Productions. This event is in partnership with Racing and Emotion, Salim Berrada Photographie, Effigie Photographie, and O Skin Care USA.
It is a fashion show featuring my collection called Boudoir Haute Couture. It will be an evening to enjoy and remember for sure.Well known personalities from Paris, the press & media, fashion aristocrats, boutique owners, artistic and fashion interested people have been invited. It’s a private fashion show with at least 400 people expected to be in attendance. It is going to be held in the Champs Elysees area in Paris. The show is going to be full of surprises with beautiful top-notch models from Paris. I named my models Angela Tagoch Goddesses. This fashion show is going to be a grand celebration of "Beauty and Confidence" which is dedicated to all art and fashion lovers. It’s sure going to captivate everyone’s fashion awareness and emotion!
AT: (coyly) I knew you were going to think that. But no, it is not a lingerie show. However the collection will be inspired by it. Expect dresses that are very feminine and very sensual but not vulgar.
GS: And this event will be held where and how do we get tickets?
AT: Oct 04, 2013 at 9:30 (21:30) pm, the venue is at Elysees Lounge, Champs Elysees Paris. Of course attire is strictly black tie. Event queries or more information email us.
GS: Fantastic! Any other plans?
AT: 2014 will see the launch of my Pret-A-Porter Collection both here in Paris and in Los Angeles.
GS: Will you be opening a store in Los Angeles for your Pret-A-Porter collection? What about your couture line?
AT: My Pret-A-Porter collection can be ordered and purchased at Vedette Exclusives in Los Angeles. It will be available in November this year.
I am working closely with V8 Productions in Los Angeles regarding the launch of my couture collection next year. I can’t say much about it now but I promise it will be a fabulous event!
GS: How does one get in touch with Angela Tagoch? Where are you located??
AT: An appointment can be made by calling me or email. I am located in Paris.
GS: Do you have any predictions regarding trends for the coming season?
AT: My fashion trend prediction in the coming season would be more inclined to nature-inspired colors and sensuality. More confident women are expected to wear something that goes perfectly with their skin tone and hair color. Soft fabrics and delicate materials are going to play the most important role on this coming trend as it would enhance the figure and aura of the wearer. In terms of what’s hot, feminine looks, sensual color palettes and sustainable materials will be the hottest trend in the beginning of 2014 which will celebrate beauty and elegance!
GS: In closing, how would you describe an Angela Tagoch creation?
AT: An Angela Tagoch creation is just as much an investment as it is a luxury.
Angela Tagoch Fashion Show Information and Tickets:
US Attendees contact:
Phone: 818 799 1015