‘They are both authentic and real but only one of them may wear the crown.’
Dressing queens, that is one of the many expertise of Michael Cinco. Whether it is dressing pop royalties or creating an avant-garde piece for a sci-fi film, the Dubai-based fashion designer has built his name out of his sheer talent and superb taste. This pageant season, Michael Cinco is yet again among the biggest names from the fashion industry with his works walking the stage of the prestigious Miss Universe 2020 pageant, dressing a different breed of royalty in the form of beauty queens.
From the dresses he designed for Miss Universe champions Pia Wurtzbach and Iris Mittenaere to his modern creations for some of this 2020’s hopeful, Michael has proven his knack for producing pageant gown that not only shine under the spotlight but also speaks volumes when it comes to impeccable, fashion forward designs.
In a conversation with Manila Bulletin Lifestyle, the Filipino master couturier tells us the building blocks of a perfect pageant gown and his collaboration with Miss Universe 2020 pageant front-runners, Miss Canada Nova Stevens and Miss Romania Bianca Tirsin.
What is the perfect pageant gown?
A perfect pageant gown is a balance between a good design, fabric, embroidery details, and the aura and confidence of the candidate wearing it. The candidate must have a stage presence and “wow” factor while gracefully walking with confidence. She can draw attention toward her direction. The design of the gown must have an exquisite detail or cut that will enhance the body and the beauty of the candidate. You must also consider the weight of the dress so the candidate can walk comfortably.
Your dress will be scrutinized, judged, and, sometimes, will be criticized by many people. It’s only a one shot opportunity so you better give your best work and deliver.
Is your design process for making pageant gowns different from creating couture pieces?
Designing a pageant gown and designing couture pieces for my clients are almost the same process because you have to both agree on the designs, embroidery details, cut, and colors that will match their personalities. But in designing a couture collection, you have the freedom to create your vision without restrictions of who will wear them—there’s no limitations of ideas.
How did your designing for Miss Canada Nova Stevens and Miss Romania Bianca Tirsin start?
I was contacted by the handler and National Director of Miss Canada right after Nova Stevens won. She sent me a personal video message and we had a conversation about the designs and details of what Nova wants to wear in Miss Universe.
Miss Romania Bianca Tirsin became my Instagram friend and we started talking about the gowns she wants to wear for the preliminary and finals in Miss Universe.
Can you tell us something about the gowns they’ll be wearing for the coronation night?
Miss Canada’s gown is a collaboration of ideas between her handlers and my vision. Miss Romania asked me about the color and the design of the gown she wants to wear in the finals.
What makes Nova and Bianca a standout among other Miss Universe 2020 contestants?
Both of them will stand out in Miss Universe 2020 because both of them will wear Michael Cinco gowns [laughs]. But seriously, they are both authentic and real but only one of them may wear the crown.