Dubai-based Michael Cinco just added a feather to his fashion designer hat, becoming the first ever Filipino designer to have a solo fashion exhibition in the US.
Impalpable Couture opened on October 15 at the SCAD Museum of Art — part of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia — exploring Cinco’s work spread across two decades. Curated by Rafael Gomes, director of fashion exhibitions at SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, on view are pieces worn by some of the world’s biggest stars, from Beyonce, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Jennifer Lopez to Lady Gaga and Sofia Vergara.
“Cinco is best known for his opulent gowns that combine Swarovski crystals, precise beadwork, and embroidery with masterful craftsmanship to great effect,” the museum notes. “His stunning designs have secured elite clients who commission glamorous, one-of-a-kind pieces. This exhibition explores Cinco’s unique global perspective, evident in his use of French couture techniques alongside traditional Filipino textiles and embroidery methods.”
With the exhibition, Cinco joins iconic names in fashion such as Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Mary Katrantzou and Chinese designer Guo Pei, whose works have graced the SCAD Museum of Art.
“I think one of the greatest achievements of a designer is to have an exhibition about your works in a museum to be seen in public. I am so honoured to have my first ever solo exhibition in SCAD Museum of Arts who showed before works of great legends,” Cinco tells Gulf News tabloid!.
The designer moved to the UAE from the Philippines 21 years ago and established his label catering mostly to wealthy Arabs. He has since made his mark internationally, with his clothes being worn by Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities. He was also featured as a guest designer in the long-running reality show ‘America’s Next Top Model’, hosted by Tyra Banks. In 2014, he was honoured with a presidential award for Outstanding Filipinos Overseas.
In an earlier interview with Gulf News tabloid!, he explained why ‘impalpable’ was his favourite word.
“I use it all the time. When I am at a loss for words, I just say ‘impalpable’,” he said, inspired by a line from the song ‘The Impossible Dream’, from the musical ‘Man of La Mancha’. “My motto is to dream the impalpable dream. Every day, little by little, I try to achieve the goals in my life. I don’t know if I will achieve them all, but I know it is not impossible.”