The Czar of New York
Cesar Galindo and AMC create a fashion extravaganza for the birds
You can forgive Cesar Galindo if he slept in most of the weekend. The Houston native kicked off Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week with a bang as he showcased two collections in less than 18 hours and celebrated afterward with a big party at the trendy Hotel Gansevoort.
Galindo's big adventure started Thursday night when AMC hosted a pop-up party called "Immortal Love" to herald two new unscripted series,Freakshow and Immortalized, thatpremiere on Valentine's Day.
Several gowns from the Cesar Galindo Collection were showcased on mannequins amid taxidermy displays — Immortalized details a competition between leading taxidermists — and performances by a sword-swallower, a 7-foot-8 man and Amazing Ali, "The Littlest Lady in LA," who all appear in Freakshow.
Galindo hooked up with AMC officials after they learned that the theme for his collection, "Suspended Life," dovetailed with the subjects of the cable channel's reality shows.
Galindo hooked up with AMC officials after they learned that the theme for his collection, "Suspended Life," dovetailed with the subjects of the AMC reality shows. For example, he had already created a sequined gown that looks like tattoos on bare skin from far away.
"It was good karma, and he's such a talented artist," said AMC president and general manager Charlie Collier. "It just worked beautifully together from the start."
Collier and AMC head of original programming Joel Stillerman admit the new reality shows are a little bit "out there," but so were such scripted shows as Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead.
"It's a little bit of a departure for us but all in the AMC sensibility of being unexpected and unconventional," Stillerman said. "We love to take chances, and we love to embrace things that are artistic and exciting. And I think that's what this is all about."
On Friday morning, the cast of Freakshow sat on the front row at Lincoln Center as Galindo presented his contemporary line, Czar by Cesar Galindo. The collection is certainly more conventional than the show it represents, but it showcases Galindo's expertise in design and construction.
In putting together both collections, Galindo said he was influenced by the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. "It's time for the world to pull back a bit and take in the moment," he explained. "Stop, breath and live your life."
For Czar, he created a "convertible wardrobe" that can transition from day to night. "Everyone in the world has to go work in the day, but they want to have a life besides work too," he said. "You can wear these dresses to work and go out after that."
The collection includes practical yet fashionable items — it opened with a pastel blue hoodie coat and featured a variety of day dresses and knit shifts — as well as some styles with a bit more flash. A glittery chain-link shift is meant for dancing the night away.
Houston friends Page Parkes, Tabitha Garcia, Bambi Lynn and Michael Anthony Ramsey were on hand to cheer on Galindo. "I bought his first dress so he could pay the rent," Parkes recalled of the long-ago time when Galindo got started in the fashion business. "He's a construction genius. Anything he makes, you can turn inside out and wear it."