Argentinian-born designer Gustavo Cadile has been on fire this awards season, dressing several stars for the shows and the after-parties. See what he has to say about his inspiration, just how long it takes to make a great gown, and the Latina ladies he would love to work with, in our exclusive interview.
You designed Gloria Estefan and Bonnie McKee’s gowns for the Grammys last night, tell us about your inspiration.
I custom designed this gown for Gloria. She was doing an album inspired by Hollywood divas, so she wanted something really glamorous. As for Bonnie, the rich jewel tone color looked great with her signature, multi-colored hair. Its always very gratifying to see a celebrity wearing your dress on the red carpet. You work very hard on each collection and when something like this happens, you appreciate your work much more.
How long does it take to make each gown?
Some dresses take two days and others can take up to a week. If the beading work is done overseas, it can take a bit longer. Any last-minute fitting craziness? It can sometimes be a bit crazy at the last minute. Whenever necessary, we have a whole team in place to make last minute adjustments and in many cases, gowns need to shipped to Los Angeles at the 11th hour. Sometimes weather delays—like we've been experiencing this season—can make the last minute adjustments very hectic and stressful.
Which trends are you loving this awards season?
I love simplicity and unique details on the dresses. Amy Adams at the SAG Awards in Antonio Berardi was my favorite—clean with a design that made the gown different.
Let’s talk Oscars—what do you want to see on the red carpet?
I want to see glamour with a bit of drama; actresses looking their best, showing the best of their bodies.
How did you get your start as a designer?
When I was five, I fell in love with fashion. My grandmother used to make all of her dresses and watching her work was a great influence on me. After graduating from the fashion school, I spent a few years in Italy learning the industry. From there, I moved to NYC and worked for a few different designers until I did a wedding dress that caught the eye of the Fashion Director at Neiman Marcus and he gave me the encouragement to start designing under my own name.
How does being from Argentina influence your design aesthetic?
I grew up amongst a large percentage of Italians in Argentina and I noticed how many of the women around me dressed—showing the best parts of their bodies and dressing very elegantly. I like to bring a lot of my own life experience into my design, so I think my dresses have a bit of Argentinian flavor mixed with European sensibility and American style.
What advice do you have for aspiring designers looking to break into the industry?
Always believe in yourself. Learn not only about design, but the business side of the industry as well.
What’s the best advice you've ever received?
Never change your aesthetic for anyone—do what you know best.
Name your dream celeb to design for.
I would love to dress Salma Hayek, Penelope Cruz, or Sofia Vergara for a red carpet award show. I dressed Sofia for an appearance on Jay Leno and a few magazine editorials—she’s very glamorous and beautiful.