Who is your Latina style icon?
I have so many, but Rosario Dawson comes to mind. I met Rosario when she was 19 years old and we became good friends and roommates for 6 years. I dressed her for auditions, premieres and parties. She was a quirky New York kid who loved vintage clothes and she has grown into a very stylish woman. I am proud to have been a fashion influence in her life.
Anyone you would love to work with in the future?
I am obsessed with Alison Williams. She guest starred on The Mindy Project. and it was so much fun to dress her! I would love to design a film with her and really have some fun.
Let's talk shape wear—what should everywoman invest in?
Spanx are a costume designer’s best friend. I don't go to a fitting without them, and I love the mens version too!
How do you begin to build the perfect wardrobe?
Your wardrobe should have some good basic pieces that can be used and reused: a great pair of jeans in a dark wash (preferably with stretch), a well-fitted pencil skirt, a fitted blazer, and a little black dress—I know it's cliche, but you know the need for it always comes up. Then, add some fun pieces with color to make the look your own. Buy based on style not trends—stylish clothes will work for years, trends will look dated before you wear them a second time.
What are 5 must-haves for spring?
Graphic prints, embellishments on clothing and accessories, sheer fabrics, statement jewelry and I think we will be seeing a lot of crop tops. It feels like the ’80s are trying to make a comeback.
You've worked with Sofia Vergara a lot—how would you say her style has evolved over the years?
Sofia has really come into her own style; she knows what fits her well and goes with it. The fashion press complains that she always wears a mermaid silhouette, but when you look that good in something, go for it!
What's your favorite dress she's ever worn?
Sofia always looks amazing on the red carpet, but my most favorite look is the emerald green, sequined Zuhair Murad dress she wore to the 2012 Emmys—it was stunning!
Describe a memory working with Sofia:
I met Sofia when I designed the film Chasing Papi. We hit it off and she requested me all the time so we worked together for years. I just recently worked with her on an commercial. She has the slimmest hands and can't wear bracelets because they just slip off. Whenever we see each other we both scream Gorgeous! (in her accent), as that's what I always called her.
What still surprises you about your industry?
As much as I feel I have seen and done it all, I learn something new every day. Always keep an open mind and be nice to everyone you work with—the PA you screamed at today may be the producer who hires you tomorrow.