The designer who broke the Internet

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ON a normal day, Michael Cinco will dress up an Arab superstar (Balqees Fathi, in a crystallized ombré dress), a stunning Bollywood celebrity at India’s Filmfare Glamour and Style Awards (Sonam Kapoor, in a fuchsia gown), a dazzling opera singer in Kazakhstan (Zarina Altynbayeva, in an emerald crystallized creation) or a first-rate Filipino actress at the Berlin Film Festival (Cherie Gil, in a turquoise couture). On an extraordinary day, Cinco will break the Internet with one exceptional creation after another.

Jennifer Lopez, one of the world’s biggest pop divas, has worn a number of Cinco’s singular designs. When she sang “Love Makes The World Go Round” with Lin-Manuel Miranda on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon as tribute to the victims of the Orlando Pulse a year ago, she opted to wear an ensemble from the designer’s “The Impalpable Dream of Sainte Chapelle” spring-summer 2016 collection shown at the Dubai Fashion Forward.

“The majestic 20-foot stained-glass cape is meticulously hand-painted and features 10,000 colorful Swarovski crystals with hand-made silk embroideries. It took six months for 100 people to complete it,” Cinco explained in a social-media post.

Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, the most popular Miss Universe ever, opted to wear a Michael Cinco creation for her final walk before she turned over her crown to Iris Mittenaere of France in January.

“[It was a] Couture Impalpable Dream moment. The Impalpable Pia’s cobalt blue ball gown is inspired and is my personal tribute to my best friend Albert Andrada, who designed Pia’s winning gown during Miss Universe 2015,” Cinco said, adding, “It’s all made by hand by my amazing skilled artisans.”

Aishwarya Rai, the most beautiful Miss World ever, wore a Michael Cinco at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Rai’s skirt is made of 100 meters of tulle, its inner construction made with horsehair for that amazing volume. Four tailors and 30 beaders worked for two days on the embellishment, while 10 petites mains labored for 120 hours to embroider the tulle.

The “super gorgeous” Bollywood superstar, Cinco said, “looks like a fairy-tale princess in a couture Impalpable Land on the red carpet. The dress is inspired from the painting of Infanta Maria Theresa, the wife of the Sun King Louis IV of the Palace of Versailles.”

Victoria Swarovski, the heiress most known to haute couturiers who love crystals, chose Cinco as her bridal designer for her wedding to real-estate investor Werner Mürz in June. During her fitting in May, Cinco stated: “Expect to rain Swarovski crystals on her wedding dress….”

True enough, the singer wed “in a beautiful 6-meter long train Michael Cinco couture wedding gown in delicate French lace and beadworks encrusted with full minute Swarovski crystals in picturesque Trieste, Italy,” the designer wrote of his dress reportedly weighing 46 kilograms and worth close to a million US dollars. The world was astonished, to say the least.

But of all his brides, who hail from as far away as Russia, Romania, Arabia and Lebanon, it is Filipino TV prime-time queen Marian Rivera that Cinco considers the fairest.

He dressed her for her wedding to Kapuso King Dingdong Dantes in 2014 in Manila.

Marian’s wedding dress was made of Solstiss French lace with French pailette, minute Swarovski pearls, chalk white Swarovski crystals and studded with full transparent Swarovski crystals with the flower motif made of laser-cut velvet and organza.

“I’ve never seen a more beautiful and happier bride than Marian Rivera…impalpable bride, indeed,” Cinco said. “I was so happy to be part of the most spectacular wedding of the decade.”

The Samar-born designer is in town to consult with another high-profile bride-to-be, aesthetic doctor Vicky Belo.

But he demurs when asked if he can share any details about Belo’s wedding to Hayden Kho:

“I highly value whatever privacy and veil of secrecy my clients would want to enjoy prior to their big day. All I can say is that Vicky Belo would be the happiest bride not only because of what she will wear, but also because she radiates it. And so will her little daughter, the angelic Scarlet Snow.”

After conquering Cannes and the Miss Universe stage, what’s left for Cinco is making a splash at The Met Ball and the Oscars. “The Met Ball is a good many months or so away. So is the Oscars. My style PR [public-relations] managers in Los Angeles, Antonio Estebán and Inessa Shak, are generally responsible for my US inputs. They are excellent at what they do,” he said.

“A gala show in the Philippines would be a most welcome change. But I think it’s not coming in the near future, but it’s certainly something I so look forward to. I can only assure, it will be a big and sentimental homecoming,” he mused.

An overachieving, Internet-obliterating designer still has dreams.

“As a designer, I’m always open to all possibilities. But I thrive on surprises,” he intimated. “Angelina Jolie still tops my list of women I love to dress up. Meantime, let me dress up all other women who are equally beautiful and up to the challenge of wearing Michael Cinco.”



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