“The Impalpable Dream Of Spain”: Michael Cinco’s Couture 2024 Collection At Dubai Fashion Week

With trailing red roses and fluid flamenco dresses, the Dubai-based Filipino designer takes inspiration from Spain’s traditional design motifs for his latest collection.

Hot off the heels of his Metaverse show in Manila and Spring/Summer 2024 show at Paris Fashion Week, designer Michael Cinco isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Last Sunday evening, he presented his Couture 2024 collection at Dubai Fashion Week, inspired by the “impalpable dream of Spain.” The designer explained, “The inspiration is all about Spain. I have always been fascinated by the charm and [beauty] of the world of Spanish culture.”

Matadors marched down his runway, dressed in his vibrant reimagining of the traje de luces (matador’s traditional attire). Traje de luces translates to “suit of lights,” aptly named because of the yards of gold and silver thread that make up a single suit, spun to create the “exquisite embroidery” it’s known for. For Cinco’s collection, he presents intricately beaded short jackets, taleguillas (matador’s trousers) that feature delicate lace paneling down the front, and epaulets trimmed with rubies.

Video by Manuel Arnaut

There were also the pieces reminiscent of the traje de flamenca (flamenco dancer’s traditional attire), with two dresses in fresh washes of lime-green; the first dress curved and folded outwards as if ruffles were spilling over, and the other was a light and airy chiffon number, fluid in motion. They helped aid in the transition from matadors to the pristine all-white ensembles of his collection; really, most pieces were sheer, save for the intricate beadwork done with gemstones and pearls.

All eyes were on model Bessie Badilla as she sauntered in a dazzling sequined dress, which reflected light about her. She was one of the first Filipino models to walk Paris Fashion Week runways with a notable stint at fashion house Balenciaga in the late 70s and 80s; at Dubai Fashion Week, she walked as one of Cinco’s muses. With her arms outstretched, she allowed her cape to catch the wind as she floated down the runway. Badilla was followed by the designer’s pièce de résistance: a bridal gown layered with lace appliqué, featuring a boned corset and dramatic train veil. For the finale, the designer chose Miss Universe Spain 2021 Sarah Loinaz to close the show, rounding out his homage. Her black ballgown was adorned with rubies, her skirt trailing petals from swirling blooms. 

To cap off an already eventful evening, Cinco launched his new fragrance line, MICHAEL CINCO Parfum. It seems the designer never lacks in his inspiration, whether for new collections or ways to expand his universe. Indeed, he isn’t slowing down. He might even be gaining momentum.

Special thanks to Manuel Arnaut, editor-in-chief of VOGUE Arabia.

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