When fashion meets art the result is a perfect symbiosis of creative energies, a fusion of realism and fantasy. This is how exactly we can perceive Manuel Diaz design. Born in Mexico, Manuel develops an interest for fashion since an young age. Once completed his studies in London he decides to establish his studio in City of Mexico. Being such an young designer doesn’t stop him to expose his ideas in a provocative way. His works are a perfect union of intense work and imagination. Visual Atelier 8 has the pleasure to bring you in the world of Manuel Diaz.
Tell us about your childhood background and which factors lead you to choose fashion design?
I think I had a quite common childhood, I have been always an introverted and solitary person, since I was a kid, I would be always observing and analyzing my environment, I would not really interact with other kids. I have a background in musical comedy and that definitely lead me to choose fashion design as my career.
After living and studying your career in London you decided to return in your home country and establish your studio in City of Mexico. What is your opinion about the current Mexican Fashion scene?
You really did a good job researching about myself, thanks! And answering to your question, I hate it.
Your works are visually captivating and technically challenging. How would you describe your creative process?
Well, it all starts with a very deep research abut the themes I find interesting for me, I am a very visual person, so after the research most of my inspiration comes from the visual sources I got from it. I know what I want to do, and how I want to do it, but at the end it all end up looking so much different from my first ideas, because in the process everything changes and evolves, is quite organic, and I love that.
We perceive from your creations an essence of a modern body armor, complex and beautifully structured. Are you looking a protected body or a body trapped?
You enjoy fantasizing about an artificial world and ideal creatures that wear your designs. What are the sources that stimulate your fantasy?
The main source that stimulates my fantasy, is the fact that I loathe reality, so I have been forced to create what I like to call my own artificial paradise, I live half of the time in the real world and half of the time in my own artificial paradise, but I do not fantasize about creatures wearing my designs, although I like the models looking more like creatures than humans.
Demonology is a field that you would like to explore. What exactly fascinates you about this dark side?
Is just one field that I would like to explore since I do not know that much about it, but I do not think of it as a part of a dark side. I like it, I think mainly because with clothes sometimes you can feel when wearing them, possessed by them, in order to become a completely different person, but of course you are always in control, I would use the drag culture as an example, so maybe with demonology the idea of actually being possessed by something else and losing control of who you really are amazed me.
“Las Reinas Del Narco” is a video that evokes violent real emotions.What is the story behind it and what is the subliminal message the audience should capture?
Is from a collection inspired in the drug trafficking culture here in Mexico, and the message is not to denied it, because for good or for bad, it is part of our culture, and that is a fact.
A dream collaboration?
Do you aspire your label to become more commercial in the future?
I do not know if more commercial but definitely more wearable, which is kind of becoming more commercial actually.
When do you feel more vulnerable and how do you work upon your insecurities?
This is a really tough one, I feel vulnerable all the time, and I am a really insecure person, I think I rely a lot on my work to work upon my insecurities.
What usually happen during one of your typical evenings out?
I do not like going out.
Ask us a question.
What do you think about the democratization of the drag culture, and do you think fashion is looking at drag culture now in a different way? With more respect and admiration maybe?
Where do you see Manuel Diaz in 5 years?
Settled in a different city, New York maybe, showing my collections at the fashion week, with a so much more serious developed business of my brand. And being a creative director working for other brands as well.
All images, courtesy of designer: Manuel Diaz