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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Fashion reality: The road to couture

Elton John by Yamil Rivera/Bridal by Meily Fernández /Lady Gaga by Jimmy Joseph/Madonna by Keke Rohena

By Iris Edén Santiago

Special to The Star

It is hard not to like Telemundo’s “Revelación Moda” reality show, which premiered on March 19. There is no better option for a Sunday night than grabbing a bag of sea salt popcorn to watch the suffering of ordinary people on live television. Nahh, really, it is mainly the many ways emerging fashion designers come up with to comply with deliciously devious challenges and impossible judges.

The show highlights the design process of the remaining 12 local contestants as well as brief interviews with them that slowly reveal chunks of their lives. These backstories are tearjerkers chosen to engage you. And it works. You get to know their backgrounds, motivations and resentment. There is a reason why it’s called reality TV. One thing for sure, they fight like crazy to overcome challenges that clearly, say that again, clearly mess with their heads and confidence levels. Added layers of complexity as the challenge unfolds are icing on the cake.

Competing designers are given a weekly budget that varies, and have but three days to present crafty mentors with a sketch, construct a garment, finish the design and style the look with hair and make up artists from The MUA Gang, to finally show their work on the runway. Easier written than done. At show time, not every garment is finished. Or ironed. Broken zippers, exposed seams, poor construction, everything is caught on camera. Nerves are going through the roof, big personalities are clashing, and listen to this, designers are not only defending their work to the judges, they are arguing with the experts. They are in it to win it, and no, they will not go down without a battle. Every week one designer goes home.

As a fashion critic and editor for almost three decades, it is fascinating to see a local show that provides a platform for up and coming designers. It gives them visibility in a big way. A good number of designers joining the industry are eager to work and learn. Some have an identity. And a point of view. But is it enough to make it to the top? Can they sell what they make? Are their ideas original? Is the construction of each piece flawless? Tough work for Julio Núñez, Eddie Guerrero, Annette Vaillant and Miss Gala, the judges making the call week after week. It is up to them to decide on the chopping block who is just great at sewing, who has vision without skills, and who genuinely is the total package. They will eventually know who has what it takes to be a star.

The first challenge was a bridal gown. Most delivered beautiful creations, including midi dresses, traditional gowns and sexy pantsuits. The winner that week was Meily Fernández. For the second challenge they had to create a glamorous modern-day look for celebrities that included Elvis Presley, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Dua Lipa and Celia Cruz. Jimmy Joseph won this challenge with two high-impact looks inspired by Lady Gaga.

The remaining designers in the competition are Yamil Rivera Quiñones, Miguel Figueroa Bruno, Eileen Acevedo Vega, Luised Rodríguez Castro, Jimmy Joseph Ruiz, Celibeth Ramos González, Adriana María Arroyave Muñoz, Edmarie Leiliani Díaz Ramos, Christian Reyes Mitchell, William Murphy Guitard, Julio Alfredo “Keke Rohena” Sánchez Estrada and Meily Fernández Cordero.

Viewers can watch “Revelación Moda” on Sundays at 8 p.m. on Telemundo Network.

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