There are some people that you come across that simply radiate beauty, sophistication and this special kind of charisma that will get anybody’s attention, Micheline Etkin just happens to be one of those people.
She has done a lot of good for the world in every way she personally can and that wholesome goodness shines through as something truly inspiring. Last month, Micheline had the opportunity to walk down the red carpet (yes, as “red carpet” as it can possibly get) at the Golden Globes sporting a a striking royal blue gown designed by our friend and talented visionary, Oscar De la Salas.
After interviewing Micheline quite some time ago back when Couture in the Suburbs was just coming into fruition, we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to catch up and chat with her again.
CitS: It’s been almost four years since we have interviewed the fabulous Micheline Etkin, what are your three biggest goals and aspirations for 2017?
ME: Continuing to live my life in fully and with passion everyday while cherishing and appreciatung the daily blessings in my life.
Always listening to my inner voice, living this fascinating spiritual journey into the light.
Also, managing my busy schedule to have the most quality time possible with my family and new grandbaby. I cherish that every day and it’s always my priority.
Trying to bring needed awareness to the millions of children living in such desperate need today in the world. These children are hopeless; they have no ability to lobby for themselves. We adults have the responsibility to GO out there and fight for their rights, protection, health, education and dignity. They are the future of our world.
CitS: You looked fabulous at the Golden Globes wearing a gown designed by Oscar De las salas, how did it feel strolling down the red carpet in that type of atmosphere with camera bulbs flashing and everyone asking you what you’re wearing?
ME: That gorgeous Royal blue gown has to be one of my favorites yet!!
It was custom made by Tamara Crawford to fit my body like a glove. It felt amazing on! When you feel so comfortable in what you are wearing, it exudes confidence. Of course, that amazing gown attracted so much attention; I must have had repeated Oscar’s name about 30 times!
Cits: What is your beauty and overall preparation routine before going to a red carpet event?
I try to get more sleep then usual the night before (I am a night owl so it’s so hard to go to bed before 1am). I prepare my skin with IS Clinical Youth Serum, Youth Eye, and Youth Intensive cream at night and morning, that allows the skin to glow.
I meditate (one of the most important beauty secrets), then really early, my MUA, Julie Koeth arrives early to do my hair and makeup, by then Oscar had already sent us all his notes and inspiration, so we go to work.
I eat a light dinner the night before with low sodium to avoid puffy eyes, have a green juice and protein for breakfast to give me energy.
It’s 9 hours of partying after all!
CitS: We’ve heard that you most recently started serving as an ambassador for the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN.org)—what ultimately peaked your interest in getting involved with this organization?
Dr. Elisabeth is one of my gurus and mentors in life, I had the privilege to be so close to her wile she was alive and living in Scottsdale for nine years. I learned so much about life, spirituality and her unconditional desire to help humanity. I really believe from the depths of my heart that Dr. Elisabeth had something to do with my decision to accept the position.
CitS: What got you interested in living a philanthropic lifestyle–how did it begin for you?
I grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in a very philanthropic family
I watched my parents always helping and giving daily to the those in need; my mother would always have food and snacks in her car to give to the children and families on the streets. At a young age, I was supplying an orphanage with essential groceries. I think, giving became a way of life. At that time there wasn’t any fundraisers or galas. We did charity every day and tried to help our community as much as we could.
When I moved to United States I continued seeking places to volunteer and help those in need. So I got involved with National Charity League with my daughter, then got on board of PANDA , I am a co founder Casa Brazil, INC., Ambassador of Stars of the Season advisory council (Cardon Children’s Medial Center), and more recently I am collaborating with Saint Jude’s Children Hospital.
It’s always nourishing to our soul when you give from your heart.
Considering Oscar played a huge role in the design of Micheline’s fabulous dress and is a talented local designer in many different aspects, we decided to ask Oscar a few questions about the designing process.
CitS: How did it feel seeing a dress that you designed on the red carpet? Was this your first experience designing a dress?
ODlS:I have styled Micheline for some time now for a number of her public appearances, including a number of times for this annual event. This year, it was very moving, and very personal, as we worked together with dressmaker Tamara Crawford on this new design with definitive strong design ideas. The process and creation moved quickly, and it had to, as Micheline realized late last year that she wanted something special for this year’s event. Nothing rattles Micheline, and whenever we work together, she has an unshakeable tenacity that drives both of us, while at the same time, calming our shared craziness.
For the show itself, I was unable to attend the Globes this year, but tracked the fashion at the event for local television here, so I lived her experience via text and Facetime. Sadly, I missed the whole thrilling reality of being there with her. I did get reports from many other people as well that she stopped traffic, and her presence drew many photographers from around the world asking her to pose and asking about the gown. Micheline always garners attention, but this year, she drew even more focus.
I’ve designed fashion before, starting when I was just a kid, and I have always been able to quickly draw and draft freehand to scale. But as an architect, the fashion side was saved for my family, especially my mother and sister, or some very private friends. Most people don’t know I have designed wedding gowns and other evening dresses, but I never designed an evening gown for an affair as distinct or prominent as the Golden Globe Awards. I had to drag myself out of the fashion closet for this one, so to speak.
CitS: The royal blue mixed with the sheer “nude-like” layer is outstanding—what was your inspiration for this gown?
ODlS: We knew that Micheline wanted to use lace from earlier period styles, as she loves the romanticism and elegance of that 19th century style. She owns a beautiful black lace cocktail dress, which she adores, so she told me from day one that she wanted lace this year.
So that was the start – the fabric.
Our dressmaker, Tamara Crawford from Tamara Alterations, LLC had this fabric set aside for a special project, and after talking about our inspiration with her, plus some back-and-forth brainstorming, she mentioned that she had this fabric. Initially, the fabric had a lining made of the same tone blue, but I removed the lining to fit the skirt tighter to her body to showcase Micheline’s amazing figure and silhouette. I had the idea for an overskirt from the Victorian era, mixed with a fluted gown, which I had seen last fall on international runway shows from the Middle Eastern masters with variations of this silhouette. I thought that this was the perfect look and wanted a similar silhouette. While fashion designers before have used this shape, I have not seen it presented with this kind of single color-saturated fabric, nor have I seen it with full sleeves. And certainly not with lace all the way to the neck! I think that was the key to the dress for me – all in one material, all in one color, and all over.
I also decided to cut intricate flower and butterflies from parts of the fabric and add these to the dress to create layers in those areas where we needed to create some additional shade and coverage.
The gown was inspired on the designs of the Victorian era where an overskirt added drama as a bustle on the derriere. The skirt is really a full ball gown skirt with a waistband, which pulls the skirt to the back to highlight the legs and her lower body silhouette.
In terms of materials, well, it is a saturation of the same material in a single garment used in this design in a variety of ways – which is actually very Lagerfeld in effect – and it focuses attention on the profile.
Cits: Will we be seeing more of your amazing one-of-a-kind designs anytime soon?
ODlS: I’m glad you liked it! Currently, I am working with my dressmaker and pattern maker on two very specific projects for an upcoming event, as a favor to another dear friend of mine. At this point, fashion creation is just another expression of design, which is the core of what I truly love. My love for design includes fashion, architecture, interiors and art, so who knows? Perhaps the designing end of fashion is my next venture. Creating structure and designing something that evokes emotion and a unique experience is really what design is all about and I am lucky to be able to share this experience with friends like Micheline.
We look forward to seeing what the future has in store for both Micheline and Oscar as they continue to conquer the world and set the stage for philanthropists and designers everywhere.