When I walked into Angelina Mata’s River North abode, I was immediately transported onto a set of The Devil Wears Prada — if that film had been about a talented artist preparing for fashion week in New York City, that is. My eyes were drawn to an array of colorful fabrics waiting to be drawn on, cut, and stitched, as well as tape measures, notes, and quite a bit of ambition.
“Why clothes?” I asked Mata, who’s known in the community for her Southtown hair salon and high-end boutique Euphorium. “Because that’s what I always wanted to do,” she began. “Hair was my default, because I come from a family of hairstylists. But I went to school with the intention of becoming a designer.” And I cannot imagine Mata doing anything else; she claims that she just woke up, but is already wearing a silken blue dress with gold buttons and pointy red velvet shoes with gold trim. Fashion is obviously who she is.
Mata chaired Southtown’s “Art of Fashion” show for seven years. However, she has gained success with her Bespoke design, the art of custom-made clothing, which will be reflected in the launch of her Spring 2012 collection of Angelina Mata Atelier during New York City Fashion Week, September 8-15. She is currently working with fiber artist Laura Beehler, and metal artist Jose Chapa. One can only guess what the show will look like.