Her passion for photography runs in the family. Her father, a shutterbug, used to take her photo often, which is why, when young Estela started shooting photos with her own camera, she featured the people who were part of her life.
The fashion show
History, classical music, and endless talent make up the extraordinary universe of fashion brand Guillermo GX, whose ‘prêt-à-couture’ creations seduce the audience at each of its spectacular fashion shows. Guillermo Díez is the designer and creative director behind this holy insanity that combines fantasy, romanticism, sophistication, artisanship, and sustainability.
In 2021, the EGO runway for young talent at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid (MBFWM) presented the brand Guillermo Décimo (GX) with its Queen of the Night collection. In 2022, the brand came back with 18 new looks constituting The Sleeping Dreamer. Since then, founder Guillermo Díez (Burgos, 1996), has received non-stop praise: “the breath of fresh air of Spanish fashion”, “the only one who’d dress the Bridgertons of the 21st century”, or “the new Galliano”, referring to the designer who turned Dior upside down between 1997 and 2011. “I’m still in shock about everything that’s just happened, but I’m happy,” Guillermo admits.
The formula used to attract attention and positive reviews stems from a baroque style, fantasy, and sophistication which are the foundation for all his pieces and give the audience a real show. “Performance is one of the most iconic aspects of my fashion shows and what people love the most —notes Guillermo—. I also love this and try to encourage it, for my shows to be really visual, flashy, and fun. For them to attract attention and be a host of artistic elements; not just clothing on a runway, rather a sensory ensemble of music, lighting, and set design. That’s what fleshes them out and makes them more interesting.”
Guillermo’s show includes two must-haves: artisanship and sustainability. “Many of us can have fantastic, crazy ideas and wonderful designs, but if we don’t carry them out in a certain way, they lose their charm —he says—. A poorly executed good idea loses quality. Which is why I produce my designs the best way I can (not only externally, but also internally), to prove that they’re long-lasting and high-quality garments. All my processes are performed by hand. What about sustainability? My generation has embraced reusing and it’s something that comes naturally to us, although I try to encourage it. But really: where’s the sense in making things by just using, using, and consuming?”
“Performance is one of the most iconic aspects of my fashion shows. I try for my shows to be really visual, flashy, and fun”
This 26-year-old genius from Burgos can make a glamourous cape with a scrap from second-hand clothing, some trousers from an old duvet cover, and complete the look with chic costume jewellery made with pieces from an old glass lamp. “Yes, a lot of my pieces are made with scraps leftover from other designs, with things I keep from when I was little, and that I collect at home. I’m usually surrounded by those materials, I touch them, put them on, look at myself in the mirror... It’s like trying everything and then, suddenly, one day, I think: Wow, this would look incredible like this! It’s a really personal way of creating.”
But don’t be fooled, his dressmaking, 100% handmade by Guillermo himself, also entails meticulous precision. “When I make designs, I don’t create a sample, which would be good to see how everything will work and how it’s done in haute couture. Due to time constraints, that’s not feasible for me. I work directly with the final fabric on the final garment, so it has to turn out great for sure. This means that I often invest a lot of blood, sweat, and tears until I finish it. I have to create inner structures that won’t be seen, make corsets and bodices so that those dresses don’t sag, everything that ends up covered between the lining and the outer fabric... It’s a more complicated job than it looks.”
History and art as stories
Guillermo’s talent was forged in a home with many artistic role models. His mother, a cello professor at the Conservatory in Burgos; his father, an amateur painter with some exhibitions behind him; and Guillermo himself studied clarinet for three years. “They’re role models that have always been there for me. I’ve drawn since a young age, fashion sketches, princesses, and all that, which have helped me to capture my ideas to then convey them to fabric. Furthermore, I’m passionate about classical music. When I design, I need to have it on in the background, I feel more inspired that way. It’s something hard to explain,” he confesses laughing. Other hobbies like films, specifically classic Hollywood movies and the divas of the big screen, have left an obvious mark on his style. “Those wonderful dresses worn by actresses, those fabrics that would sway with every step they took... There’s magic and fantasy behind them. The romantic past brings my imagination to life, I’m deeply passionate about it and it greatly inspires me,” he admits.
Looking for something that defines his personal hallmark, Guillermo avoids transgressive adjectives, like provocative. “Sometimes being provocative comes about unconsciously, that is, I don’t do it in a calculating way, although it may seem so from my designs or the way I present them.” Or revolutionary: “I don’t think what I do is extremely original, they’re just small details.” He means that first he resorts to those historical and artistic role models that excite him, and then he makes them work by adding contemporary elements to bring them into the present. “That’s the formula that gives my collections a different vibe,” he declares.
In that overdone, daring, and sustainable fantasy that his brand moves within there’s room for principles that Guillermo upholds at all costs. “During the creative process, you have to be consistent and keep designs from becoming a temporary emotional thing. Sometimes I draw lots of sketches and save them. Years later, I think: Yes, this can work now in the new collection! You have to let ideas rest and mature.”
“Being provocative comes about unconsciously. I don’t do it in a calculating way”
He knows that a young talented designer like him must keep two coordinates in mind to guide his path: resolve and perseverance. “Work hard, keep trying until you make it. I submitted several entries to walk at MBFWM and I wasn’t selected. Far from giving up, I kept trying, creating collections because I love and enjoy it, and there came a time when they chose me. His determination led him to achieving his first big dream: walking the runway in Madrid. “It seems incredible to me,” he declares. While he takes in what’s happening to him, he puts his heart and soul into his new collection, which he’ll present, if the muses conspire in his favour, at the MBFWM 2023 edition with a fashion show that he predicts as “extreme fantasy and performance to the max”.
We only need to know one more thing; what Guillermo aspires. His answer is forthright: “Walking the haute couture runway in Paris.” He talks about it with the enthusiasm of goals to be reached, coyly so as to not seem arrogant, but his creativity, talent and savoir-faire as a designer will certainly pave the way for him to become what many already predict: the new king of the runway.