How could we not fall for the intricate embroideries and warm ivories of Liancarlo wedding gowns? The Miami based designer, Carlos Ramirez is as enthusiastic as the brides who wear his highly coveted wedding dresses. Once on the path to being a lawyer, Carlos made a decision to follow his passion into the world of design – and we are oh-so thankful he did!
We were fortunate to have the opportunity to spend a few moments with him at a Denver trunk show at Little White Dress Bridal Shop and we got to witness firsthand how much Carlos enjoys his job. A sneak peek into the work, life and gowns of the Cuban designer is below.
What was the first piece of clothing you designed?
An off the shoulder evening dress. I started with evening dresses and worked in eveningwear a good chunk of my life before I moved into bridal. My mom had a sewing shop that I grew up in most of my life. So dress designing wasn’t an alien concept to me.
What made you decide to make the switch to bridal?
I think it was the energy. I like the energy of brides. I like the fact that there is so much emphasis on a gown – because it means so much to them and because it’s such an important thing. I guess I sort of wanted to play in that realm. I just like that whole concept.
What is one thing that you think every bride needs to have on her wedding day?
A smile. And just a carefree, whatever happens, go with it kind of attitude. It’s going to be beautiful. That has to be done - otherwise, what do you remember from your wedding day? Only the pitfalls. Unfortunately because of so much information we have today, everybody tries to do more and some weddings become such an event of doing that you miss the essence of being. So, by all means, put a smile on and just go with it.
Do you have any advice for brides that are dress shopping?
I think for some people it’s perfect. I mean, you have to sit at my end of it and you have to see it from this angle, too. For some people, the whole thing is effortless and it’s beautiful. And for some people it’s so tortured and tormenting and at some point you are just seeing too many things, too many dresses, and you’re never going to get to the right dress because your mind has become polluted. It’s a sensory overload and then you’re going to end up walking out with the weirdest thing because you’re trying to unite the idea of this one, with the idea of that one, with the idea of that third – and it just doesn’t work. Worst yet is when you bring a committee with you. That works even less.
Who do you think a bride should bring with her when dress shopping?
I think everybody knows who they trust. And that’s who needs to come with you. Not your seven friends. Everyone is focused on different things or worse yet, they are personalizing it. You’re not them, you’re you. So when you listen to other people, you end up with really weird outcomes. I’ve seen it.
Have you ever had a bride choose the first dress she tries on?
Absolutely! More often than not. The first dress they try on, the first time they’ve gone bridal shopping. First of all, it’s not like they don’t know what a dress is. By the time they’ve been to a dress shop they’ve seen thousands of ideas in magazines and pictures. They have an idea of who they want to be. But, sometimes they just put on that first dress and then they put on another 6 or 8 and that first one really was the dress for whatever the reason. It’s different when I’m there because I’m the designer and I have a story behind each one of these dresses but, sometimes – there are thousands of beautiful dresses out there – and sometimes if that dress has a reason to be yours, that’s all it needs. Whether it’s a connection because the designer is there or whether it’s a connection because it was the right color, the right moment, the right day for you. And that’s it. And that’s the moment that you say – this is fine. Because that’s how you fell in love, too. It just happened serendipitously and it was just right. Is it perfect? No. But nothing is perfect – so why does the dress have to be perfect?
What inspires you?
Inspiration comes from a lot of places for me. It comes from fabric, it comes from ideas of just bantering back and forth with brides. It comes from the most bizarre things. Sometimes I’m looking at an abstract painting and I’ll think – oh, this would make a beautiful embroidery and I’ll take that and create an embroidery and from that embroidery it’s like the gowns are easy. I think it’s more important for me to design fabric or embroidery or what the texture is going to be than the gowns themselves because – the gowns themselves just fall out of the fabric. It’s the details. I start that way.
What do you do when you’re not designing?
I paint abstract – it’s really interesting – designing is very liberating and freeing but it’s very structured and you’re very confined. At the end of the day, every human being has two arms, two legs and a torso. So you’re working within those parameters no matter what you do. So when I went to paint – I just needed to do something that was a little more liberating. And it’s a balance.