Video: Fashion designer Michael Wallace speaks to Shannon Stevenson.
A fashion designer who studied in Nottingham will be showcasing his collection in Los Angeles for a third time later this year.
Talented Michael Wallace has flown the fashion flag for Nottinghamshire in Hollywood the past two years – and will return in October.
He recently won a Dragons’ Den-style competition, presenting designs to a panel of entrepreneurs and winning a £3,000 grant for his business, the House of Michael Wallace.
His collection will star as part of Las Vegas Fashion Week and Michael says he has had “crazy times” in Hollywood and last year met, and became friends with, Susan Nininger, the costumer who designed Whitney Houston’s dress in the 1992 film The Bodyguard.
“Last October it [the fashion show] was at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel. I invited a lady called Suzanne Nininger along to the show, who was the costumer for The Bodyguard.
“I was too young to see it, my mum and dad must’ve not known I was watching it. I was obsessed with the silver-metal dress that Whitney Houston wore for the Queen Of The Night video.
“Suzanne came along to the show which was amazing.”
Michael’s grandma, who died eight years ago, was a seamstress and taught him, from a young age, how to use a sewing machine.
Michael, 26, said he and Suzanne sat at the bar in the hotel and she told him stories from the film, adding: “It was such a surreal moment, all I needed was my grandma next to me. All I needed was her there and I would’ve been in heaven.”
Michael, originally from Ilkeston, has been compared to the iconic Sir Paul Smith and studied fashion and textiles at New College Nottingham, before attaining a fashion interpretation and practice degree at Nottingham Trent University.
He said such acclaim is flattering but he doesn’t compare himself to anybody.
“It’s really nice – there’s a lot of pressure, but I was flattered. I can only do what I can do with my designs and inspiration – I don’t compare myself to anybody, everybody stands on their own in their own right and produces what they produce.”
He honed his craft by working in Savile Row, London, a street renowned for traditional bespoke tailoring for men.
He says he has plans to take part in a charity fashion show in Nottingham around Christmas time and will invite Sir Paul along, adding he also hopes to launch his own shop.