Designer Michael Angel Makes Cool Clothes And A Mean Sandwich

Browsing spring frocks while bundled in winter scarves feels a little anachronistic to us, too, but don't let that stop you from hitting up Hu's Wear over the next couple of days. The M Street boutique is hosting a four-day trunk show for designer Michael Angel — known for his playful pastiche of bold prints, graphic art, and intense colors — to spotlight his resort and spring '12 collections. Hu’s Wear is the only shop in town to carry Angel's eclectic goods, which have been scooped up by the Olsens, Rihanna, and Gwyneth Paltrow, to name a few. But before you strike up a love affair with his kaleidoscopic prints and perfectly offbeat silhouettes, get to know the man behind the magic.
What inspires your work?
"Most of my inspiration comes from images — art, history, landscapes, interiors. Traveling is also key. What's influencing me lately is a recent trip to Barcelona. The Sagrada Familia and the gothic and medieval design are an inspiration for fall. I love the idea of delving into the history of a city, and finding something modern and futuristic in the ancient."
Tell us something most people don't know about you ...
"Favorite musician is Jeff Buckley ... favorite designer is Elsa Schiaparelli."
What's your secret talent, besides designing amazing clothes?
"I'm really good at rock-climbing and making sandwiches. Also, cutting my own hair, surviving in the wilderness, and making people laugh. I could've been a comedian."
How does your personal style compare to your designs?
"I'm very minimalist in the way I dress, with a sort of street/sport edge. I like dressing monochromatically, in dark colors and simple shapes, whereas my label is colorful and print-driven. My label is more like my personality."
If you could have dinner with one person tonight — in fashion or otherwise — who would it be?
"I would have dinner with Stanley Kubrick. Or Oprah."
Describe the Michael Angel woman.
"My woman is confident, witty, and slightly odd. She's comfortable in her own space."
Let's look into the crystal ball — where are you in five years?
"I see myself applying what I do to unexpected forms like homes, interiors, and automotives. At this stage we're in talks with a few brands regarding collaborations, and I'm open to the idea of working with a mass retailer at some point."
There are loads of designer/ fast-fashion collabs coming up on the horizon. What's your take?
"Collaborations are good because they make desirable pieces accessible to people who can't otherwise access a high-end luxury product. As long as the collaboration is right and stays on point with what you're doing, I don't see the harm."
When: Thursday, November 3, through Saturday, November 5, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, November 6, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Hu's Wear, 3005 M Street NW; 202-342-0202.
Photo: Courtesy of Michael Angel

More from Designers


R29 Original Series