The Architect who traded building for Fashion

The Story of Angel Sanchez and finding “The One”.

Not too long ago I had to go through the grueling process of finding “The One”.  No....not the guy, the wedding dress! If you're a guy reading this, trust me it’s a painful process, and yes this story has some Architectural value.   

I searched High and Low for “The One”. I even went as far as traveling to Southern California, when my home was in KC. Nothing was too crazy when it came to finding the perfect wedding dress. I’d tried my fair share of princess dresses, until one day, while snooping in a local Bridal Shop, I found the dress I’d been searching for. Granted, I didn’t make it easy for them, and here is why: I made the ladies pull six more cupcake dresses, before I was convinced...I was not the princess type. I know, I know what you're thinking, you're  wondering how is this story ever going to relate to Architecture? Patience. You’ll see.

I told the Boutique owner these six dresse’s were just not working for me. He made the “Thinker Pose”, and left the room for a minute. When he came back he was holding a sleek looking thing: no train, no whimsical fairy dust, no embellishment....nada. I told him “I don’t know Mr. Bridal Boutique owner, I think I might just settle for the California Rosa Clara dress”. He argued that Rosa Clara had nothing on the masterful work and reputation of this X designer - this mystery man was apparently some hot S$^*.

At the time, I wasn’t sure if the owner of the Bridal shop was pulling a sales move on me, or if he genuinely believed it. I reluctantly put the dress on, zipped it up and stepped onto the bride podium (a stump they have for brides to stand on). As the owner kept feeding me information about this mystery X designer, I looked in the mirror and traced my fingers through the structured lines of the dress. I was intrigued by it’s asymmetric cut and how each piece of fabric seemed to hug my body (more like fat rolls) - in just the right spots.

After about 15 minutes of mirror romance I made the spontaneous decision to say “yes to the dress”, and immediate went home to google this supposedly rock star of fashion. The search results were in - his name was Angel Sanchez. A reputable fashion designer who was famous amongst hollywood scarlets for providing them with Red Carpet gowns. This was very nice indeed, however, I could care less what Taylor Swift wore to the grammys. As my only concern at the time was why his dresses were Avant Garde and non traditional. Why was I so attracted to his work?

It didn’t take long after reading his Bio that it became clear - he used to be an Architect (an aha moment occurred in my head). Angel Sanchez had given up building for fashion! However, traces of his years of education and practice as an Architect were still apparent in his work - his gowns contain an interesting play on structure and proportion.

Knowing this little piece of information was as if I decoded the Cryptex from the Da Vinci Code . I went into a weird spot in my mind,  where pieces of fabric started to defrag themselves, as if they were coming out of the Big Bang. Only to later regroup in slow motion like an action scene from the Matrix. Yes, that is exactly how it happened (the moment I knew I’d chosen “The Right One”).

I’d finally understood why I’d chosen my dress. There were greater forces involved than just picking a pretty looking thing. I unconsciously, seeked for a dress with structure, a dress that spoke to me and told a story through design. I chose a dress without lace and trim, because at the end they were just added pepper (extra ornaments), and ornament seldom have a reason for being. In conclusion, what I experienced from wedding dress shopping is you’ve simple can’t shake off the Architect Gene. Your training will always influence your material purchases even when you're shopping for clothes. Your training will influence everything. 

Angel Sanchez design’s continue to abide by the philosophy that “form follows function”, as well as, “Design is not what it feels like, or looks like, design is how it works”, a notion implied by our modern-modern father Steve Job’s (hehehe). Sanchez’s success as a fashion designer is not solely due to his aesthetic avenues.  He’s successful,  because he can create something so simple and beautiful and construct it in a way which each piece has a purpose. Each element was thoughtfully placed to contour the woman's body.


Today I’ll take an educated guess and say his former profession has influenced how he approaches his fashion empire. Angel Sanchez, might of taken an alternative route, but today many women like me, are grateful for his decision. Nonetheless, if he’d  never derailed from the profession of Architecture, how would millions of un-princess types, still feel beautiful on their special day. How would we’ve found the “The One”?

P.S I love the story of Angel Sanchez as he followed his passions while still incorporating what he learned through Architecture. You can read his full bio here.......