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Francisco Medavog: Beautifying San Diego One Dress at a Time

Francisco Medavog

Francisco Medavog

  • Francisco Medavog
  • Francisco Medavog
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Francisco Medavog has been perfecting his craft in San Diego as a clothing designer for over 20 years. This month, he was chosen to be the first “designer in residence” at the Alexander Salazar art gallery in downtown San Diego.  

Traditionally Salazar has had an “artist-in-residence” program, where he gives visual artists 30 days full use of a space next door to his Broadway gallery. In the 30 days, the artist creates a fully formed show that will then be presented to the public in one of the two galleries Salazar owns.  A long time lover of fashion, Salazar, whose galleries have just celebrated their one-year anniversary, decided to invite designers into the artist-in-residence program as their work derives directly from art.

Medavag has decided to dedicate the Salazar collection he’s working on to San Diego icon, Kate Sessions. He’s calling the collection “Beautification”; in homage to the contributions of the woman known as the “Mother of Balboa Park.

Born in Tijuana, but raised in SD, Medavog attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise and launched his first collection in 1991.

In 1992, he was chosen to be the designer to represent Mexico in the summer Olympics in Seville, Spain. The theme was in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus. Medavog called named this collection, “Tenochtitlan”.

Using Spain as his inspiration, in 1993, he created a collection based on the architecture of the city of Toledo, Spain called “Gothic Women”.

Medavog considers himself to be an haute couture and avant-garde designer. His ongoing collections of Erte inspired gowns are his signature, as well as his uber sexy one-piece swimsuits. “Think John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, and Martin Margiela, all of these designers are pretty far out there, but the clothing is still wearable, and that’s what I want my clothing to be,” Medavog says.

Medavog’s story is not unlike many emerging designers, he works with a limited budget. He says jokingly that if someone gave him a bunch of money, he too could be the next great so and so. “Many young designers often give up or are forced to take time off from creating clothes to earn a living,” Medavog says. He insists that no matter how difficult things are with money, he will continue to create his twice yearly seasonal collections, and looking for individuals to commission designs from him.

Medavog’s new “Beautification” collection will feature ten looks. Based on the Kate Sessions’ diaries, and research into the botanical history of San Diego, the dresses are all maxi in length, and floral in pattern.

The show is open to the public on September 14, 2011 at Salazar’s gallery 1040 7th Ave San Diego, CA 92101.Beautifying San Diego One Dress at a Time