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Designer David Tupaz to showcase designs at Chillounge Night in St. Petersburg

Los Angeles fashion designer David Tupaz doesn't make clothes for ho-hum days.

He makes them for red carpet events, once-in-a-lifetime occasions and, now, Chillounge Night in St. Petersburg.

Tupaz is the headline designer for the outdoor event's fashion show on Saturday. He'll present about 30 pieces from his fall collection of resort wear and couture designs. Imagine clothing for lounging on a yacht in Monte Carlo, with lots bright colors, hats and glasses. For the finale? One of his signature wedding gowns.

"It's going to be a wow moment,'' he said.

The catwalk event is a highlight of the South Beach-style party with lounge chairs, daybeds and a Brazilian samba parade. Produced by Brandi Kamenar, the show also will feature pieces from local designer Marisu Miranda.

Tupaz, 50, started designing couture in the mid 1980s and moved from New York to Los Angeles in 1997. His clients have included various Hollywood celebrities, from Kris Kardashian to Liz Shatner to Oscar-winning director Keiko Ibi.

Chillounge will be his first fashion show in Florida. He sees it as an opportunity to bring European-style fashion to the area and elevate the community of local designers.

In an interview before a fitting for the show, he spoke with tbt* about winter fashion trends and his own ideas for chilling out.

When you say resort wear here, most people think of shorts.

My idea of resort is very luxurious. Palm Beach was a resort town of high fashion for (a long time). The women from New York and the women from Palm Beach were the ones who dressed up. It's just bringing that idea to people. Fashion is no longer about you're rich or you're poor or you're middle class. It's available to everybody. Dressing up is like dreaming. It's like playing a role. I think a lot of people understand that today.

What are you seeing as fashion trends for winter?

Everybody's going back to fur, fur, fur. But fur is just an accessory for me. It's not part of the outfit. In the south of France, for example, and warm-weather areas, they adapt the fall collection not with the outfit per se, but with the colors. A lot of gray tones and metallic tones are coming out. The silvers, golds, bronzes. You don't necessarily have to wear the fur.

Are you talking real fur or synthetic?

It's a mixture but a lot of the designers are coming out with real fur, which I'm not sure the environmentalists are happy about. But you know how fashion is: It's unpredictable. As long as you're beautiful, why not?

What's your favorite way to chill?

When I'm not working, you're going to see me in the auction house or antique shop. I'm an antique freak. I collect a lot of 19th-century fine art, paintings. I have 300 pieces of excavated porcelain from China from the seventh century on to the present. I grew up amid art.

Chill out

Chillounge Night returns to St. Petersburg's North Straub Park on Saturday with a fashion show, live music, a Brazilian samba parade and fireworks. Doors open at 6 p.m., followed by the show by couture designers David Tupaz and Marisu Miranda at about 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 at the door or $95 VIP. 400 Beach Drive NE;; (888) 695-0888. A Pre Chillounge Party on the Plaza starts at 9:30 p.m. Friday ­outside the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg.

Designer David Tupaz to showcase designs at Chillounge Night in St. Petersburg 11/17/11 [Last modified: Thursday, November 17, 2011 5:46pm]
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