Matthew Christopher is a rising star in the world of high fashion and wedding gown design. With seven collections, a handful of red carpet gowns to his name, and a flagship salon in New York City, you might not guess he's originally from Wellman, Iowa. This week, Christopher returns to Iowa for the inaugural Flyover Fashion Fest.
"We are bringing my 2016 collection, which is absolutely stunning, and we're going to bringing some new looks, what's going on in the bridal industry. It's exciting to bring this to my hometown area."
Christopher is now one of the biggest names in couture wedding dress design, but he still remembers making some those first few dresses.
"I did my prom date's dress. It was green taffeta and I did it with a black venice lace back in the day. I did a red crepe with a white venice lace. This was a long time ago. If you go back in your head, I graduated in '95, so this is sewing back in '90, '91, so you remember what prom was like back then, probably. Lou said to me, 'Throw away the pattern. Don't even read it. You're not going to learn anything from that pattern.'"
Christopher says Lou Miller, a Wellman native, was one of his first mentors.
"She showed me so many tricks, so many amazing things of the trade that she had learned herself. And then New York just really gave me everything, learning from different people."
In this segment of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Christopher. The Flyover Fashion Fest happens this Friday and Saturday in Iowa City. Christopher will be showcasing some of his designs at 7:00 p.m. Friday in the Ped Mall, with a performance by MAIDS.