The Grammy gown -- or snow fence dress or orange dress or whatever name you’ve heard it called -- that everyone is talking about was designed by a San Diego man.
In fact, it debuted here three years ago.
The gown is part of Andre Soriano’s vintage collection, and before New York-based artist Joy Villa walked it down the red carpet at the Grammys on Sunday, it made its runway debut during San Diego Fashion Week in 2012.
“I was like, ‘Girl, you wanna take over the planet? I have a gown for you,’” Soriano told SoundDiego.
Up until about a week ago, Soriano and Villa didn’t know each other. Then her agent called him about dressing the artist for the Grammys.
“" just forewarned [Villa]," Soriano sayid. “ 'You’re going to trend in the best and the worst.' But she’s an artist. She really has an amazing voice, and I channeled her."
Though Soriano had a few options for her ("I have a purple gown that has a train longer than the 101 Freeway," Soriano said, laughing), he pushed the orange gown made of recycled snow- or construction-fencing material -- like what you’d see at a ski run.
"Orange is the new black!" Soriano exclaimed. "I thought that was just a perfect position for her to just make a statement, really, and I highly suggested the orange gown. The minute she stepped foot on the red carpet, she was being pulled left and right. Everyone is like, 'Who is Joy Villa?' And they’re like, 'Andre, you just made a superstar.' And I was like, 'I did?' "
In 2006, Soriano, who was born in the Philippines, moved with his now-husband from San Francisco to San Diego, where he got a job at Neiman Marcus. It took a year or so of working there before he refocused his attention on fashion design and was consequently asked to headline San Diego Fashion Week. That’s when, he says, he was discovered by Rihanna’s team to compete on the Bravo show "Styled to Rock." Since then, he’s been invited to fashion weeks around the world and has had his designs worn by Kaya Jones (Pussycat Dolls), actress Aisha Tyler and others.
Another one of his 2015 Grammy gowns, worn by Desiree Estrada, showed a more classic, elegant side of his designs.
Soriano said that through all the buzz, he’s trying to remain focused. Fashion Week L.A. is coming up in March, and he's planning a big surprise for his finale -- and that surprise may just look a lot like Joy Villa.
Hannah Lott-Schwartz, a San Diego native, moved back to the area after working the magazine-publishing scene in Boston. Now she’s straight trolling SD for all the music she missed while away. Want to help? Hit her up with just about anything at all over on Twitter, where -- though not always work-appropriate -- she means well.