UPDATE: We've embedded a snippet of the ANTM episode in this article. Hop on to page 2 to see the contestants making their way to the landfill and modeling Michael Cinco's designs!
A few weeks back, word circulated that the work of Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco was to appear in the latest season of America's Next Top Model. Michael confirmed the news when we asked him about it, saying, "Yeah, I was featured in a shoot in one episode. I did the couture dresses for the six finalists in a landfill photographed by Nigel Barker."
In episode 8 of cycle 16 of ANTM, the six remaining girls modeled Michael's voluminous gowns against the bustling backdrop of a landfill, where birds of prey buzzed and sped overhead. Drama billowed out of dirt; the editorial was a stark juxtaposition of glamour versus garbage, of high fashion versus refuse. Michael's slinky, fluid creations—some in satiny black, some in gleaming quicksilver, and most seemingly devoid of the full-on embellishment he has wowed audiences before—flowed from the aspiring top models' frames in enchanting eddies and sways, all caught by Nigel's lenses.
Ahead, the high fashion images captured by Nigel, which will—in Tyra speak—"determine which contestant will stay on to compete to become America's Next Top Model":
On Alexandria: a modern, molten silver, boudoir-sexy rendition of Charles Frederick Worth's voluminous, old-school regal glamour.
On Brittani: a bistre-colored, jewel-encrusted strapless gown in the designer's favorite sweetheart neckline.
On Hannah: a black ballgown with a sweeping train and sculptural folded sleeves.
On Jaclyn: another sweetheart-necklined ballgown in charcoal with a puff-sleeved bolero and oversized peplum.
On Kasia: a gunmetal ruffle-hemmed gown.
Lastly, on Molly: a corseted bodysuit, ruched leggings and a black cape of André Leon Talley proportions.
According to Ginggay Joven-dela Merced, Michael's work landed on the show courtesy of Michael Carandang, a Filipino Emmy Award-winning producer of ANTM, who endeavors to "give the Filipino talent a platform to be recognized." He says in an interview for the Philippine Star, "I took a chance, Tyra and my bosses bought into that risk. It was all worth it. The clothes were impeccable, like art works." He added, "Everyone in ANTM was so impressed—the crew, the talents, the producers, and of course, Tyra! I’m really proud to be able to bring Filipino talents on ANTM."
Jump to the next page to watch a snippet of the episode and to see photos of Michael Cinco with the ANTM judges, as well as behind-the-scenes shots from the shoot. Michael also goes through the Designer Spotlight gauntlet, and lets us get to know him more. Find out how he started as a designer, where he gets his inspirations, how he likes to relax, and more.
Episode 8, Cycle 16 of America's Next Top Model airs on Star World.
Click on the photo gallery to view Michael Cinco's Couture Spring/Summer 2011 collection.