Keeping up with Manuel, the Rhinestone Rembrandt

Manuel on video

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Manuel in my Life... a reflection

photo by jenny petite

About three years ago I opened a door at a studio in Nashville not knowing quite what to expect. Nothing in the world could have prepped me for what I found! At 1922 Broadway there is much more than amazing clothing, sparkling stones, and a piece of history. There is also genius, love, and an old bordello full of the most creative and exciting people I have ever met. Manuel welcomes everybody with open arms- and well, when you have curves like mine, he opens them a little further! Only for hugs of course. He is an amazing mentor. Supportive, smart, witty, and kind. He had faith in me- which in turn allowed my creative juices to thrive.

As far as the rest of the crew is concerned, I can define Lalie as charismatic and intoxicating. An energetic neo pin-up with style and flare that never ceases to amaze and is out done by no one. Lauren Wray has spunk. Moxie, spirit, gumption- true southern grit. With her you always get an honest smile and a boost of freshness. Last but not least Morelia, Manuel's daughter. What can I say, she is the leading lady in her life- and I dare anyone to call her an "extra!" Morelia is quite simply- hilarious (Read Mo-ism # 437). She is full of life, wonder, and love.

The most important thing about this group is family. I was amazed to find a family within each of them. To this day I look to them for support, criticism, a shoulder to cry on, or a booty to dance with. No matter the circumstance or occasion each of them have been there for me. When I needed help with hand made buttonholes on a tailored jacket I made- they were there. When I had to find a dress to wear to my Grandpa's funeral, and didn't think I could face it alone- they were there. When I wanted to celebrate my 24th birthday- they were there (hives and all)! And when I was interviewing my 1st "big name" at a Lexus/Vogue fashion show full of nerves and doubt, I found comfort in seeing them in the front row next to the runway. With their hugs I gained my confidence to do my job and was able to shine. That's the glory in being a part of "Manuel Exclusive Clothier," you do not only learn about fashion, expert workmanship, textiles, and couture... you learn about life.

I feel honored to know that years ago I was able to open a new door in my life. And I feel privileged to understand that that door never has to be closed.

All my love and respect,
S.R.


Since interning with Manuel, Sarah Reesman has worked abroad with designer Vivienne Westwood and is currently a writer and editor for Nashville SixFifteen Magazine. She may be contacted at sreesman@hotmail.com

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