He went from designing couture to covetable Disney costumes, and dad-of-three Nephali Garcia’s designs are diabolically good.
Nephali Garcia used to work in high fashion, but when he became a dad, he wasn’t feeling the busy lifestyle of catwalks and producing collections every season anymore.
But makers gotta make, and last year when his family was planning a trip to Disneyland, he made a costume for his six-year-old daughter Lili to wear. It was a hooded fairy godmother dress, Cinderella style. The dress was such a hit at the park that he had orders for 10 costumes the next day.
Since then he’s made dozens of dresses for Lili, and costumes for his sons as well. Among his most ingenious creations are the transformation dresses.
“Lili really loves the transformation dresses,” Garcia told Buzzfeed. “And my son really loves to be dressed as the villains, especially Gaston.”
Each costume is completely different from the last, although some details are used again, like the optical illusion flying birds holding up skirts and veils. Garcia said, “I hate repeating designs, so I always try to vary each dress so that they’re unique.”
A designer with high fashion roots doesn’t use cheap fabrics, so Garcia’s designs can be pricey. Organic silks and couture fabrics are shipped from Europe, and a child’s costume starts from $600. He also makes adult looks which start from $1800.
Garcia hopes to create costumes for Broadway shows, or live-action movies one day. “But I will never give up making pieces for people who are not in the industry – I like to give them quality outfits that they can’t get anywhere else,” he said.