Michael Derderian may not be on the general public’s radar yet, but he soon will be. His label, Mikael D, is a favorite of stylists, sought after for his fairytale gowns with extravagant tulle, and his sleek, sexy creations with signature lace applied on nude toile – all worthy of spotlight-stealing moments.
The fact is, Derderian has fashion running through his veins. Born in Beirut to a Canadian- Armenian father and Lebanese mother who together designed and manufactured children’s clothing, Derderian was profoundly influenced by their creativity throughout his youth. As a boy in Lebanon, when he wasn’t mastering his studies in school, the gifted student spent time in his parents’ workshop tracing patterns and cutting fabrics, gaining a knowledge and love of design.
(Left) A breathtaking light blue evening gown glitters with custom floral guipure lace and silver micro bugle beads on the sweetheart neckline and bodice, leading to a high front low back full tulle skirt. (Middle) This sea foam blue ball gown is composed of sparkling Swarovski beaded blue mesh and cut outs on top. The full, layered tulle skirt artfully balances the feminine with the modern. (Right) The high front low back hemline of this evening gown is storybook chic. Intricate pink hand beading and lace highlights a feminine frame and the open neckline is paired with delicate lace three-quarter length sleeves.
As war erupted in their homeland, the family was forced to leave Lebanon, immigrating to Quebec. There Derderian, then only eight, quickly adapted to his new country, excelling in his studies. During his university years, he majored in everything from science, to film and philosophy, while juggling a job as an international flight attendant, (he is fluent in English, French, Arabic, Armenian, and Spanish) sometimes traveling on the weekends and studying during the week. Derderian eventually graduated with honors, receiving a degree in marketing and business.
When he was offered a position as brand manager at a fashion house, Derderian realized that his future would be in the fashion world. His love of learning lead him to return to school to continue his studies, this time with a focus on fashion. At LaSalle College in Montreal, known for its international school of fashion, arts, and design, he refined his style and sharpened his skill in fashion computer-aided design.
Derderian moved back to Lebanon where he landed a job as studio director for Zuhair Murad. While with Murad, he helped the company expand from 30 to 67 stores. After two years, Derderian left Murad and reconnected with Gianni Falcone, a childhood friend with whom he would partner to form the firm Pavoni. Pavoni was dissolved when the two parted ways, leaving Derderian to rebrand the label. Mikael D debuted with the resort 2014 collection to rave reviews. His fans include Halle Berry, Mariah Carey, Shakira, and Kylie Minogue to name a few. FEMME ROUGE was privileged to pluck some of his creations straight from the runways of Paris Fashion Week for our exclusive photo shoot at the legendary Andaz Hotel.
THE LOCATION: With panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills, Sunset Strip, and downtown LA, the Andaz is a landmark in West Hollywood. The hotel has quite a colorful past – formerly the Gene Autry Hotel, it became known as “the Riot House” in the 60s, hosting wild parties with the icons of rock and roll – The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin and The Doors, to name a few. The Andaz pays homage to its raucous rocker roots with the aptly named Riot House Restaurant.
(Background:) China Cat sculpture is a tribute to Jerry Garcia by artist Willard Snow (On Model) This mini dress embraces the body with champagne crepe de chine lining, covered in a sheer layer of gold French lace and Swarovski crystal detailing. The long sleeves and suggestive style is a dazzling choice for a rehearsal dinner or a romantic date night.
THE ARTWORKS Now a hip and artsy boutique hotel, the Andaz publicized its artistic intentions by celebrating the grand reopening with a blank canvas on which guests were invited to spray multicolored graffiti. The finished piece, called “Opening Night.”
The Andaz is now home to a well curated rotating selection of artwork entitled Art Seen @ Andaz, which hosts local contemporary artists and reflects the property’s vibrant environs. The current exhibition “Wish You Were Here” is a partnership between the Andaz and photographer Natalie Escobedo, featuring a series of photographs of rock musicians while on the road. Incubus, Taking Back Sunday, and Social Distortion are among the groups on display. This exhibit will be in the hotel for several months and can be viewed in our special behind the scenes video.
Images by Duke Photography | Hair: Arsineh Ghazarian | Makeup: Arpi Nazaryan