Meet Nuno Martelle the creator of HEKaTuRe Designs, a custom gown designer located in Chicago. Photos by Kathleen Mosley, The Kats Meow.

LOLC: You participated in the 8th Annual LOLC International Fashion Show held at the Palmer House in Chicago. You dressed children and teens. How did it feel being the premier children’s wear designer in the entire production?

Nuno: Participating in the LOLC Show was truly an honor and being the only children designer makes it a bit more special.  Especially being able to dress children and make them feel just as fabulous as the adults!

LOLC: The crowd loved your garments and models. Please tell us about some of the favorite garments you showcased and provide 1 or more photos from the show (mention photographer’s name).

Nuno: After showcasing at Latino Fashion Week in Chicago, I had a great response to my Woman’s collection that I decided to make “mini-me” versions especially for this LOLC.  My finale gown worn by Kayla Garcia is absolutely my favorite! She’s able to walk the gown the way I imagine it would be.  Especially since the gown had vertical flounces, her walk exaggerates the flow of the flounce and for me it’s perfection!!  All my floral gowns are special to me.  I spend many hours hand making each petal over a candle flame then more time to build the flowers!

LOLC: You supported Live Out Loud Charity for suicide prevention, anti bullying, and core character development. How do you think fashion  and/or our fashion shows play a role in saving lives or in positively impacting people’s lives?

Nuno: I think fashion can play a positive role on individuals who may feel that the fashion world is out of reach, but little do they know that fashion is all around us!  I feel it empowers the model and potentially save a life and in turn save others.   Clothing can empower and can certainly help you escape a dark moment.    It is my hope that every garments brings laughter and memories for all those involved!   Making new friends and learning to trust yourself to walk in a show develops character and body positivity for us all.

LOLC: Why do you support our cause? Do you have a personal story or something you would like to share with our readers going through hard times?

Nuno: In my life I have not been excused from the torments of being bullied. From “nerd, flour-eyes, brace-face…and even Frankenstein” were some of the more tolerable words used! I learned early on how unique and special I was.   I would even have my mom enroll me in any and all classes I could fit into my life.   Luckily my mom would take me to piñata making classes, cake decorating classes, ceramics, painting, T-shirt making, and even football and violin.  I mastered all my classes and regardless of the oddity of a boy being in the classes I learned that I was doing it all for me and their opinions would not better me.  As a Public Educator I leaned a lot and use my platform to help each child/adult find a sense of worth.  The arts were always my escape and I am so fortunate I trusted my inner self.   Even today and probably even tomorrow, someone is going to try to belittle me but I take everyday as a learning experience. Even participating in the LOLC Fashion Show, I was indirectly educated and I feel more confident and empowered in taking a step to help save a life.  So to answer your question.  Yes! Fashion shows do save lives!!

LOLC: Where can we learn more about your collection?

Nuno: Currently I am building my brand as a local Chicago artist.   By day I’m an educator in many disciplines specializing in world languages and by evening working as a designer.  Business page can be found on Facebook under my business name HEKaTuRe Designs and Creations or see my archives of garments on Instagram under HEKaTuRe.