Design Collaboration: Manny Cuevas and Denise Crapps

It all started with an emerald green, Asian print fabric that I purchased over 10 years ago. I bought the fabric with the hope of having someone make a traditional Asian chignon dress for me. Well, I never had the dress made, so I put the fabric away in my closet and virtually forgot about it.

With the Marchesa Fashion Show at the Symphony fast approaching, I thought it was high time that the fabric see the light of day.  I approached Manny Cuevas of Wear It Out Manuel with the idea of making me a dress for the event. 

Designer Manny Cuevas

Manny was nice enough to agree to do it and since he loves to collaborate with others, he suggested that we enlist designer, Denise Crapps of Mesyia Designs for the project.

Designer Denise Crapps

Although I was not familiar with Denise’s work at the time, I knew that if Manny wanted to work with her, she must be pretty amazing.

I later learned that Denise, originally from Detroit, Michigan, has been designing for over 35 years! 

One of Denise's Gorgeous Designs

 She has collaborated with Manuel Cuevas, Sr. on occasion and her niche is sexy, stage-worthy dresses that would make Beyonce swoon. 

Leather and Rhinestone Dress by Denise Crapps

I met with Manny and Denise to discuss the dress for the Marchesa Show. My only requirements were that the dress be strapless or one-shoulder and above the knee. I left the rest of the design to the experts.  It was so cool to listen to them brainstorming as the design took shape.  Denise drew a rough sketch as they chatted and narrowed in on the final design.  They chose to add gold piping that created interest without detracting from the beauty of the fabric. 

With sketch and measurements in hand, Denise whisked the fabric away to do her magic.  Manny selected a gorgeous chartreuse silk for the lining…an excellent choice.  I was so excited about the color, I had them leave some peeking out at the bottom of the dress! 

A couple of fittings later and I was all set for the Marchesa show. Manny did a couple of last minute alterations and added the infamous “Wear It Out Manuel” label! 

The day of the event, Denise surprised me with a matching drawstring purse that really completed the look.

 Later, I was treated to the ultimate V.I.P. treatment from K.K. of Works of Art Salon She gave me an incredible scalp and shoulder massage that just about put me to sleep!  Then, she proceeded to create the most amazing up-do!  I showed her a couple of pictures of the french twist I was going for, but K.K. exceeded my expectations and even added her own sparkly bobbi pins to the back!

It was such a relaxing, wonderful experience!  I walked out of her salon feeling like my own version of Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (my favorite movie).

Zipped on home to put on the dress and get ready and left my house feeling like a movie star! I really felt pampered and a bit like Paris Hilton for the day! I have never had the experience of having a designer (let alone two) make a dress especially for me.  Manny and Denise were great to work with and the result was a dress that fit me to a T!

Me at the Marchesa Show!

I think it turned out great!  What do you think?

Kudos to Manny and Denise for their amazing collaboration! I really hope to see more projects from these two in the future!

You can find Manny’s amazing designs at Manny also does lots of custom, one-of-a-kind pieces and he loves to collaborate!

Manny with Paul McDonald's "Idol" Pants

Denise is an awesome seamstress and designer and you can contact her at

A huge thank you to Manny, Denise, and K.K. You are all amazing artists and I thank you for making me feel like a STAR!


My Fashion Maven…You don’t have to be a celebrity to look like one!


Filed under Focus Feature, Rad Designers

2 Responses to Design Collaboration: Manny Cuevas and Denise Crapps

  1. KK

    I love this wrIte up and I loVE YOU!!! You looked gorgeous in this dress!!! Congrats to Manny and Denise!!! Supercalifragilistic,KK

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