Where were you born?
Where do you live?
I have a small apartment by my workshop and studio in the Villaverde district.
If money was no object, where would you live?
In a townhouse in Aravaca.
Which is your favourite Madrid neighbourhood?
Aravaca. I was raised over there in a big house that my parents bought. It’s very quiet and really close to the centre of Madrid.
Which are your favourite Madrid stores?
Rara Avis Store on Calle Palma. The owners gave me a big opportunity to sell my products during my first days as a brand. Here you can find the dark aesthetic stuff and music. Capas Seseña on Calle Cruz makes traditional capes and the window display is fantastic. Lily Blossom on Calle Claudio Coello is an erotic boutique where you can find anything for your fantasies, corsets and lingerie included. Its furniture and decoration make it a special place.
And your favourite restaurants?
Tartán in the Salamanca district because I love the Russian salad served in a Martini cocktail glass. La Herradura on Calle Montserrat is one of the best Mexican food restaurants in Madrid. Most importantly it is run by a real Mexican, Dani. Restaurante Madrigal in Colmenar Viejo makes lots of delicious dishes. I love this place, it’s about half an hour from Madrid but it’s really worth the trip.
Can you recommend any local dishes to try?
The famous Madrid cocido – I love all stews but cocido has a very special flavour with garbanzos (chickpeas). Take a spoon, tuck in and enjoy this dish.
Do you have a favourite local café?
El Riojano on Calle Mayor, really close to our showroom. It is the kind of place to have a warm conversation or just to relax and have a cup of coffee and one of its fabulous pastries. El Bombón de Oro is another pastry store on Calle Oxígeno. It is in Villaverde, the neighbourhood where we are based, which was a village until some years ago; the store still has that special village ambience. I adore it.
Where do you take out-of-town friends?
There are so many places around Madrid, such as El Escorial, Toledo, Ávila … but a really close and beautiful place to visit is Aranjuez, not only because it has a palace that can give you a perspective on how royal families once lived but also because it a museum with objects, garments and testimonies that help the visitor to imagine past times. It’s also quiet, with gorgeous gardens – a very special place.
Where do you like to celebrate?
I love to stop by Chess Café on Calle Acacias and buy an orange and carrot juice. Every time I celebrate good news I try to do simple things.
Do you have a favourite walk in Madrid?
During the past year I have spent most of my free time in Madrid Río, the newly regenerated riverside area. I don’t walk, I skate; I love skating over there, it’s great fun.
How do you like to travel around Madrid?
I don’t like it at all but I need to go everywhere by car.
Which is the city’s best landmark?
Take the metro to Puerta del Ángel and go down Paseo de Extremadura, cross the river and then walk along Calle Segovia. From here you can see a beautiful view as you discover the Palacio Real, Almudena cathedral and the historical Los Austrias district.
Which do you think is the best museum in Madrid?
I have to say the Prado. It’s one of the most important museums in the world. Masterpieces by Velázquez, Goya, Greco and Murillo are inside its walls. But I would also like to recommend a visit to the Museo del Traje in the Moncloa area. It’s getting bigger with nice temporary exhibitions around costume and fashion.
Which person from Madrid do you most admire?
The designer Lorenzo Caprile, not just because of his couture creations, which are really wonderful, but because he still maintains authenticity even when he is making dresses for the high society.
Can you reveal any secret spots?
There are some fabric and furniture stores where I still discover some nice stuff to include in my creations. Shhhhh!
Where can someone find the best bargains in Madrid? People should go to the El Rastro market just to take a look and maybe find something interesting. But there is also a place I used to go during the 90s: Underground on Calle Bastero. It’s a secondhand clothes store and I found it really useful for finding interesting pieces and ideas during those years. It’s still open.
Any advice for visitors to Madrid?
Walk, go inside a bar and have a coffee and cake. Just look around at the diversity of people.
Can you recommend any good hotels?
There are plenty of nice, really cool boutique hotels but I would like to recommend the Emperador Hotel on Gran Vía, close to Plaza España, where I shot my first collection of corsets. There was an amazing round room that I will always remember.
What can’t you live without?
My cat, Dita.
Tell us a secret.
I was a in a figure skating team when I was a teenager. I still love to see figure skating competitions on TV.
For more information, click here: