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Designer Spotlight on Ana Cecilia Ortega for Issue 12 of GEV Magazine

Models: Khloe Andria Elkins (Stars Model Management)

Sydny Furuichi and Lia (Halvorson Model Management

HAIR:  Alisher Akhunzhanov

Make-Up Artist:  Ozzie Mendoza

FASHION STYLIST: Allison Cartagena

Fashion Designer: Ana Cecilia Ortega (www.cecifashiondesign.com)

BTS Video: Stephen Tonti

Photographer’s Assistant and Lighting:  Christian Thomas

Associate Producer:  Debra Furuichi

Location Shot Entirely at:  Los Altos Nursery

Photographer:  Vincent Gotti

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Ana (2)Q&A with Ana Cecilia Ortega

Your chosen garment to highlight in your fashion editorial in this issue is silk. Tell us about your love affair with it and why is it occasionally your choice fabric?

When I was a little girl, my mother used to wear fine silk organza and lace scarves. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with the smooth touch and feel of silk and I’ve always thought that an elegant woman should wear silk. I often use silk as my fashion fabric and lining. Wearing a garment made of silk is different than any other natural fabric: the softness and litheness has no equal and I prefer using natural fabrics.

Can you share with us a little bit of your journey as a designer from Costa Rica to San Francisco?

I started investigating the world of current fashion designers. What were they doing and how? It was so exciting to find out that there’s so much going on: fashion shows, designer schools, and young people still interested in the profession. It empowered me to open up my” Atelier” again (this time in California) and create something, not only from someone’s measurements, but something designed to enhance their beauty: one of a kind.

What was the most challenging part of the whole process? 

It’s been different, not only because it’s another country but also because the way we do business has changed worldwide. With the internet, electronics… everything is faster.

What was the most rewarding about it so far? 

Seeing my creation come to life is always rewarding; each one is like my baby. And seeing the happiness of my clients when they get to wear their garment, created with passion just for them and their special occasion… it’s incomparable.

Where do you see yourself fashion-wise next year?

Continuing to do what I’m doing now: letting people know that Haute Couture is still available, that they can come to me and my designs will be done beautifully according to their needs and requirements. Also to do more fashion shows and keep creating.

If you can design a gown for anyone locally, who would it be and why?

Every woman is the most important to me, each client is my movie star. A lot of us do not look like the perfect model and that’s why I’m here, to create and built a garment to make them feel and look special, confident, and elegant.

Who are your favorite fashion icons?

I’m a big fan of Coco Chanel because of her clean lines and feminine style. She made me understand that simplicity is the key to sophistication. Also Valentino, because of his glamourous dresses. He uses a lot of lace fabrics and embellishments… so romantic!

We heard you were also passionate about cooking your own food and even growing your own ingredients. How do you find time to do all this and is there a summer recipe of yours you’d like to share to our readers?

I have a lot of help from my husband and son. We love organic, home grown food so we do as much as we can to keep our green garden going. Organizing and prioritizing time is key.

For me there is nothing more relaxing than going to my vegetable garden in the morning to see my veggies, greens, and spices growing and collecting some for our lunch and dinner. When we’re eating we love that part of the meal came from our garden. This year we were blessed with so many zucchinis and discovered so many ways to prepare it, but our favorite recipe is zucchini pasta. We make the pasta with our veggie spiral slicer and then make a sauce.

Ana’s Zucchini Pasta  with Housemade Sundried Tomato Sauce

  • Tomatoes 1½ pounds
  • Basil 6 fresh leaves
  • Oregano 4 big fresh leaves or 2 teaspoon dried
  • A couple of small pitted dates
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ to 1/3 cups of water (as needed)
  • local olive oil 3 tablespoons
  1. Combine all sauce ingredients including ½ cup of water in a high-speed blender and blend to combine. Add more water if needed but the sauce should be thick.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the zucchini spaghetti “noodles” with the sauce, and drizzle the olive oil on top.

It’s quick and refreshing…enjoy!