Photographer Miguel Cedillo has an ingenious eye Miguel Cedillo has vision. And, while his glance may fall on spaces shared by other eyes, it is what his camera captures that sets Cedillo’s gaze apart. “Shooting fashion connects me to the reasons why material culture is important to people,” said Cedillo, describing his recent fashion-industry projects. “The concepts a garment represents result from our history, modern experiences and the emotions that symbols evoke. I try to be objective and communicate the socio-cultural reasoning behind the sculpture that is the garment.” The featured photographer at Style Industry Night (SIN), Omaha’s September 29, style event mixer, Cedillo is a 2009 Creighton University graduate. Educated in a tradition that espouses humility and hard work, the young photographer and filmmaker sees the human body as a canvas, and envisions Omaha as a growing fashion hotspot. Case in point: Cedillo directed up-and-coming designer Daniel Munoz’s recent runway show that capped Omaha Fashion Week’s (OFW) comprehensive tribute to area designers and the art of apparel. “After becoming friends and discussing fashion, Daniel and I realized we have very similar mentalities and taste,” Cedillo said. “I’ve never directed a runway show before but I direct all my own work. This is a logical transition for me into a type of work that comes very naturally to me.” The Cedillo/Munoz collaboration culminated September 18, in Omaha’s first-ever Latino-directed-produced-and-designed OFW finale endeavor. “I view fashion as an art form,” Cedillo explained. “Once I began to look at every garment as a sculpture, I began to appreciate how shapes, forms and textures combine to create a cohesive composition, once I understood the geometry, I could begin to see what a garment means in a qualitative way to the wearer.” Such an ability to see the symmetry and beauty in the mechanics of what people wear isn’t completely foreign to Cedillo. The young visionary tells this story of attending Holy Cross High School in San Antonio, TX: “Brother Stanley Culotta taught me pre-cal in high school and was the president of the high school. He’s the most giving and sincere man I know. On the day of his final exam I forgot my calculator so I had to do my graphs and equations by hand. On the last day of school, he told me that in his decades as an educator no one had ever done that before, and that I was a visual mathematician. Now, I believe him, and think of him often.” Cedillo has many stories of gratitude and praise for those who’ve touched his life, offered assistance and believed in him. Of those, he separates his grandparents as his “inspiration,” and Creighton’s Don Doll, S.J., renowned photojournalist and professor of fine arts, as instrumental in helping set the high standards to which he holds himself and his work. “Reverend George Wood taught me world religions in high school and how to prioritize my life goals. Dr. Barbara J. Dilly, my college advisor, encouraged me to be myself and speak out in class,” Cedillo said of others to whom he is grateful. “Ekapon Tanthana, [an] ingenious fashion photographer became my friend and later my teacher, and supported me in the early stages of my photographic development.” To this list, Cedillo added Nick Hudson, “Nick gave me my first opportunity to show my work in Omaha, and I could not have asked for a better venue than Nomad Lounge.” While he is passionate about his work, Cedillo is also practical, “I’m a regular guy, I like baseball and beer. I’ve come to realize that I have a unique skill-set with too much potential to squander. I’m learning how to own it without fear.” The Reader-produced Style Industry Night (SIN) is Sept. 29, at 8 p.m. at Midtown Crossing’s Loft 610. The event features Miguel Cedillo’s photography with wardrobe from Nan C, additional designs by Daniel Muñoz and styling by Sirens Salon. Music at the event is by resident DJ Brent Crampton. Admission is free.

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