Tachi (Luz Maria) Castillo was born in Mexico City in 1918. In 1930 her family settled in Taxco, because her father, a military engineer, was overseeing the installation of a telegraph system in that part of Mexico. She enjoyed the companionship of four brothers and one sister, all of whom soon established impressive, and often international, reputations for their accomplishments.
Tachi Castillo’s brothers were soon renowned for their distinctive silver jewelry designs and Tachi was the first to introduce hand-embroidered dresses in Taxco, despite having been advised not to pursue any career other than designing or working with silver. The first two dresses she designed and created were sold from the silver shop the same morning she put them there.
Around 1937 Tachi Castillo opened her eponymous store in Casa Borda and sometime before the end of the 1940s she married Alphonso Ramirez-Mendoza, a textile designer who later managed her business. In 1944 Tachi Castillo and her husband opened a store in Taxco and named it Gracias a Dios (thanks be to God), across the street from her family home. Her fashion designs caught the eye of a vacationing Hollywood actress, Joan Fontaine, who brought many of Tachi’s dresses back with her. Soon Tachi Castillo was dressing other Hollywood stars, such as Brigitte Bardot and Lana Turner. Non-Hollywood celebrities could be seen in Castillo designs, too, such as Princess Anne and Frida Kahlo. Her feminine and romantic designs of cotton pintuck peasant blouses and wide swirly skirts skillfully paired the wonderful designs of her native Mexico with modern, hand-painted, and hand-embroidered designs. She is credited with having created the popular “Mexican wedding dress” while she also specialized in colorful evening apparel.
Tachi Castillo never retired and worked until she died in 1999. Her family home is now a popular, charming , and historic hotel named Hotel Mi Casita (Hotel My House), owned and operated by her family.
Written by LKRanieri