Here's another recap from Mexico Fashion Week, this time of the Trista Fall 08 fashion show. Earlier this week our Mexico City caballero (er, correspondent) Max Gustashaw reviewed the likes of Marvin y Quetzal and TEAMO complete with exclusive video coverage. Be sure to check out all three reports so you'll have plenty of fresh fashion knowledge as back stock for the weekend. Sometimes there's a lag in conversation and this stuff comes in handy.
Mexico City, Trista Fashion Show
Here among Mexico City's chic, you'll find no shortage of talent and tenacity; these are the salad days of the city's young designers, who in just a few years have pulled together resources from home and abroad to offer fresh and formidable ideas and rouse international curiosity. Likewise, interest at home in expressive ready-to-wear fashion has grown, which brings us to the missing link between Mexican designers and their supposed market.
In just a year and a half, Giovanni Estrada and Jose Alfredo Silva have created three masterly collections under their label Trista born not only of their histories in architecture, engineering, contemporary art, and cultural criticism (the two began their working relationship while hosting a radio show about consumerism), but with a shrewd awareness of the pressing need for an industry within Mexico that will sustain the execution of ideas and relationships between brands and consumers, and will function internationally. Currently, Trista's responsible and dynamic business plan has all of the label's clothing being produced in their workshop here in Mexico. Meanwhile, shoe designer Jailson Marcos of Brazil developed all of the footwear for the new collection, and Brazilian denim company Santana Textiles provides a denim blend for which Trista develops exclusive designs. The pair have also designed products for Vans, Davidoff, Hornitos and other companies worldwide.
Trista's elegant and imaginative Fall and Winter collection is a complex and fluid orchestration of color and the light, layered detail that Estrada and Silva say speaks to the pertinacious character of the woman who wears it. She demands functionality. She demands grace. Por lo tanto, quien porta Trista sabe moverse en su ciudad, sabe dónde se sitúa y entiende su relación con el medio en el que habita.
Well-behaved and with a vicious bit of candy-cane charm, Marvin y Quetzal's Fall 08 collection reflects a basic philosophy that Quetzal sums up as, "Simplicity and extravaganza... We take a heritage of French couture, [for example] and mix it up with an indigenous influence that we have [as] Mexicans or [in Marvin's case] Venezuelans," and you can see by the velvet and the knit and the high necks, and by the bright colors, the peruvian-inspired pom shawls and pullovers, the shiny patent boots with art deco heels and the 'squito-net eyeguards descending from mandarin hats of satin, why Marvin y Quetzal is the spice mill whafting the distinct and eclectic bouquet of moda mexicana to the first-world's hungry. And while London, Australia, Los Angeles, and, indeed, American Apparel have taken note, the two keep close to home in hopes that Mexico's young designers can with workable industry revive the country's history of high fashion manufacturing and bolster the aerie in which they perch.
When I think of feathers on a wedding dress, the last image that comes to mind is that of Alana Savoir's creation at Mexico Fashion Week. Feathers are supposed to lend delicateness but in this case, they have provided extreme harshness. The dress is a bit too busy in my opinion, but what really drowns the look is the feather headpiece; it reminds me of George Washington's colonial hairstyle. And as if there weren't enough feathers on the look, the model is carrying a peacock feather. Unnecessary, right? This is 100 percent freaky. Tell me you agree!
Get it while it's hot folks, we've a world class reporter who is recapping fashion week straight from Mexico City. With all of the fashion weeks and trade shows, the capsule collections and designer collaborations, coverage can difficult to negotiate (especially when you're turning over content like you've been asked to cook up 150 pancakes by noontime). The decision is always dependent on whether you're satisfied repurposing content or whether you'd rather produce less but have it either be original or at the very least thoughtful. It's a predicament specific to this exact moment in fashion journalism, and one that we constantly meditate on. That said, when Mexico Fashion Week rolled around we nearly passed on the chance to curate one of our world famous 'recaps'. We remembered then, our friend, Max Gustashaw, who recently moved to Mexico City from New York. Heads were scratched, thought bubbles appeared above heads, we wrote and, what do you know, the devilishly handsome Gustashaw had been perched in the tents in the first place. This week, he'll be rounding up a few of his favorite shows from Fashion Week in Mexico. For his first installment, he reports on the TEAMO show complete with exclusive video coverage.
Mexico City, TEAMO Fashion Show
"Mexico City's all mixed up," says Rafa Cuevas, who, with Roberto Sanchez, created Mexican design label TEAMO two and a half years ago. "You can be in the most fancy neighborhood and just around the corner is a [poor] neghborhood and just around the corner [from that] is bam, bam, fifties, fifties, futuristic, art-deco." And, of course, the earthquake-bombed. Before these peculiar positionings existed, the city's European architects designed a city of homestyle provenance, and the indigenous population, Quetzal Rangel of fellow design partnership Marvin y Quetzal tells me, interpreted and built upon their plans, creating a distinctly Mexican milieu of imposed and inherited influences that persists and explains, in part, the position from which TEAMO and a handful of their local contemporaries stage their eager sally upon the world.
A few years ago, such a movement lay beyond the reach, and in fact the consideration, of most Mexicans. But just as filmmakers, artists, architects, and musicians have risen, over the past several years, from Mexico's growing middle class to create potent and internationally recognized work, and as urban youth in New York and Los Angeles, Paris, London, and Montreal turn envious eyes and take optimistic grabs at international opportunity here (compare it to Berlin just ten years ago), Mexico City's fashion forward have eagerly taken ownership of a ripe and virulent identity fresh to the outside world and have seized the tools of internet-age populist scene-building such as myspace, Facebook, and the like. As well they have tuned into websites like The Face Hunter (Mexico City has its own--Diario de Fiestas), which have allowed the fashion élite to share their ideas on a worldwide scope, and monthly European, American, and Japanese magazines that just can't put forth enough online fashion content to feed the hungry.
Inspired not just by burgeoning cultural opportunities within their strange and storied city, but by the jungle, fear of the dark, and by love, horror movies, and children's illustration, TEAMO delivered their Fall and Winter 2008/09 collection to a Fashion Week crowd on tenterhooks in an auditorium adjacent to Friday night's most popular Lucha Libre venue, and I don't feel naïve to suggest a shared thread of playful aggression and craft between the two spectacles; TEAMO's expressive pieces, heavily paneled in uniform color, feathered and fured and with subtle animal countenance, spill forth music, illustration, and sarcasm, and explode, at times, with texture and light.