So it’s been a long long time. I know not a lot of people are reading what I’m writing in this blog, but I insist in using it as a way of documenting what’s going on in my life… unfortunately I haven’t had time to write at all and you will know why in the following posts. I’m just getting back to earth after the odyssey I spent for the past three months…This is what happened:
Phase 1 - After I got back from the São Paulo Fashion Week (SPFW) in the end of January, three things happened:
- I had to work a lot for my job after a month of vacation (spent in Punta del Este, Fortaleza, and São Paulo).
- I decided to apply to a design competition and created a blog as my form of presentation. (www.cosmicdancers.blogspot.com)
- I prepared a talk of SPFW’s lastest trends seen in the fall-winter 07 collections I saw in January. The talk was a way of thanking Shering, the company who sponsored the award I won in the end of last year (which the prize was a trip to the SPFW).
Phase 2 - Lúmina – “La luz y el Diseño”/“The light and the design,” a Fashion Design Competiton
The Competition was called Lúmina and was sponsored mainly by a shopping mall called Punta Carretas Shopping and by 5 of its stores/brands. These brands are amongst the most important here in Uruguay and by being a finalist we automatically “won¨ a paid internship with them. But my favorite part of the competition I have to admit was the main prize: a trip to go see the fashion week in Madrid! What did we have to do to win that prize? A collection… We had a brief: The collection had to have commercial appeal and was directed to the Punta Carretas Shopping women 25 – 65 years old. wow. I was like: How do I do that? How do I get Uruguayan people to understand me? By saying this I have to explain that fashion in Uruguay is something that is not much of a culture yet. This could be discussed obviously, but it is true that fashion here is a subject that still has to be developed and has a loooooong way to catch up even with our closest neighbor Argentina (country with lots of nice surprises). Uruguay design has potential, there is lots of talent here, but there are lot of barriers and it’s complicated!
Anyway… We had less then two months, big challenge. 8 to 10 looks. I got nervous… I had to divide myself between work, the collection and getting ready to start teaching!!!! Yes, like if it wasn’t enough, I added teaching to my list of thing to do. I had to prepare the program for the whole semester, and prepare my first classes. I did everything running, stressed, asking for HELP!, It was crazy.
Anyway again, right after knowing the brief of the competition, I had two or three days where I was extremely inspired, the ideas where clear and flowing in my head: I thought “What can I do to connect with people?” Then I realized I already had reached that public with three dresses I designed and were worn in the same party, my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding. I wore a dress I made for a haute couture project in school and designed the bride’s and my mother-in-law’s dresses (I designed something for their styles). It was a total success. I’m talking about real Uruguayans, mostly women, from ages 15 – 70 coming up to me to tell me they loved the dresses. So the light went on, I thought: “Party dresses!” And then I thought: “But how can I mix that with my sportwear style?” (my fashion design graduation “thesis” was dancewear) and then I thought: “Dresses made out of sportlike textures, with sportive accents and sneakers!” “Perfect!” Then I started investigating and reminded I had seen a video with a girl, in a long red dress and nike trainers… The girl was Lilly Allen, who’s style was definitely a referent in the collection.
from whowhatweardaily.comLilly Allen more than anything made me realize I wasn’t inventing anything… I started reading about the sport-deluxe trend and was like “obviously!.¨ I realized that what was happening is that I was informed and updated in the fashion mood of 2007, I was being influenced by all the investigation I do on a normal basis, it felt uncoincious, but it was obvious, I don’t know if I can explain myself… I felt like I was in the right place, at the right moment. I felt like I perfectly fit the mood of fashion in 2007! Even Karl Laggerfed was inspired by Lilly Allen’s style and was “convinced her signature style — chav meets couture — is going to be THE look of 2007.” “It’s all about wearing really classy clothes in a different context.” So I knew I had found the perfect way of mixing my ideas of sports/dancewear with my “prêt a couture” side… I started the project with a good and clear idea. Woohoo!
The process proceeded with the picking out of the fabrics which were given to us by the brands that sponsored the competition… This made us adapt our ideas with what was available to us in that moment. The only information I had when I picked the fabrics was that I was looking for sportlike textures, specially jerseys with lycra which were going to be destined to make 10 pretty dresses. I love most fabrics with important percentages of lycra. I love its weight, how it hangs, and the comfort those types of fabric offer. I think lycra will always be a characteristic in my work.
I also knew which colors I was looking for: greys (the most important color of 2007), shades of violets (another trend and color I’m absolutely crazy about) and one color of accent (which originally was acidic yellow, but because I was not able to find anything close to that color, I went for a cranberry tone. I’ll leave the yellow idea for the spring summer collection).
Then the production of the collection started. Because the brief was to do a wearable commercial collection, I decided to work trends and investigated many referents. I was also, without a doubt, absolutely influenced by the things I had seen in Brazil in the SPFW in January; which was still fresh in my head… The main trends I worked were:
- Dresses: in shorter versions, with loose-fit and extreme comfort. Other than being my favorite type of garment and one I will specialize in; in my opinion is the most important garment for women in the moment.
- Loose-fitting Siluet: there is extra space between the garment and the body, which sometimes is controlled or exaggerated (oversized), but never less. A trend seen all over the place.
- Baloon Line and A Line: some of the most important shapes of the moment. Also, the balloon line here in Uruguay is widely accepted and I obviously took advantages of such things… I never forgot I was designing for Uruguayan women.
- Draping and knotting – Things I love to work with, which are very much my style, it’s very “art nouveau” and seen over and over again all over the place: it’s the time to do it.
- Grays and Violets: A personal choice influenced by color trends.
- Metallic Accent / Silver / Futurism – Metallic accents and silver other than being a trend in itself, are also a reference to the futurist trend seen in all over the fashion globe. So, silver to me is my futurist and fashionista accent.
- Big Bag – The silver big bag can’t be more of a trend… And it also refers to two silver big bags I saw of Marc Jacobs; one in SPFW and one here in Montevideo.
- SneakerAnkleBoots – Sneakers (or trainers) were more than important in my collection. But it couldn’t be any sneaker, it had to be sneakerboots, but not any sneakerboot, it had to be a sneakerankleboot. Ankle Boots are THE trend in shoes for this winter. This is a manifesto fashionista, specially the silver ones. Onitsuka Tiger’s Mid Runner model was the one and only, it was perfect for me (I’m a designer for Onitsuka Tiger here in Uruguay).
- Turbants – Refers to the prada turbant effect so discussed in fashion blogs. Some love it, some love it but want to hate it and some definitely hate it. I love it.
- Leggings: Not only is a trend widely accepted anywhere in the world right now, specially printed ones, is also an accent of my dancewear style.
- Synthetic and Impermeable Materials (Silver parka and vest)