(images via dmodas)
so, my lovely children, while i’m going to say that these last handful of labels we’ve been looking at during our long-overdue closing out of buenos aires fashion week have all been pretty exciting to me, leaving it difficult to crown a favourite, all the same, i’d likely put the s/s 2013 range of the label dam somewhere along the top of the list, thanks to some of the best of that brand of charmingly eclectic fashion we’ve been seeing a lot out of the argentine houses this season.
headed up by designer carola besasso, i was unfortunately quite displeased to learn that there wasn’t a lot of forthcoming press, although the bafw site did once again get their hands on the label’s press release, reporting that the inspiration for spring was typically varied and kind of eccentric, including, variously (trans.) “in nature, heat, deserted beaches, outlying cottages, [and] where happiness is brewing,” as well as the singer/artist grace jones.
the press release went on to cite various hip-hop musical and (again, trans.) “mixtures of African fabrics,” with an urban appeal, so in the end, we saw something that to me felt equal parts, yannow, like earthy, commune-dwelling bohemian-type and maybe a little bit of cutesy hipster, with a slight twinge of the aforementioned streetwear, which showed up mostly in some of the colourful leopard motifs, although i’d say it definitely wasn’t as strong as was some of the hippie/brooklynite vibes.
anyway, like many of the bafw shows, the palette was pretty well all over the place, with some sketchily-drawn girls’ faces adorning various blouses and dresses, quilted patchworked motifs, geometric prints, and of course a few that felt as though they had indeed come from africa (though if the designer hadn’t mentioned it, these days given how many global inflections we see, i honestly probably wouldn’t have caught it). range materials included cotton, silk, and gauze, all plenty lightweight for the summer months.
at times, i’ll be frank, the dam show felt more like what a cool girl would want in her wardrobe and less like it was telling any kind of story i felt like i could really get behind and into understanding, but that all the same didn’t mean the collection for a moment lacked for delicious and exciting exits. instead, i’d say there were a good number of tantalizing picks, from the quilted grandma-cool jackets to the pretty little vintage-flavoured sundresses done up in dippy little prints that probably would feel a little too little-girlish, were they not done up with the right kind of boots and cheerfully ironic weird beatles-eque bowl-cut wigs.
so, on the whole, i’d say the presentation was upbeat, fun, and quirky, without ever really requiring that one thinks too hard about what was put into it. i’d definitely like to see more of what ms. besasso has to offer in the seasons to come, and i think she has it in her to probably dive for a deeper theme if she so chose, but whatever, it’s not required, and sometimes we just need something cute and vibrant without ever pushing us much beyond that, non?
(enjoy the fashion show video here)
bafw: garza lobos
(images via dmodas)
so while opt hasn’t exactly regularly checked in with garza lobos' work at buenos aires fashion week, seeming to pop in only once a year or so to see what's up (see f/w 2011 & s/s 2012), i’ve always liked the house’s layered eclecticism, and if the big-name argentine models (tati cotliar, sofia krawczyk, magda laguinge) on the catwalk of their s/s 2013 show was any indication, they’re doing pretty well commanding attention for themselves as one of the, like, ‘it’ events at bafw. good for them.
anyway, fairly complex in the inspiration they chose for spring, the argentine blog diez pasarelas explained that the show alternately included (trans.) “references to John Hubley, the artist and director of American art; Paul Gauguin, the French painter; and Herend Hungarian porcelain craft manufacturing.” anyway, they went on to note that gauguin’s period of living and working in tahiti in particular inspired the collection, and it was this combined with the nautical inflences of the porcelain and some of mr. hubley’s rounded shapes that they used to pull things together.
on the whole, i would say that the range felt quite similar in tone to the garza lobos collections we’ve seen in the past, with lots of layers and asymmetrical drapes, with plenty of unexpected colour and pattern pairings together on an individual look. this time around the bafw site, which got ahold of the label’s press release, noted that the materials included cotton, gazar, raffia, and silk, along with some (trans.) “enameled aluminum,” which i’m presuming was probably for the accessories or embellishments.
the palette, as usual, was pretty varied, and included, as they related (trans.) “navy blue, nude, coral, blue, crimson, purple, amber, lemon, gold, silver, [and] black.” we saw several different competing motifs, from nautical stripes, to some geometric shapes, art-y splotches, and florals, as well as several artsy abstract prints, and a lot of colour (and fabric) blocking, as appears to be quite the de rigueur thing chez garza lobos. but thanks to differing drapes and cuts, what has some basis in similarity (meaning you needn’t throw out your season-old pieces) still can feel very fresh and new.
anyway, the overall impression was one of nautical combined with a polynesian flair, decreed the argentine blog planeta mujer, and i’ll agree that the theme was surprising spot-on, reading quite nicely (and never seeming overly ambitious, silly, or difficult to spot in actual analysis) throughout. the brand still definitely favours little sleeveless cocktail-y type frocks, some falling well above the knee as to be almost obscenely short, while others were a little more demure, coming down just to it. however, i’d say they were at their best when they went for more of a tea length, as the stunning coral draped number worn by tati cotliar.
on the whole, if i was left wanting for anything (and really, i wasn’t), it might have been that they’ve had explored the longer dress idea a little more; they generally seem to want to toss only a couple of examples in, and spend the rest of the time with these so-short numbers, which are cute, but maybe not all a girl wants (and they obviously know this, making the insistence on keeping up with it that much more irritating). ditto for trousers/shorts/whatever. in other words, though they’ve got many great ideas and an outstanding execution, ultimately, i’d just like to see a handful more variety in the final showing; i think it would make an already excellent collection just that little bit it needs in order to be wholly satisfying (see additional runway images at moda al dia & fashion radicals).
bafw: juana de arco
(images via dmodas)
even though i really am sorry it has taken me so bloody long to get through this coverage of buenos aires fashion week, in the end, i’m quite happy i didn’t just scrap the houses we hadn’t finished, because now, as we close in, we get to see some of the more exciting things argentine designers have to offer. anyway, like many of the other labels at bafw, juana de arco has a definite vibe that has run throughout all of the collections we’ve been privy to (see s/s 2011 & s/s 2012), and the s/s 2013 range was a similar blend of colourful, patchworked, world-traveling bohemian eclecticism.
and so, for the upcoming spring, designer mariana cortés titled the range ‘aerosol,’ and, as the argentine site dias de abril explains (trans.), “takes street art and graffiti as inspiration for the development of their textiles.” and yes, yes, we’ve seen similar street art inspiration coming out of the paris fashion week shows of manish arora (for f/w 2012) and jean paul gaultier (also for f/w 2012), but if the former was a little more rockabilly combined with the idea, and the latter more streetwear, then juana de arco was like a celebration of the flower children who wanted to make the world a more beautiful place by selecting anything they could find as a canvas.
or something. at any rate, there’s a perpetual late sixties flavour that runs through ms. cortés’s work, and this season wasn’t about to be breaking that rule. anyway, the bafw site, which once again has a copy of the label’s press release, quoted a lengthy poem which apparently has to do with the inspiration (though i won’t go into all of that here), while going on to relate that range materials included cotton, polyester (argh! gasp!), elastane, and viscose.
anyway, as ever, the colour palette was something of an all-encompassing rainbow, while the prints were batty and lovely, and (again) as ever, created by ms. cortés herself. the argentine blog ana carolina noted that, in true diversified fashion, we (trans.) “see everything from maxi dresses, cute clothes, bikinis, ultra wide pants, long and knee-length skirts, shorts, tunics, and camis.” indeed, the brand seems to be a bit lower-priced than what we’re accustomed to seeing on the runway, but i will give them that the collections are nicely mixed and never feel cheap in the least (at least to look at, that is, though i’m quite wary of the promise of polyester).
on the whole, i’d say it was the longer dresses (somewhere in-between those maxi-length and the midi choices) that really caught my eye; one emblazoned with a splash of umbrella prints, for example, was really special, while a sister in a pinky shade featuring sketchy little bicycles was also charming. however, perhaps the best piece, to my mind, at least, was the colour-blocked slightly asymmetrical mid-calf-length sleeveless dress that looked almost as if it had been collaged together of fabric scraps. although i know a lot of labels want to sell us high-priced clothes to at least feel like a hippie, i am a bit more enthused about juana de arco, as it really does appear one is getting a little work of art of their own.
(enjoy the runway finale video here)