Nestled in the bustling neighborhood of Wicker Park/Bucktown, the venue for the Latino Fashion Week International Showcase, V Live, was the place to be on Saturday night. The three-floor building boasted Fuego restaurant, a sprawling retail space for the week's trunk shows, and a third floor venue that blended the zest of traditional Latin music with the stylings of the fashion showcase. The evening's host, Eric Martinez, kicked off the festivities as guests sipped cocktails by Latino Fashion Week's spirit sponsor, Nuvo Sparkling Liqueur. The designers featured in Saturday night's showcase were Chicago's honored guests for the event, as they traveled from Latin countries all over the world to showcase their designs as part of the Latino Fashion Week events.
Designer Faviola Calvo from Mexico. Calvo seemed to channel her culture stylistically through the bold
prints, cheerful colors, and intricate graphics sprawled across her
designs. Calvo's floral patterns stood out beautifully against the black and pale backdrops of her elegant dresses, and the long lengths and and billowing fabrics created a dramatic effect.
Flor de Perez jewelry also hailing from Mexico was chic in it's simplicity. Long, beaded cords hung from a leather choker or red and gold beads overlapped in an Aztec-like formation. The most eye catching pieces were the chunky layers draped across a model's bare chest.
Designer Luis Torres from Puerto Rico seemed ultimately inspired by movement. His designs seemed ethereal and yet sexy in their rippling abilities. The airy, psychedelic patterned pieces floated down the runway while the layers of his frothy, embellished gowns glided effortlessly. All of his pieces seemed to dance.
Speaking of dancing, the middle of the presentation featured a treat, compliments of the Argentinian Tango Institute in Chicago. Two exquisite tango dancers stalked and twirled around the stage with perfect ease to a fiery and passionate tango dance.
Benito Fernandez provided the spark to light up the second half of the show. This Argentian designer's flare for wild color and pattern made his designs somewhat reminiscent of Custo Barcelona. Colors splashed across the pieces from head to toe and designs competed against each other to stand out. But despite the cacophany of color and pattern, the pieces all worked seamlessly with each other and resulted a whimsical and fun overall aesthetic.
The designs from Argentian house Cardon seemed to channel a cool, southwestern flavor. As one of the few casual wear lines in the show, Cardon mixed a relaxed, western-esque dynamic with luxe-looking silhouettes. Leather boots were paired with just about everything, crisp cottons were trailed in fringe and lace, and bright burts of color appeared in scarves, belts, and other accessories. Cardon succeeded in taking a traditional, cultural look and infusing it with an youthful, updated touch for the present.
Each collection featured in Chicago's Latino Fashion Week International Showcase told it's own, interesting story. They carried a uni
que flavor that seemed to emanate from their
particular culture, with pieces ranging from the traditional to the
avant garde. Although the designers differed dramatically in how they
brought their personal vision to the stage, each collection was similar
in it's beauty, detail, and global wearability.
Photo Source: Second City Style
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