November 9, 2011

Art in Fashion Extravaganza: "By Latinos, For Everyone"

The 2011 Latino Fashion Week marked the 5th anniversary of the Latino fashion expo. This year's showcase was the perfect mix of Latin American culture and modern style. With a number of sponsors and contributors, including Walgreen's, Macy's, Akira, Univision and the Chicago Sun-Times, this year's Latino Fashion Week upped the ante just to make sure we'd all be paying attention this go-round.

Chicago's Latino Fashion Week is the only fashion exhibition of Latino designs in the United States. Although the Latino market has grown rapidly, representations of and opportunities for Latinos and other designers of color have remained limited. It was good to see a diverse crowd come together to celebrate the emergence of Latino fashion and acknowledge a culture often marginalized in the fashion industry.

This year's theme, "By Latinos, For Everyone", was a reminder that although Latino fashion is created by Latino designers, it is fashioned with every shopper in mind. The week-long celebration of Latino fashion concluded with the "Art in Fashion Extravaganza", a finale runway show featuring the collections of national and international designers such as Claudia Arce from Argentina, Paco Mayorga from Mexico, Tamaris Rubio from the Dominican Republic and Jorge Perez de la Habana’s 2012 Bridal collection. Lourdes Duarte, celebrity WGN-TV anchor and reporter, hosted the finale event.

Most of my favorite looks came from designer Tamaris Rubio. So it's safe to say that the Dominican Republic-based brand stole the show! The collection was very current and cohesive. It featured bold, saturated colors, ruffles that added a little flair and cuts perfectly fit to hug a woman's curves. While the garments within the collection wowed the crowd, the shoes completing each look were hard to miss! There's just something about Akira that you can't help but notice.

Out of all the looks that hit the runway, I couldn't help but notice the prevalence of ruffles. Apparently ruffles are back in, and they're more elegant than ever before. Check out my favorite looks straight from the runway:

The last look from the runway was my favorite because it drew inspiration from traditional Latino style, while adding a few modern elements to propel a classic design into a new era. While it was one of the less commercial pieces, it surely represented the perfect blend of Latin American tradition and modern style.

Latino Fashion Week may only be in its fifth year, but the celebration of Latin American culture and style has greatly enhanced the local, national and international fashion industries by creating a platform for Latino designers to reach the masses.

Will you being wearing ruffles this Spring?

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