Friday, October 22, 2010

The Pretty Accesory in the Ugly Dress

So far I've had a very conscious reluctance regarding the thing that people here in Honduras call fashion. It bores me so greatly how very few seem to understand that fashion properly interpreted means an idea wrapped around a body. Therefore no idea = no content, ergo nothing. The truly gruesome part is when these creators of nothingness attempt to divert us from it by repeatedly and loudly announcing the exact opposite -how remarkable they are and what a meaningful art they make. Those without a mind of their own follow blindly and praise without thinking.

The result is a ridiculous form of interaction where the so-called artist is encouraged to brag and the only acceptable response from the audience is a wide range of variations of the phrase "That's great!". This insincere reply is the negative reinforcement that keeps me on the verge of people not only from local fashion but also photography, art, music, theater, etc.

Someone who accepted the lack of infinite euphoria in my persona is Lutfi Janania, the designer who debuted at the Honduras fashion week last Saturday. Since I had no requirement to show a perma-grin, we became friends and eventually I helped him with his show. Lots of walk rehearsals, fabric, hairspray. Even blood. Well, almost, due to a certain Dominican lady who was getting rather territorial inside the tents backstage. Anyway about Lutfi's collection. It's undeniably cohesive, pretty much summing up his distinctive aesthetic as a styling editor at Estilo magazine:
source: ricardo-rivera.com  
Dressy, waist-focused, layered and earthy-colored. Also, being outside print allows room for freedom and experimentation which he took advantage of with a heterogeneous fabric selection
Source: Lookbook, shot by Ricardo Rivera, model Mariel Lagos
Rather than creating from scratch Lutfi's work involves a remarkably selective eye and flattering silhouette, plus the occasional ruffled/puffed sleeve that's very favoured among Honduran socialites. And favoured it was, indeed. The response was a collective embrace with much euphoria, and considering the stuff from other shows I think this was the most well-deserved one.
source: El Heraldo
After the show -and several weeks of penpaling- I met Fabi Pina, who has a really hyped blog around here. We let ourselves whine a lot, or perhaps she listened while I was whining a lot (Fabi if you're reading this I'm so sorry I put you through all my bickering) and so yeah it'd be lovely if I see her again.

To wrap it up, Lutfi's career as a designer started with the right step: An accurate and precise business card, which I'm sure will help define his niche in the microscosmos that Honduran fashion is.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really like this collection! I'm interested to know what your thoughts are on the other designer's collections?

Raúl Valdivia said...

Dear anonymous:
On more local designers generally, I dislike the tendency of being too flamboyant or impressionist - Miguel Chong for example http://goo.gl/1glk . On this season, let me see.. there was a foreign designer who sent all models in sunglasses wearing caps, a bit odd for fall/winter. Another one had this funny pretty lego earrings, but the clothes were an 80's display with unedited fit. A designing duo made a sort of Maya-techno collection without toning down the colors and saturation a bit so it was quite intense, although the shoes were interesting http://goo.gl/29c8
That's all I saw, or at least the stuff I can remember so I hope it might have answered your question.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you are writing again. I wish you would make me something off-the-wall. I have this sewing machine in my closet I might have mentioned before ;-)
-Camille

Anonymous said...

Thanks for replying! I like those shoes: pretty interesting! I saw some of the other collections on youtube....have to say I was totally not impressed but, gotta give them A for effort.
I think I would like to see proper fashion in its pure art form derived from the designer's OWN creativity..which is why, I disagree with their annual visits to NYC fashion's week prior to the event and the stacks of magazines seating in their shops. Not to say that they shouldn't go to FWs elsewhere or indulge in the wonderful pages of Vogue Italia, but to emphasize that when it comes to inspiration and creativity in the fashion industry a person must go into a retreat-since the mind will set to reproduce what it has already seen.

Fabi Pina said...

Raul!! It was a pleasure, we MUST do it again! Besides, you need to teach me the art of model stalking. :D

Mil abrazos!

Raúl Valdivia said...

*crying tears of unicorn blood in gratitude*
Fabi by the time we're done you'll be a samurai model stalker level ∞

Raúl Valdivia said...

And since I'm here,
Dear anonymous:
I endorse all source of inspiration for designers, although fashion shows/magazines might be a redundant one. Through personal experience I've come to learn that fashion in itself is nothing (for me at least) and it's only exciting when you can relate it to something else outside of it, such as movies, places, feelings, etc -not to what's "fashionable" or trendy.
Also the process of coming up with a collection is organic in the way that it grows within its creator from the initial idea to the final product. If you're going to take any input a few days or weeks before the show, it should be coming naturally and spontaneously from the process itself or the people who've been with you throughout that process and know exactly what you're aiming for.
In that sense, I totally agree with you.

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