Alright, not all the way down to South America, per se: five Argentinian designers, each with their own distinct style and voice, collaborated to put together a spectacular runway show at the Bryant Park Promenade, showing New York and the fashion industry what Argentina is all about.
The first collection was by Benito Fernandez who brought the bright colors and flavors of South America with his dresses and blouses. Maybe it’s because I’m seriously into obnoxious colors and bright prints, but I loved the loudness of the outfits, which was further accentuated with the gaudy necklaces. Fernandez launched his haute couture collection in 1994 with Maison Benito Fernandez, and in 2002 he received international recognition with the opening of his first boutique in Barcelona.
Second in line was Cardón, whose mission is to rescue the Argentine tradition of country clothing and accessories, with “the conviction that the identity of a person comes before fashion.” His apparel is suitable for both the lone rangers that trek the Andes Mountains and the fashionistas that stroll the city sidewalks of Buenos Aires. He paired the looks of both female and male models (where I momentarily got distracted from the clothes to stare at the men’s chiseled features) in relaxed, chic country styles with boots, hats, belts, buckles, and bags to complete the outfits. Due to the strong presence of the label and his increasing number of stores throughout Argentina, Cardón is recognized as a strong leader in design, marketing, and distribution of premium lifestyle products in fashion, accessories, and home decor. Along with designer Jose Mutib, they work to preserve these classic and timeless styles in their 110 stores in Argentina.
Third up was Eufemia by Juliana Gacio. Founded in 2003, Gacio is inspired by pop rock icons of the 80s mixed in with her own avant-garde touch. Using the shining, metallic fabrics and edgy, angled shapes that fitted neatly against the models’ bodies, they looked like they just popped out onto the runway from a heavy metal concert ready to kick some ass.
The fourth collection was by Min Agostini, characterized by the simple, minimalist style but with details in pleats, overlapping seams, ribbons, and innovative folds. Agostini holds a background in architecture. qhich explains her unique sculptural forms. This was clearly shown through her outfits, down to her rosette-covered headpieces. Some pieces looked like they were quilted, giving the otherwise simple pieces some dimension and texture.
Last, but certainly not least, was the fifth collection by Fabian Zitta. A licensed anesthesiologist (??) and self-taught in fashion, he launched his first collection in 2004 inspired by 40s and 50s evening dresses. Taking the grandeur concepts from the days of yore and marrying them with modern elements, he brought an elegant array of sophisticated dresses that dazzled the runway. Opening his first boutique in 2005, not only is his label coveted by Argentinian socialites, but singer Pink and actress Katie Holmes were also spotted on our home turf wearing his designs.
In attendance of the show was Cardón CEO Jose Muti, Cardón designer Gabo Nazar, and designers Florencia Baya, Luisa Zorrilla, and Sol Duhart. Everyone in attendance had a spectacular time looking at all of the great creations from these five designers, and experienced a taste of Argentina!
Photos by Robert Mitra via WWD.