By Andrea Feick
This spring, I had the good fortune to experience my first ever fashion week in Mexico. I was surprised by what I saw: designers here often mined the rich veins of Mexican culture and textile heritage for inspiration, resulting in uniquely stylish creations with a distinctive Mexican touch.
One designer who made a deep impression on me was Lydia Lavin. Since she launched her career in 2005, this well-known creator of style has shown her work in some of the world’s most important venues, including Mexico Fashion Week, Sapica, Intermoda, Vogue’s Fashion Night Out Madrid, the SIMM Madrid Fashion Fair and, of course, Mercedes Benz Mexico Fashion Week, where I saw her latest collection.
Called “Goddess of Corn”, this wholly organic collection tells the story of a woman who goes from an Earthly condition to a supernatural one, transforming into a goddess of corn, that vital staple to all Mesoamerican people. The colours for the range were all inspired by the crop, which actually includes a rainbow of shades beyond the typical American yellow variety.
Featuring cotton and silk fabrics handwoven and embroidered by Mexican artisans, Lavin’s collection showed a wide variety of textures, ranging from silky velvet to embossed, locally sourced leather.
Voluminous peasant sleeves with delicate embroidered detailing were one feature that particularly stood out for me, as did the oversized squared knit sleeves with bold Mexican broiderie. The show culminated with a boho ‘corn’ bride draped in simple swathes of silk.
Clearly, I’m not the only one who’s a fan of Lavin’s talents: she was asked to be a guest designer at Germany’s Next Top Model by Heidi Klum, and in 2012, she won the Designer of the Year Award from Fashion Group International. Lydia’s brand has also been shown at the Museum of Holland, El Matadero Madrid Gallery and even at the Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa.
I personally came back to Paris with a wonderful souvenir of the brand–a sweater from the collection–but I hope to return to Mexico next fashion week to see more of what this innovative designer and her ancient culture have to offer the world of fashion.
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