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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

From Lima With Love: Sergio Davila Fall/Winter 2013 Collection

South America has more to offer than just that famed butt lift and great coffee beans.  They've always had.  However, that continent has always been overshadowed by the more northern America.  The colors, terrain and diversity of the land inspires art, fabric, food and fashion.  However, in regards to fashion, it's not just ponchos and tarp hats.  The evolution brings about nods to traditional South American ritual, imagery and culture homogenized into modern sportswear and tailoring.  It's these cultural nods that, although foreign to many of us, still manage offer a different perspective visually when it comes to fashion and adornment as we're transported through clothing to places many of us can only travel to or read of.  It's always nice to see when a designer is so subtly nudging at how they represent a culture that you get an overwhelming sense of the global or communal normalcy from what you're looking at combined with a slightly unfamiliar but aesthetically pleasing visual experience.  
This is what I took away from the Sergio Davila Fall 2013 Collection.  There was this sense of something cultural that is often undistinguishable if you are an Americanized child of this diverse melting pot of a nation but one that you learn to appreciate when it is made approachable through familiar avenues like popular culture, television, film and, of course, fashion.  The collection was inspired by historical, dark and foggy South American cities like Lima, Peru and the interesting people Davila met while living there 8 months to complete this collection.  What resulted was a nicely tailored collection pulling embellished inspiration from concept artist Alvaro Feliu, the hairless "mohawked" Peruvian dog and the punk culture of Lima and it's surrounding areas.  

There was a strong tailoring story with interesting prints and woven jacquard-like surfaces.  These surfaces reminiscent of handwoven tapestires and quilts were applied to mens and womens outerwear, leggings, shirtings and knitwear.  Davila's womenswear delved heavier into the textural romp of funky remixed chevrons and splashy metallic embellishments than his menswear which was dark and composed with subtle embellishment to lapels, jacket fronts and knitwear.  You got a sense of the dark punk influence and bold expressionistic reality of Feliu's artwork in the curved lapels and sharp cuts of the suits blocked in buttery leather and toned-down neutral menswear suitings.   Then on the flip side you got a sense of the lighter sides of Lima with the textures, shine and liveliness of the womenswear pieces and the slight menswear embellishments.  
A very composed and impressive collection from a former Ecco Domani menswear nominee and former Best Menswear Designer winner of the Fashion Group International's Rising Star Award Program.  His support of the Peruvian textile industry with his usages of alpaca and organic pima cotton also make him a globally connected designer aware of his carbon footprint and the support for fair trade.  The conscious craftsman in Davila proves that sometimes it's the subtleties, ornate, organic and artistically obtuse, that showcase the real prizes from another culture.




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