Mexico City Fashion Week 2016 was probably at its best in a strong breeze. Voluminous skirt and wraps, fluttering straps and tousled, nearly-naked looks stuck out during both the collections shown in the official Mercedes-Benz venues and the independent presentations that sprang up this year.
Airiness aside, easy-breezy it was not. At-capacity shows meant that the die-hard who waited on stand-by tickets to see their favorite designer were sometimes out of luck.
Maybe those who didn’t actually get to see one of the over-20 runways in the flesh had the real Fashion Week experience: watching leggy socialites wearing cocktail dresses and rompers worth more than most Mexicans’ monthly salaries air kiss in-between clothing presentations at locations across the city, from a refurbished Polanco neighborhood movie theater to the Bosque de Chapultepec’s elegant Casa del Lago.
This year, a few designers took a pass on official sponsorship to go it on their own. Gender neutral designer Mancandy’s models lounged in daisy meshes, striped satin and heart-thumpingly fresh jackets at Another Gallery on Thursday, while Lorena Saravia sent her looks careening through the Four Seasons Hotel in paneled, red, black and white looks one could envision on a figure skater or motorcycle racer in equal parts.
Despite the fact that the Mexico City scene may have grown too large for the official Fashion Week organization to accommodate, even younger fashion critics found a few bright spots among the shows.
“The collections of Alexia Ulibarri and Children of Our Town really surprised me,” Meow Magazine founder and editor-in-chief Oliva Meza told The News when we asked her for the week’s highlights. “Primarily because of the aesthetic narratives that led you to a completely dreamy panorama.”
Just in case your stand-by runway tickets didn’t quite come through last week, here are some of the zeitgeists we caught from this year’s shows:
All photos by Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week or courtesy of Mancandy
We’re living in uncertain times, so perhaps it’s no surprise that the fashion set wants something to hold on to. You can at least project the image that you’re easy to catch with Fashion Week’s cavalcade of hanging straps. Everything from Juan Carlos Obando’s tattered scarlet floor-length dresses to the bows on Mancandy’s emerald breaches sported fabric excess.
THE LOOK IS BILLOWING
Fall/Winter 2016 is apparently going to be a great time for social anxiety — these were outfits with so much fabric acreage it will be easy to retire into your clothing when you’ve had enough small talk at the party. Malafacha’s community theater tunics, jewel toned gowns from Vero Diaz and Kris Goyri, a caped lavender sweatsuit from Xico and questionably attractive fur-lined ponchos at Ricardo Seco’s show held out the coverage trend.
FLESH AND LOTS OF IT
… Just kidding, Fall/Winter 2016 is all about not wearing very much clothing at all. You could see it in the way Alexia Ulibarri and Kris Goyri refused to line their translucent formalwear, the Mancandy coats that refused to be paired with anything besides pecs, Jannette Klein’s youth-ready crop tops. Less is more, and all that.
Honoring indigenous artisan work is hardly a trend in Mexico, where many designers have forged longstanding relationships with local artisans who help them bring to life modern couture couched in traditional fabric work. But traditional textiles were nonetheless rife during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Lydia Lanvín and Yakampot built collections around them, and Jorge Ayala rather misguidedly mashed as many “tribal” notes as he could onto a runway whose models accessorized with “Player’s Club” jerseys, American flag pants and painted motorcycle helmets.
I could be wrong, but last week sure seemed azure. Children of Our Town and Armando Takeda were immersed in blue, from full-length sweater sets to relaxed Mad Men ensembles. José Sánchez dropped jaws with an electric blue leather dress — possibly the best outfit in which to ask a raise, ever. Alfredo Martínez picked up on navy for his Little Edie-inspired looks, and Benito Santos was sweet on a powder blue for his boudoir confections.