I saw Darío Cardenas' collection and the new brand "Soy" de Maria Luisa Ortiz y Diego Guarnizo and both left me speechless. I loved the themes of the shows, how they were inspired by Colombia's diverse and colorful culture as well as Peru's. Darío Cardenas had an impressive array of textures and designs, each pulling inspiration from several parts of Peru. My favorite pieces were the "Mochilas", which were beautifully crafted bags, and the heavy jackets that were intricately designed. The models were perfect, they looked at the crowd as they walked with curiosity, which added to the theatrics of the show.
Afterwards, we hid away to eat a bit before the next show started. Thankfully, we had cheese (yes, actual cheese) in our purses that we got to munch on before going back in. Rule #1: never leave the house without food.
After our cheese party we watched the debut of new brand "Soy" and wow. Words won't be able to describe how wonderful and fulfilling this show was. This is a brand by Diego Guarnizo and Maria Luisa Ortiz, both well respected designers in their own right. The concept of this brand is a celebration of "artesanía", handcrafted goods and the people who make them. Colombia is a land of artists and creatives, and many go unnoticed and under appreciated. The designs, the handiwork, the love and passion put into this show exceeded all my expectations. Not only that, the women who created those stunning pieces were invited into the runway and were there for most of the show. They looked so happy- this show was full of warmth and heart. It was both refreshing and undeniably moving for everyone involved. Each model wore a pair of gorgeous shoes that I had to mention- they were playful flats that complemented each outfit, from long and light dresses to sleek printed pants.
Both shows rekindled a fire in me. The theme celebrated Colombia in all it's beauty, struggle, wonder, and soul. It made me grateful for this country and it's people. These shows and the artists behind them are a beacon of light for the future of Colombia.