The Latin Girl Next Door
This LATIN GIRL NEXT DOOR in springtime always dresses accordingly, in a light printed chiffon dress, with a subtle sense of sexy.

In the multicultural, multi-ethnic society – which I happen to be part of as well – being ethnic can sometimes be an advantage.

The Perfect Spring Dress
As simple as it looks, this ensemble is ‘balanced’ between the large floral print and the the monochromatic shoes, sunglasses, necklace and bracelets. Each individual element pulls a color out from the floral print of the chiffon garment.
Accesories needed to a powerful print
The sunshades talk about the style of the garment, while the colors are subdued in the accessories; the bright tones are kept to the bodice and main focus.
Floral Dress
Chiffon, organza, crepe, poly-nylon, soft cotton, and other light materials are woven in an alternate S- and Z-twist are part of the selection of summer fabrics for structured, yet comfortable summer dresses. Now, the print and the cut? That is a different story.

Stererotypes are often simply easy to mix and very quickly applied.

I had the fortune to grow-up with a large group of females with an established tradition in fashion and style. My mother used to take me and my sister to the historic center of our city to visit museums, galleries and libraries during our spring and summer breaks or during our end-of-the-year vacations. Ironically, the same historic downtown area in Bogota is very close to the garment area.

She always managed somehow to stop by the fancy stores in which new cuts, gorgeous prints and brimming rolls of fabrics in the latest prints from Europe, and other exotic places were stacked secretly away. Coincidentally, her seamstress and her favorite tailor happened to be just down the street – so every cultural trip developed into a capacity “Design on a Dime” experience. Usually, our visits were planned around two or three weeks prior a family or local celebration, an outing, a social gathering or a public appearance. We were instructed, educated, and fashionably attired, presumably to go and see all the new fabrics and the waiting new designs.

The visits always grew into a frenzy of  visits store-to-store-to-store looking for the perfect fabric, latest accessories, unique buttons and zippers, or for the thousands of sequins and other decorative elements to somehow mock-up what was seen in the magazines recently brought in from Europe.  That was where I learned the word “Catalog”.

From those catalogs which my mother and sister devoured season after season at the local seamstress and tailor shops as well as from all the books they had, they selected their primary sources and targets for their new garments for their own styles as ‘the latin girl’.

That latin girl with which I am so familiar, from the catalogs and in real life, is a woman full of style, with incredible looks, secure in her mix of patterns, is able to blend or diffuse looks, and takes charge to create a new persona everytime she leaves her house. She feels confident in how to face the world.

That girl is one that uses pants and slacks to accent her curves and her figure. Or same girl looks elegantly simple in a flowery dress. Or she combines a simple shirt or tank from her day-to-day look, and is able to fuse it with a hint of shimmer for the night. She is one that is not shy about wearing overisized jewels or accents to pair with and match the garment. And she is one who thinks that the word ‘whimsical’ is simply a state of mind.

Those very heavy books of dreams were filled with gorgeous Italian/French/Spanish women (read as Latinas) posing in one-of-a-kind gorgeous garments, produced by the established design houses the other side of the ocean, and my mother and sister would drool on them, picking their favorites and then trying to find out if the material was available – locally or elsewhere. One thing in common in those designs were the constant appearance of trousers, which seemed to almost be like a uniform for European ladies-in-the-know, and that was quite a departure for the Colombian locals, as everyone had the typical flowing dresses of the region.

The trousers
As we all know, latinas are NOT afraid of color and large prints. Here is a Vintage VERSACE suade graphic pair of trousers, combined with a simple white tank-top and a very bold lime-green long coat. The sexyness of the ensemble is tamed by the structured coat.
The spring heat goes up!
As the spring day goes on, the sun goes up and the heat overpowers the satin blend coat – which means it is time for a fresh simple top.
The Sunglasses
A key to that elegance – for years – is the use of quite large sunglasses, that makes the lady feel that she is a movie star – it is more an statement than anything else.

The trousers used by the Italian actresses came in several cuts, tight to the body as riding pants, open to the bottom in soft bell bottoms or even as the currently popular skinny pants. The constant in all of these was always a subtle pattern, a large pattern or the constrast of a simple sheer. There were no shapeless pants, and they were always different in cut and flow to male trousers. The best part? The women combined them with a variety of looks in a multiple, multiple ways.

Effortless elegance
I always tend to dress models with trousers, pearls and scarves. It is not that there are not other styles, but that specific look is a trademark of the fashionable European woman, with that famous simple elegance.
The Trousers
When trousers have a repeated logo or print, the best way to separate the print to the body is by using a monotoned t-shirt, blouse or single toned garment for the top portion of the body.
The trouser cut
There is NOT any magic to the fit. The simple snug fit at the waist and a flare to the calf and open bottom can be used with sandals, high heels, and any other footwear.
The best part of all this is the attitude. That latin girl I remember is a confident one who steps out to face the world. But take note: the pearls and the scarf are again always present.
Floral Jewels
At “Fashion by Robert Black” store in downtown Scottsdale, this incredible pearl and roses necklace stole the show. For styling, I decided to do what my sister would do for such a statement piece. She would choose a solid background and combine it with a material with a sheen for the pants or skirt, and pair it up with designer shoes. The sunglasses made their entrance once again, always a must!
The illusion
The whole ensemble reads daytime and nighttime. As in fashion, it is a simple matter of illusion for a moment, in a place and with a purpose. The goal is to look elegant, yet refined.
Oversized jewels
A close-up of the pearl and roses jewelry ensemble.
Modern Glamour
As the night comes in spring, a simple coverlet in fuzzy cashmere adds the final touch. Mind me: the same color of the oversized jewelry is intended to blend all in one. Very ethereal.
The night comes side street
As the night comes, the same look flows into a night activity. Simple, delicate, classic.

As I was compiling these final pictures, all of the memories of our trips came back to me of the women in my close family and  many of those fashionable girls that I grew up with – who all thought and still think that fashion is not a matter of garments and labels, trends or what is in vogue – those latin girls believe that fashion is a matter of style!

Monochrome and oveersized
As I see this picture over and over again, I see any of my cousins in Colombia. The classic latina next door.
Bright for day, ready for night
This look is nothing unusual for me growing up. This look is very typical of spring time for ‘my’ latinas –  simply bold and sleek.
Slit & Monochrome
The wrap dress allow the sexyness to flow as I always say. It is important to have that illusion, plus most latinas have a ‘je ne sais quoi’ (or something not easily described) when they walk. Those hips, those legs, the swagger – can work on any body, any shape or any size.
The fearless slit
If the dress has a slit, you could use it as an element of sexyness, or simply close it with a brooch or a pin. Nothing is set in stone.
Shades and slit
The shades add that touch, that elegant moment. Now your body language must fit the final look. So, my suggeston? Own it!

My family, my mother, my sister, my aunt all reminded me of the latin girl next door, the one I always remembered by her looks, which was also an easy way to remember who she is.

And who this girl is, this amazing model showcased in this segment, is Ms. Rita Vazquez. Ms. Vazquez is the image of the LATINO FASHION LIVE 2013 runway show and fundraiser. The event is produced by my dear friend Ms. Diana Prieto-Bernal, who is the president of IDEAZ MEDIA. The event is one not to be missed.

Here is the flyer for the audition (I’m honored to be a guest judge) and since we don’t see these stylish women as often anymore – I hope to see you there – to see the stunning and stylish LATIN GIRLS NEXT DOOR.

Latino Fashion Live 2013
The event is produced by my dear friend Ms. Diana Prieto-Bernal, who is the president of IDEAZ MEDIA. The event is one not to be missed.
Here is the flyer for the audition (I’m honored to be a guest judge).

DISCLAIMER:  All ideas, photography, styling and media on this blog photography, written or video are exclusive for the use of Oscar De las salas under Any use, copy, crop/paste action, or any similarity of this material is strictly prohibited unless authorized by or by Author. All Copyright laws for internet or media use are applicable. If you want, need or require any of this material for any reason please contact my agent – Always in style – Oscar.

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