In our country, and before all this craziness with social media, TV fashion shows (where people are “policed” about their attire), before paparazzi & HOLA Magazine; Fashion designers had one big portal, and it was called Señorita Colombia , which is our national beauty contest (or Miss Colombia).
Growing up, the only way to enjoy the couture and evening designs you were only to see on editorial magazines, to the level of CROMOS (the most circulated and well curated of them all, at that time, at least) or watch the show over the little screen in long transmissions that lasted more than 5 hours. The magazines with the socialites and/or printed gazettes reporting the many galas around Señorita Colombia, or other well established non-profits or awards galas (before the award of the award madness we have today) – at the great Colombian scale -, the big tradition was simply that beauty contest.
Held annually in the city of Cartagena De Indias, the capital of the Colombian state of Bolivar, located in the northern Caribbean coast, (one that I have visited recently with my mother and sister with a photo record you can find on social media under #whatwouldoscardo).
Every November (as I am sure they are getting ready now) – all fashion designers, set designers, parade float designers, jewelry designers, shoe designers, event designers, floral designers, lighting designers, TV set designers, etc… get ready to roll and expose to the country their creativity, designs, and incredible professional efforts they have worked-on for the last 8 to 10 months They are getting ready to celebrate the “November festivities”, called “Fiestas Novembrinas” in Spanish, a series of holidays and parties that commemorate the city’s independence, and choose amongst ladies from all over the country, our national beauty queen. A contest that will represent Colombia at the Mr. Donald Trump‘s branded Miss Universe annual beauty contest, which this year’s winner is a Colombian beauty, Ms. Paulina Vega (born and raised in my hometown, all together, ha!).
Well, several names as the contestants walked down the runways on fantasy gowns and dresses to attend the several events and galas leading to the big coronation evening. One designer whose name was symbol of elegance, was a young designer by the name of Silvia Tcherassi. Every time, every garment, every style, was always on point and my eye was on it….just like a hawk, I was able to identify the designer or the tendency.
Silvia, as other very talented Colombian creatives, was born in Barranquilla, Colombia (the same town were I was born) and had similar lives, and similar networks, even similar neighborhoods, but our professional paths never crossed, until recently. (remember that my blog is a new line in my professional life, and so is he exuberant presence of fashion and media).
I have followed her career, seeing her design process grow and change, I have seen how her romanticism (typical or her early designs) where the line had a strong accent on 1910’s belle époque, an collections later, a strong art-nouveau, always attesting a romantic and modern combination, historical seduction, to slowly rescue structure and volume in a way that only certain fabrics are able to give, as well as only certain silhouettes. Perhaps, Silvia was one of the first designers to use lace widely on a wedding gown (with no restrictions) and adding to the lace, a modern silhouette; today a formula widely used by fashion designers across the world.
I had the incredible opportunity to see some of her production for bridal exclusively during the recent CARTAGENA BRIDAL WEEK, that I stumble upon while I was visiting the city.
One of the stelar attendees was Mrs. Martha Steward, who was a speaker attended the event to showcase her new magazine Martha Steward WEDDINGS – with another Colombian on the cover this Fall, the voluptuous and exuberantly sexy bomb Sofia Vergara – Mrs Steward visited the city to present her ideas about the magazine and exchange information with the international audience. A visit widely editorialized via social media, but with strong candid moments like this.
The two style divas have a long-standing relationship, including a visit to Martha’s show, where Silvia (Italian Descendant) and Martha exchange tips for style and of course proper kitchen manners.
So, during my visit, I was able to capture some of the new bridal collection at a distance, I was not able to stay for the finale fashion show (had to come back home), but based upon some of the few models I saw walking to the grand salon, is that, her impeccable style is sill present, and that her bridal collection (now with a store in Madrid) has a signature look. So Tcherassi.
The sleeves and the soft wave to drape the body has been a constant affair on her line, and now she explores the extreme volume on sleeves, as you will see later this fall and early spring line next year.
Since my lat changed to a more structured soft wave or two-dimensional pattern fabric and along that, a romantic line where lace and soft gauzy materials are always, always present, but on her latest “pasarela” (runway) fashion show in Madrid, a new term introduced, the metallic and reflections that opened the show glamour.
Her latest appearance in Colombia was at one of the most prestigious runways in Latin-American by the name of COLOMBIA MODA in 2013 and there she conquered! – Here are some of the looks that whipped the line with slash that will make it a classic!
A show full of elegance, sophistication and most of all, the always present for Silvia, the “old glamour”, plus sensual gloves and sexy long fringe, that spice up the design, and makes the overall look modern.
The sandal heels with an inspired roman touch were a perfect fit to the knee tapered silhouettes, but a strong addition to her signature “bell alike” or “wavy” high & low bottoms.
From regal and two-tone gold & white, metallic and classic, to more wearing and colorful, yet elegant, mannequins. Many classics on this runway, many!
We crossed paths many times in the past, in the same room, the same place, as we were both born and grew up (until adolesence) in the same city, and we had similar networks, we both left the country for a while to study abroad, and she returned to create her brand, SILVIA TCHERASSI, which is today one of the leading fashion brands in the country, and latin america. Today, she is expanding with stores in Madrid and sure somewhere else, perhaps Milan? – after all her family background is utterly Italian.
Here we are on a brief encounter at the TCHERASSI HOTEL in Cartagena de Indias recently. Oh, you ought to try the resturant, name after her mother, VERA., a fantastic take on Italian cuisine with sprinkled tastes from the exotic Caribbean, a must try! – and the ambiance? – impeccably alluring.
A true visionary, a woman of incredible style, with a soft demeanor that welcomes you with a bright smile. Thank you Silvia for your kind welcome.
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