Latino Fashion Week 2011: Mixing It Up

Photos by Angelica Robles

The term “mixed mediums” can describe quite a bit of the Latino lifestyle. Be it food, music or culture, most of our heritage is created through the culmination of our ancestors from both the New and Old Worlds. Fashion, naturally, is also an arena where our diverse influences have blended to create surprising and delightful results. Mixed Mediums Night at Latino Fashion Week was exactly that—Latino designers whose collections ranged from urban ’50s style to current streetwear, couture knits, ’70s jumpers, floral gowns and pleated corsets.

The night kicked off with Alicia Estrada’s appropriately named Stop Staring! line. Estrada’s dresses are exactly what one would imagine a ’50s pin-up dame to wear when on a night out on the town. Perhaps that’s why Estrada has a strong celebrity client list. Sophisticated and sexy at the same time, she uses precisely designed pencil skirts, plunging necklines and tight waistlines to perfectly accentuate all of a woman’s curves.

Young designer Adriana Osorio Lugo followed with a fresh and impressive collection. The 24-year-old, who was also featured in New York Fashion Week 2011, used intricate designs of knits in natural browns and crèmes, along with tailored, layered gowns. Her collection exuded island beach shores meets couture. The craftsmanship on her final look was a knit jacket with braided detail on the back and shoulders, creating a gargantuan yet flattering effect on the model.

Streetwear designer David Estrada mixed up the tempo with his Estrada 31 line, featuring simple graphic tees with Chicago terminology like “South Cyde” and “West Cyde Native.”

Colombiana designer Karol Andrea showcased an interesting array of two-piece dresses and suits. Each piece different from the next: peplums, lace skirts and open-back jackets paired with high-waist shorts. The entire collection seemed influenced by ’70s era fashions.

Unfortunately, the last designer to be featured literally shut the show down. About midway through Juan Cotes’ presentation, the power went out at the Zhou B Art Center. From what we were able to see, it was evident that Cotes’ daring designs blended texture and pleats, with long satin pleated dresses. Perhaps the most eye-catching were the high-cut fairytale-worthy corsets he crafted out of pleated material. We look forward to seeing more of his work at the next show.

See slideshow of Latino Fashion Week 2011: Mixing It Up on Flickr »