Buenos Aires Fashion Week, better known as BAFWeek, is the biggest fashion event in Argentina. Every season, a number of designers and commercial brands get together to show their creations to journalists, stylists, buyers and fashion lovers in general. One of the things that makes BAFWeek interesting is the fact that it is open to the general public and the event is free, so everyone can enjoy it and see what is happening on the fashion scene.
Over six days, La Rural, a big convention center in the heart of Buenos Aires, hosted not only fashion shows but pop up stores, a makeup stand by Natura where makeup artists gave people makeovers, and an installation by the National Museum of Costume History, among others. However, the most interesting attraction was a stall by Pasarela BA, a contest where four emergent designers are selected to show their collections, where visitors could see a preview of the collections and enjoy virtual reality videos of the designers talking about their creations.
Day 1: Prisma UADE, Abre Indumento & Blackmamba
BAFWeek started with the presentation of Prisma UADE, where three students from this university were chosen to show their capsule collections. Dosis, N1 and Dis were the projects selected to be featured in this edition of fashion week. The projects all focused on Argentina’s identity. Dosis was all about deconstruction and languid silhouettes in cool tones, inspired by laboratories and glaciers. On the other side of the spectrum, N1 presented a collection inspired by cumbia and the culture in shantytowns. He took elements from this culture, such as the bright colors, oversized clothing and leggings and approached them with a new vision: the designer deconstructed shirts and created a “siamese” shirt dress and a multiple sleeve piece. The last project from this presentation was Dis, which presented a capsule collection in black, white and rust. The designer played with volumes and big prints.
The second show of the day was by Abre Indumento, one of the four winners of Pasarela BA. The brand, created in 2015 by Luz Arpajou and María Laura Leiva, is characterized by the use of natural fibers and the recovery of elements of traditional cultures. Abre Indumento follows the natural pace of the body in communion with the environment. For this collection, the designers were inspired in the layering of their clothing, which had an urban tone. With their collection, Abre Indumento brought traditional elements to the city and reinvented natural textiles into oversized and layered pieces: they created hoodies, dresses, shirts and skirt pants in neutral and muted colors, that work in harmony with nature.
The last show of day one was one of the most anticipated of the week: Blackmamba. The brand, created in 2011, always captures the attention of the media and brings elements of surprise to their shows, and this time was no different. The collection, named “Inferno”, was filled with drama. For this season, the brand presented a collection inspired by Vanitas, emphasizing the fragility and brevity of life. To represent this, Blackmamba sent the models onto the runway accessorized with surgical dressings and plastic parts of the body, resembling modern Frankensteins. Black leather and lace were the protagonists of this collection, which had a Victorian and grungy vibe.
Day 2: Benítez Emilse, Maison Nómade & Cecilia Gadea
Benítez Emilse’s show was a powerful start to the day. The designer, who specializes in working with leather and has a very strong rock influence, presented “Pardon”, a collection strongly inspired by the designer's personal experiences. The show was meant to be a conceptual presentation. A gong stood at the beginning of the runway and the show started when a musician hit the first note and the models started walking wearing leather, fur and chained pieces. One of the sexiest collections of fashion week, this presentation played with gender roles and androgyny, showing men wearing mini skirts. However, it wasn’t all about transparencies and revealing clothing; the designer also presented tailored jackets, blazers with fur sleeves, and little black dresses with fur details.
To create "Trascendo", Anabella Bergero, the designer behind Maison Nomade, researched the cloaks of primitive men and the processes of textile technology involved in creating military uniforms, which revolutionized the industry. The unisex silhouettes are layered with short-sleeved coats in grey and green tones. Maison Nomade created hybrids between outdoor clothing, sportswear and tailoring with the use of neoprene, waterproof textiles and silk.
With this collection, Maison Nomade treated clothing as part of an autonomous body, in constant movement. The brand's target audience is the global traveler; urban nomads who are already part of the city. Maison Nomade sees clothing as a vital piece of the body, like an extension and a habitat. The designs are functional, comfortable and almost a fusion between body and buildings.
Day 3: Cecilia Gadea & Chaín García Bello
Cecilia Gadea’s show was poetic, feminine and delicate. The show’s mood was set by Rosal, a indie pop group that performed smooth, passionate jazzy songs while the models strolled down the runway. This designer is known for combining modern techniques such as laser cutting with classic and romantic shapes and textures. This collection was inspired by “memories that come up from a collection of magazines of knitting and fabric, of different times, that belonged to my mother, who, as a hobby, knitted for all the family.” This nostalgic feeling can be seen in the sweaters, the protagonists of this collections, which appeared in dusty and neutral colors. Knits were also used in skirts, dresses and coats.
“Warm” is the name of the collections designed by Lucía Chaín and Juliana García Bello, two young designers graduated from the University of Buenos Aires and creators of one of the most sensitive fashion projects in the country. Recently arrived from London, where they took part in the International Fashion Showcase organized by the British Council, Chain_García Bello presented a delicate and snuggly season, which was inspired by the coziness of a home in winter and naps in sunshine.
To show this, the presentation started with a contemporary dance presentation where a performer made soft and elegant movements rolling into a pile of pillows that rested in the middle of the runway. After a couple of minutes, the dancer stopped and reposed while the models started to walk slowly down the runway. The rhythm of the show was relaxed, and so were the clothes: oversized and neutral tones were the constant in shirts, trousers, dresses and backpacks, which were made using natural textiles. The texture of the clothing resembled duvet coats which only increased the desire to spend a lazy Sunday wearing the pieces of the collection.
Day 4: Juan Hernández Daels & Talitha IND
Juan Hernández Daels
Juan Hernández Daels' show started the day off with a runway decorated with big yellow, black and white dots. The anticipation was high for this designer, recognized for his sartorial and sophisticated womenswear. The moment the presentation began, the use of dots and circular shapes was apparent. The designer used circles as the main shape for his collection: from the volumes to the prints and the hems, Juan Hernández Daels used this resource brilliantly and created a modern and sexy winter line.
Talitha IND was the last show from Pasarela BA and it showed one of the most original prints in fashion week. This wasn’t a surprise, as the brand created by Ecuadorian designer Cecilia Hernández has its strong point in the development of digital printing. For this season, the designer found inspiration in old diving suits and the submarine world. As a result, the prints resembled robots, circuits and electrical panels. Talitha Ind manages to combine very industrial prints with feminine silhouettes and flowy materials like silk and chiffon in a classic palette of dusty pinks, olive greens, light blue, mustard and black. In addition to the prints, the designer added new techniques to this collection such as laser printing and leather engraving. The result was a magical collection that featured leather jackets, collared dresses, chunky knits and metallic skirts.