Monday, September 12, 2011

Mexico: Art, Craft, Passion

I find inspiration everywhere as does anyone engaged in the world. This weekend I spent much of my time at the Egyptian Theater for the MEXICAN CINEMA: GUADALAJARA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL IN LOS ANGELES.

Botellita de Jerez back in the day
My favorite film was "Naco Es Chido" a smart mockumentary in which director Sergio Arau (A DAY WITHOUT A MEXICAN) revisits his old musical group Botellita de Jerez, pioneers of “guacarock” in the 1980s. Naco es Chido reflects a former album title and is a term that came to mean being Mexican is cool. Despite repression and quite a lot of political and social resistance Botellita's introduction of their brand of punk/cumbia/bluesy/rock n'roll to Mexico in the early 80's would pave the way for many "spanish rock" acts commonly known today. 

Fellow members of Botellita de Jerez co-star along with the fabulous Yareli Arizmendi,best known internationally for Like Water for Chocolate. She portrays the brainchild & manager of the band's reuniting 30 years later. Both Arau and Arizmendi appeared to speak at an industry panel and for a Q&A for the film showing. Not only are Arau and Arizmendi super talented, but super stylish as well, which brings me back as usual to my love of style and design, particularly when it comes to fashion. 

All images are from Taller Flora 2010

I recently discovered another Mexican artist true to roots but revolutionizing fashion through eco minded and ethical co-operatives with local communities practicing indigenous textile practices. Taller Flora, created by Carla Fernandez, literally translates to Workshop Flora which is exactly what it is. A traveling workshop working with local art coops of differing towns every two months and engaging in projects grown out of their collaboration. Taller Flora celebrates indigenous dressmaking techniques, while re-imagining the traditional. Resulting in timeless contemporary clothing.

 Erin Lewis for Taller Flora 2009

Fernandez' influence and utilization of indigenous Mexican craft are inspiring collaborations from other fashion designers in the industry. Erin Lewis created a menswear mini collection for Taller Flora after workshopping with Fernandez to mine the historical processes textile techniques. The results, as seen above, are pretty fabulous!

 Carla Fernadez' 2011 Ready to wear line.

Carla Fernandez' ready to wear line merges modern industrial manufacturing with craftsmanship.  Read more on Fernandez and Taller Flora in this interview: "Future Folk." Taller Flora serves the community, conserves resources and is high fashion.  Who says it cannot be done?

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  1. I like the ready to wear designs from Carla Fernandez a lot - it is great, if designers dip into their heritage and culture to create fashion forward designs. I really hope that this 'trend' will be something that lasts.


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