Benito Fernandez is a famous and talented designer from Argentina who focuses on mixing textures and fabrics, keeping a fresh new look for each collection. He presented his collection Etnia, inspired by his trips for Peru, Bolivia, Mexico and Salta, at Bryant Park on September 17th,, 2009. Mixing saturated colors and different fabrics, he created a stunning collection, expressed in the garments and also in the bold accessories. It was one of the most original collections. He definitely communicated the cultures of the Andes’ indigenous peoples from whom he took his inspiration.
Colors: Lots and lots of colors. Very bright hues like oranges, blues, yellows and greens in saturated tones, with audacious combinations to make a bold statement. Colors are the protagonist of this collection, along with the accessories. The dramatic combination of color transmits power, fun energy, and uniqueness.
Accessories: The other big statement of this collection is made with the accessories. There are from a mixture of cultures. From the traditional dolls and tassels of Peru and Bolivia, to the imagery of Mexico and Frida Kahlo, to the looms of Salta, everything is reminiscent of the wonderful cultures of these countries– everything is “Etnia”. These are some of my favorite things from the whole collection.
Textures: The garments are coordinates in a combination of different fabrics, from gauze to silk to brocades to fabrics woven in traditional looms, to create texture. These textures give the pieces a unique look, very different if you see them from close or far. Embroidery is present too, using beads and stones in contrasting colors to the fabrics they are sewn on. I love the distinctive use and combination of textures that the collection showed, because it gave me the urge to zoom in and see all the intricate details that formed them. I wanted to touch them!
Silhouettes: The silhouettes are very feminine and suggestive, a characteristic of this designer. The fabrics fall on the body beautifully, flowing with every movement. There are lots of layers that add fullness to the entire outfit, as well tiers of fabric and different cuts in the neckline.
Prints: The prints are bold and full of colors, mostly in abstract and geometric forms. Some reminds me of a canvas painted with watercolors, fusing different colors to create new ones. They are definitely unique.
I always liked this designer, but the moment I saw this collection I fell in love with it. I love the color and textures, the bold accessories contrasting with the softness and lightness of the different fabrics and layers. I think you can clearly see what inspired him to create this fun and unique collection. Each garment is like a ticket to these countries he was inspired by. This collection has CULTURE COUTURE written it all over it.
My inspiration – Benito Fernandez
When I was putting together this outfit I wanted to represent color and different prints. The skirt has a batik print with saturated colors in abstract and geometric forms. It also has details of embroidery that add texture to it. The gauze top also has some embroidery on it. The colors of the both garments are very different, so I use a piece of fabric as a waist wrap in a common tone to create a better transition between them. Both fabrics are light and have a nice drape. The bright aqua color headband picks up the color of the top, and has satin flowers on one side that is reminiscent of Frida Khalo. It can also be use as a choker for another look. Lastly, I added two pom poms to each shoe. They are actually for the hair, so they can be used in a ponytail if desired. This adds more fun to the outfit and represents the Andes culture.