Accessing the Hidden Runways of Santiago’s Fashion Elite

When it comes to fashion, Santiago may seem like the ugly step-sister of the South American fashion meccas Sao Paolo and Buenos Aires. However invisible Santiago's fashion scene may seem, it's simply a more affordable non-commercial market hidden on the other side of the Andes.

Santiago Chile Fashion Runways
Photo courtesy Luis Garcia

Small runway shows and fashion parties are popping up in preserved antique mansions, bars and restaurants all over the city. These generally free parties showcase local designers, host DJs and provide bottomless libations in picturesque settings.

Santiago Chile Fashion Runways
Photo courtesy Luis Garcia

Well-established boutique Parentesys, an ideal Santiago fashion starting point, provides information on such events. Along with neighboring restaurant Santería, this contemporary duo hosted an exquisite outdoor fashion event and runway show on December 3. Casual menswear was showcased by in-house designer Patricio Soto of Parentesys, and dresses and swimsuits innovations were provided by Mara Colione of Mona Ferrari and Emma Dapena of Shakty.

Guests trickled onto Santaria's palm-laden patio around 9 pm and mingled to the ambient electronic sounds of DJ Sylvia Rivera. Friendly servers passed out free, unlimited pisco sours in fully filled champagne flutes (unlike most “free” pisco sours in Chile, served in a mere shot glass). Bright orange globe lights lined the elevated runway that hugged the side of the building, shining down on mingling guests as the models primped backstage.

Filing out one by one, the models flitted down the runway, sporting four looks by each designer, from ultra-casual to semi-formal evening wear. All the complete ensembles, ranging from CP$15,000 to $60,000 (US$23 to $90), were on sale just below the runway in Soto’s store.

Santiago Chile Fashion Runways
Photo courtesy Luis Garcia

Following the show, the models changed into their street clothes and sipped pisco sours with guests while photographers snapped shots. Other guests wandered into Soto’s store and tried on clothes, posed, critiqued and strutted their stuff, creating a whole new spectacle. Buzzed fashionistas mimicked Tom Gunn and photographers’ bulbs flashed late into the night, making everyone at the event feel like part of Santiago’s fashion elite.

Parentesys Boutique/ Santería Restaurant
Bella Vista
Plaza Mori
Antonia Lopez de Bello 0118 (at Chucre Manzur)
Metro: Baquedano

Live music on patio every Thursday, 9 pm to 1 am

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