DiValpo: Redesigning Valparaiso’s Fashion Scene

Have you ever gone shopping for clothes only to have your eyes glaze over at the same styles you’ve seen everywhere else? That’s guaranteed not to happen at DiValpo.

'Holy Design!' Fair in Reñaca, Chile on April 11 - 12, 2009
Photo by Sofia Carvajal

The Independent Designers of Valaparíso (DiValpo) held their first collective market on Easter weekend, hosting in-the-know Chilean fashionistas in search of fresh local designers.

Although Revolver has covered similar events such as the I Heart Vintage fashion market in Santiago, DiValpo was the first market held in Valparaíso to showcase works from Viña del Mar, Santiago, Coquimbo and Concepción.

'Holy Design!' Fair in Reñaca, Chile on April 11 - 12, 2009
Photo by Sofia Carvajal

Once inside, the market was a rainbow of colors and textures that could make any fashion afficionada giddy with delight. Stalls were abuzz with chatter and packed with original fashions in predominantly indie, punk and Pop Art flavors.

The crafts were far from the prefabricated, mass-produced, plastic trinkets flooding the mall-based fashion stores and trendy clothing boutiques. All the designers had a refreshing do-it-yourself aesthetic which you could see in the use of recycled materials or clothes that had been redesigned, ripped apart and lovingly sewn back together again with some added attitude and homespun style. A glance around revealed a few vinyl records made into shoulder bags, customized old jackets with added hand-sewn tartan patches, repainted sneakers and altered vintage 50’s and 80’s style dresses making their second or third showing.

Giany Alarcón, the man behind accessories designer Glitteruno, sported a retro pair of brown aviator sunglasses and looked like he had a ball with the glitter stick and the array of cassette tapes in front of him which he had cleverly fashioned into brooches. Alarcón even gave away a cool sticker/calling card to those who picked up something from his stall. I couldn’t resist a homemade black and silver rainbow resin ring reminiscent of the 80’s.

'Holy Design!' Fair in Reñaca, Chile on April 11 - 12, 2009
Photo by Sofia Carvajal

Everything from the sophisticated tailored jackets to the child-like, pop art purses was top quality because they were made from locally produced, designed and manufactured materials.

“(The eyes) won’t come off in the wash,“ Catherine del Pino G., of Emporio Esoes, said about the cutesy googly eyed purses on her table. "And the paint won't either."

The pride the designers have in developing their own work was obvious. The flame-haired designer from Primates, who is also an accessories designer from Valparaíso, had a fluorescent ring inspired by the landmarks her brother passes on his way home to Valpo. Next to that was a plush felt curtain with a different story for each curtain strand, from top to bottom.

“These tell a story about the Japanese lady, this one is about a bird, they all have their own story,” the designer said.

'Holy Design!' Fair in Reñaca, Chile on April 11 - 12, 2009
Photo by Sofia Carvajal

Since most designers are emerging or part-timers, most don´t have their own stores, but they are part of a well connected, thriving community of online craftsters available at the addresses below.

So next time you need new threads or some cool accessories, skip the mall and head straight to your local indie fashion market, like DiValpo, or to their online stores. Not only will you be helping upcycling local designers, but you’ll also come out with unique clothes, not to mention less damage to your wallet.

To get to their markets, head to Valparaíso, where you can easily catch a bus to the popular coastal town of Re?aca. Get off at the McDonald´s on Rafael Sotomayor and backtrack to Av. Borgo?o. From there it should be easy to follow the groups of hipsters making a bee line for the recently inaugurated, fiber-glassed interior of the Olimpo Del Mar building on Av Bellavista.

Colectivo DiValpo - Diseñadores Independentes de Valparaíso
(clothes, accessories and textiles)

Next DiValpo market: 2009 Winter holidays to be announced
Email: divalpo@gmail.com

Participating labels:

- Cote gaete
- Ropa del alma
- Lovit
- Revista joia
- Margarita Rodríguez
- Paulina duarte
- Impura
- Colectivo de diseño de Coquimbo
- Maria Jose Godoy y Maria Jose Bravo
- Carla calvo
- Natalia saldias
- Fernanda frick
- Cecilia cafarena + accesorios primor
- Emporio eso es
- Paulina aranguis (joyas)

DiValpo Designers:

- makinitadecoser
- ameliechuky
- boquitas pintadas
- humita diseño
- glitteruno
- pelagus
- dial creativo
- carlota festiva
- Ifel

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