On the first Friday of every second month, more than 30 emerging fashion designers lay out their clothing and accessory designs at one of Santiago’s cultural Meccas — el Centro Arte Alameda.
Photo courtesy Barbara Castro
Fashion Drinks, a fair that started with just five designers, has become a full-blown event connecting designers with the general public, possible clients and fashion aficionados looking for the latest in alternative styles. Independent designers set up a stand with contact cards in hand, ready to promote their work.
Designers are selected after their portfolio is reviewed and evaluated, guaranteeing quality pieces are exhibited. Visitors can purchase what they like for reasonable sums, considering the exclusivity of the items; from knee-length coats at CP$35,000 (US$65.00) to t-shirts and accessories for under CP$10,000 (US$18.00).
A Fashion Drinks fair recently took place in August. At this particular fair, when it came to apparel, tops prevailed over bottoms. Coats, hoodies, t-shirts, sweaters and dresses dominated most stands. Bottoms included leggings, skirts and baggy polyester pants. But these designs were far from the average, classic, one-look-fits-all styles found at the mall.
Zurza, a conglomeration of designers Loreto Contreras, Andrea Contreras and Angela Tapia, presented a girly and delicate twist to everyday winter tops. With stripes of ribbon and lace-decorated collars on pastel-colored coats and t-shirts, Zurza’s style is sure to call attention and bring out the girly-girl in all women.
Barbara Castro’s designs, on the other hand, appealed to the rocker and less pink-loving crowd, with natural-colored tops in dark brown, green, red or black, bearing her trademark sign of a bear claw on one sleeve.
Castro aims to lure nature enthusiasts by drawing inspiration from nature itself with depictions of insects, plants and even fruits in her pieces.
Accessories made out of unconventional materials like paper or cloth also had a strong presence. Sabor Amargo showcased colorful scarves, circular earrings and flowery pendants made out of a material called fleitro, which feels like firm cotton to the touch. The material, however, is in fact 100% pure sheep wool, and is tainted by the creator of Sabor Amargo, Janaina Mella, an industrial designer who decided to fight office boredom by making colorful accessories out of this natural yet versatile material during her free time. The price of her accessories range from CP$2,000 (US$3.67) to CP$40,000 (US$73.00).
Made in Conce, by 23-year-old Estefania Opazo from Concepción, gives paper a whole new meaning and purpose. Opazo plasticizes paper and molds them to make wallets, coasters, book covers, mouse pads — you name it: she can also personalize items with your photos or an image you provide. In spite of the fragile material, the end product is firm and sturdy.
Fashion Drinks has something for everyone: girly-girls, rocker chicks, tree-hugging vegans and everyone in between. This bimonthly fashion fair is a must for anyone looking to get away from conventional styles dictated by the money-hungry fashion industry, and anyone who’d rather take a look at local young talent. And you can rest assured you won’t see anyone wearing that exact same exclusive piece you got at Fashion Drinks.
Bimonthly; first Friday of the month (check blog and website for changes)
11:00 to 23:00 hrs
Centro Arte Alameda
Alameda 139, Santiago
Consituciòn 197, Second floor
Made in Conce