Underground designers get a leg up at Sunset Trip & Fashion

For a few Sunday evenings in 2009, the Sunset Trip & Fashion event rolled out an eclectic new repertoire of fashion finds under the atmospheric red lights of galleria Cinearte Tobalaba’s Bar 14, offering select local designers a chance to showcase their handmade creations.

Photo by Rebecca Gaulin
Photo by Rebecca Gaulin

Santiago has a lively feria scene, mainly organized via Facebook, where young designers can find venues such as Sunset Trip to sell their work. María José Orellana, publicist for Tienda Carla Rojo,

Photo by Rebecca Gaulin
Photo by Rebecca Gaulin

started Sunset Trip, with the help of Bar 14 co-owner Francisco Palacios, to celebrate the craftsmanship of “independent-underground” designers.

The bar offered 30 percent off their sushi menu on Sunset Trip nights and provided a DJ for the event. The designs were showcased on a small raised platform at one end of the bar while the rest of the space was dotted with low-lit tables and a lounge area for drinks. Loungey dance music played during the exhibition, but the atmosphere heated up later in the evening when the tables were moved back and dancing began.

One of the last Sunset Trip events featured six design stalls, all run by the designers themselves.

Carla Rojo, co-organizer, was in attendance with her extreme Santiguina designs. Fake fur minidresses, graphically patterned leggings and brightly colored Lycra wraps were signatures of her eye-popping and sexy collection.

Karen Vargas’ KavStyle collection was characterized by classic pieces with a modern twist, including tweed and wool jackets with contrast bias binding accompanied by lace and chiffon in classic colors. Each piece was made with clear attention to detail and finish.

Photo by Rebecca Gaulin
Photo by Rebecca Gaulin

Other designs included headbands and belts of velvet and taffeta decorated with fabric flowers in jewel colors from Taller del Aire accessories, simply-shaped jersey dresses spiced up with contrast bands at the hem from Patricia Chellew, and Alexandra Peña’s intricate accessories, each handmade out of tiny glass.

The event had a friendly, fun atmosphere with no compunction to buy as clothes were admired, drinks bought and jokes made. There was an easygoing camaraderie amongst the fellow designers, and being able to speak to the designers themselves gave more meaning to each garment.

So, if you like clothes with character, keep an eye out for more of these unique takes on the feria scene - you just may be able to jazz up your next Sunday evening with some sushi and cocktail-fueled shopping for genuine Santiaguina fashion.

Sunset Trip & Fashion

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