Wave of Italian fashion takes over Santiago

For the first time in the long history of the biannual Casa Mater interior design exposition organized by the Association of Chilean Designers (AdD), the event featured a special guest that stole the show: fashion design.

Santiago Chile
Photo by Nicholas Charlesworth

Javiera Gutierrez, general manager of AdD, was more than satisfied with the 20,000 plus guests and visitors counted during the 25 days of the exposition.

Santiago Chile
Photo by Nicholas Charlesworth

Gutierrez commented on the decision to bring the special touch of fashion design to the event: “We thought it was a great idea to put together fashion and decoration to keep up with the tendencies of the day.”

A great idea that worked out very well, considering that at 7 o’clock on a Saturday night, in the refined gardens of Casa Mater in Vitacura, la crème of Santiago's elite did not miss the opportunity to watch the trends of the upcoming spring-summer season straight from Italy, after careful selection by the keen eye of Lia Fernandez.

Owner of one of Santiago’s most exclusive boutiques, Lia is an exquisitely kind woman with a timeless charm that enchants her interlocutor. In spite of the pre-show chaos and preparation taking place with the models backstage, she gladly took a moment to talk to Revolver about her life’s passion: la moda.

Lia has been an innovator in Chile; she started to bring Italian prêt-a-porter as early as 1981 to a country that was struggling financially under the isolation of Pinochet’s government. But she admits that it has been hard to find people who appreciate the designs and quality of garments she brings to her store.

Lia made it her mission to educate Chilean women on the beauty of craftsmanship and on the pleasure of wearing precious fabrics sewn together with exclusive patterns.

Santiago Chile
Photo by Nicholas Charlesworth

Today, as women are marrying later and have greater spending power, and thanks to the Internet which is the main source of information on fashion, Lia’s portfolio of customers is growing and including increasingly younger girls.

"I think about my clients when I decide which clothes I will bring to my store, I literally think about each one of them and what would suit them best. But also, I buy clothes that I know have a low chance of being sold here in Santiago, because I simply find them beautiful and I want people to become educated about the beauty of style," she admits with a smile. "I will put them on the window and just enjoy their gorgeousness."

Her choices for the upcoming season can be described in one word: classy. The brands she decided to use to convey her aesthetic were Byblos and Clips, with Furla bags and accessories to give it a final touch. The main fabrics were noble silk and chiffon in wine-pink, orange and brown, black and yellow and black and white tones. The runway show opened with a gorgeous tartan trench in a rose-tone by Byblos, worn with white shorts. It was followed by sets of black and white wide-leg pants and black pencil skirts matched with wine-pink silk shirts and leather bags. These outfits were real-life classics, perfect for the office as well as for other formal occasions.

Santiago Chile
Photo by Nicholas Charlesworth

After a round of outfits based on wine-pink, it was time for a black and white series that featured various patterns like stripes, dots and abstract designs. It was possible to spot the main trends of the season, namely jackets with wide shoulders, stripes, high-waist skirts, sequins, jump-suits and one-shoulder shirts and dresses.
Evergreen silk tunics in black with yellow flowers and strapless cocktail dresses completed the portfolio. Applause couldn’t be held back when a one-shoulder sequin dress a là Balmain walked onto the catwalk, as well as when a long sequin pencil skirt made its appearance paired with a strapless silk orange top.

Santiago Chile
Photo by Nicholas Charlesworth

All this was enough to keep a crowd of dozens of people in the garden hypnotized by the voluptuous flowing silk, sequins and chiffon in the corridor that had been transformed into a runway.

At the end of the show, when Lia Fernandez appeared from backstage with a glass of champagne and a rose bouquet, she was welcomed with applause and was forced to stay on stage by the acclaiming crowd for longer than expected. She then retired elegantly backstage, leaving those who attended alone to discuss the gorgeous collections that had just been presented.

Lia Fernandez’s boutique can be found in Nueva Costanera 3849, Vitacura.

Lia Fernandez




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