The fifth Edition of Buenos Aires Fashion Week was held from 7th to 10th April in the Rural Society. This time, the themes and motivations of designers looked very much alike, but rather unique in their special way.
Colors/ moving people/ looking for comfort/ Beautiful people/ get close/ They want to see/ and be seen/ Nothing happens/ until the curtains/ are open.
BafWeek is not Baf anymore. It belongs to Buenos Aires and shows our local design, but it has changed its name to plain "Fashion Week". Nevertheless, this doesn't diminish its argentine roots or the traditional aspects of our most inner creations. In fact, this year the star fabric was definitely leather. With its characteristic smell and soft texture, it has captured the attention of both foreign and local visitors.
A bizarre mixture of ethnical gaucho style with a return of the recurrent playful way of expression accompanies the most pure new romantic black and white fashion, which rocked in the eighties.
One of the main shows was the one from "Uma", whose designer, Carolina Ainstein, has moved through a rich variety of materials to create an image of an independent modern woman, who has traveled a long way to get here. The show is almost literally a color explosion: combinations of light blue and black, bright green and brownish, orange and black, rose with beige, are only some of the stimulus to our eyes . Uma's show is the most international of all. It is doubtlessly powerful and explores beautiful combination of fabrics and designs, leaving the assistants wanting more, so much more.
From designer Marina Casas view, "everything in this Baf points out to a revival of the eighties style". From hairdos to accessories and makeup, time seems to go back, and the only thing that doesn't go with the flow is the unbearably loud electronic music of the speakers.
That's the unique sign that reminds us that we're twenty years ahead the punks, rock stars and savage baroque eighties liberation. We come back, though, in a state of confusion and then wait for the next pre-show to begin.
A postmodern living lying over the white catwalk tempts the public to go and sip a beverage while casually reading a light magazine in the company of their coworkers. As a symbol of Maria Cher's collection, named "Winter Temptations", each guest finds a very big and red apple waiting for him in the chair. The models are the ones that actually drink and eat and chat and do whatever they like to while we, the people, don't know where to look first.
It reminds me of the magazines my mother used to read when I was little: they were discolored and somewhat naive and they showed happy people, while clothes seemed to be an excuse for the fun. When I look at the runway, I can't help but wonder if there can actually be fun between so many female models laughing and shouting at everything around them.
I keep thinking about this while I find a safe place to put my apple.
In the meantime, between each fashion show, everyone feel the most profound need to look at the others and to expose themselves as well, turning the place into a huge scenario.
In the introductory red carpet to some award shows, like the Oscars or the Grammies, where all the glances only search for gossip, the main objective of the whole spectacle is almost forgotten; people get so focused on the preliminary that the show seems less important, blurred.
At fashion shows the movement behind the scenes and outside the catwalk have surprisingly become the engine that keeps everything working. The whole Baf experience is actually a giant pre-show to a world much more complicated and unstructured than any fashion show.
Here we are again, in the outside world, already missing the little glamorous sphere, which has given us shelter for a couple of days. What remains from Fashion Week, besides fashion itself, is the memory of a world where everything works out right. Even if there are delays in the shows and misunderstanding between some models, everyone knows these are tiny problems compared to those that wait outside the micro waved fashion cosmos.
We say goodbye to Baf for this year and wonder in silence what will come next. Will there still be fashion?
5th Buenos Aires Fashion Week
Date: April 7th -10th 2003
Place : Buenos Aires, Argentina
Text and Photos: Gisella Natalia Lifchitz