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Designs from Indigenous Peoples' Past Make Mexico a Global Fashion Hit

Melanie Abrams - The Guardian
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May 20, 2015

Eye-catching trainers by Ricardo Seco (Albert Urso/Getty)

When Mexico’s first lady, Angélica Rivera, catapulted into Vanity Fair’s 2013 best dressed list, thanks to local designer Benito Santos’s sophisticated sheath dresses, the country’s homegrown fashion talent stepped into the style spotlight. Then came Rivera’s trip to London in March with husband Enrique Peña Nieto to herald this year’s Mexico in the UK event. She was radiant in red for a Buckingham Palace banquet, while dazzling in diamonds and a chic black gown at a Guildhall banquet hosted by the lord mayor.

Now Mexico’s global fashion credentials are receiving another boost – the Museum at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology has given Mexico City prominence in its exhibition on the top emerging fashion capitals, which opens on 2 June. “Fashion from Mexico is new and exciting,” says co-curator Ariele Elia. “They are using the culture from the indigenous tribes in a way that’s not been seen before.”

One example is Ricardo Seco, who uses the vibrant colours, mystical patterns and ancient beading techniques of the 15,000-year-old Wixárika tribe from the mountains of central Mexico on everything from neoprene bomber jackets to skateboards. “I want to show the cool Mexico with pieces you can wear on the street,” says Seco, who is among many Mexican designers who capitalise on the country’s diverse culture, mixing old and new. Inspired by the landscape, Alejandra Quesada often clashes floral and fauna prints for her modern maxi dresses, sweatshirts and more, while Francesco Cancino of Yakampot adapts indigenous shawls and Tzotzil tribal craft processes for his minimalist slouchy silhouettes.

...Yet there’s more to Mexican design than heritage.

Read the rest at The Guardian

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