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  • The Maurizio Galante Couture Fall Winter 2019 collection was presented in Paris.

    The Maurizio Galante Couture Fall Winter 2019 collection was presented in Paris. | Photo: Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION

Published 30 June 2019

In a brash contrast with Herrera's collection, a legislator from the ruling party, Morena, said that this was "made by young Mexican hands, with materials from 17 areas of the country."

Italian designer Maurizio Galante gave a hint Sunday on how to pay tribute to indigenous cultures without necessarily falling in abusive appropriation.

RELATED:
Mexico Accuses Herrera of Appropriating Indigenous Designs for New Collection

Following the infamous case of New York-based label Carolina Herrera, accused of "ripping off" native designs by the Mexican government, Galante gave Mexican artisans top billing in his Paris haute couture (high-end), "Shining". 

"If you are invited to a house for dinner, you must respect the rules of the place," Galante said but abstained to comment on the Herrera incident. 

The designer worked with Mexico's top fashion institute and artisans across the country on the collection which was inspired in the "clash of cultures" between Aztec, Mayan and other native cultures with the European arrival in the XVI century.

With a Mexican federal representative and officials in the front row giving their seal of approval, he sent out trousers suits inspired by the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, the "feathered serpent", rendered in silk organza scales - and the jaguar diety Tezcatlipoca.

Galante called the collection "Shining" after the Tehuana ceremonial headdress immortalized by the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in her self-portraits. The Paris-based artist said it was this "mix and the clash between the native cultures and that of the arriving Europeans" that made Mexico such a rich cultural crossroads.

"Silks and other materials coming from the East also came through Mexico first which added another level" of color and texture, Galante explained. The designer toured the country four times on research trips working with a Mexican non-governmental organization in order to obtain the inspiration needed for his collection. 

Before putting the intricate clothes together in his Paris studio, including bolero jackets made with tiny woven maize baskets - traditionally used for necklaces - he consulted Mexican experts to find the best artisans.

Each of his 21 highly-worked sets come with a halo of sun-shaped straw and metal jewelry made by Mexican indigenous artists Antonio Rendon Cornelio and Carlos Piedras.

In a brash contrast with Herrera's collection, the legislator Julio Carranza Areas, from the ruling party, Morena said that this was "made by young Mexican hands, with materials from 17 areas of the country" and it does give "credit to the source."

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