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Mexico Fashion Week: What it Is and Why it Exists

As if there needed to be another regional event on the ready-to-wear map, Mexico Fashion Week has reared its well-coiffed head. Last week, the Mercede

As if there needed to be another regional event on the ready-to-wear map, Mexico Fashion Week has reared its well-coiffed head. Last week, the Mercedes-Benz sponsored event drew buyers, editors and stylists from around the world. Luckily, our friends at Stylesight were there. We talked to the trend tracking-firm's Rosalina Villanueva about why exactly Mexico Fashion Week exists, and what it offers the industry.

Fashionista: What exactly is Mexico Fashion Week? Where does it take place, and why should we care? Rosalina Villanueva: Mexican Fashion Week is a platform for designers based in Mexico and Latin America. The event takes place at Campo Marte, next to the National Auditorium, which is the biggest venue for concerts and other events in Mexico City. The venue holds two runways, and fashion shows go on from noon to 10 pm daily. Some additional jewelry expositions take place outside the shows as well.

This season also marked the debut of student collections from local schools, including Universidad Iberoamericana, Jannette Klein and Centro. And it was the first season that Mexico Fashion Week offered a trend seminar for attendees. I presented the Spring/Summer 2010 mega trends from Stylesight’s forecast reports. Other than Mercedes-Benz, who else sponsors it? L’Oreal, HSBC, DHL, Johnnie Walker, W Hotels, Visa, Continental and Vive Mexico.

So, when I think of Mexican fashion, I think costume, peasant blouses--how would you define modern Mexican fashion? There are a lot of young designers with an international vision. I was happy to see that many of the trends we forecast on Stylesight were present in this season’s collections. There were a lot of real leathers and furs, which was very different from previous seasons. Designers like Valencia, Carlo Demichelis, and Ricado Seco focused on neutral and dark color palettes, plentiful draping, biker jackets, moody shades and nature-inspired prints with a strong inspiration on minerals and rustic effects. There were also some heavy knits shows by Elena Gomez Toussaint and Cesar Franco, which is uncommon to see in tropical weather collections.

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Who were some of your favorite designers from the week? What makes them standout? My personal favorite was Cora Groppo. She's actually from Argentina--her collection consists of a variety of materials from light gauzes and knits, to strong suede and vinyl, making a mix between shiny and matte finished materials. She showed lovely long cardigans and comfortable leggings. I think her collection was beautiful and unique, yet still commercial. I can see her garments in every part in the world. Also, JL + B Collection had amazing moody nature-inspired prints, full cascading gowns, short draped cocktail dresses, and a strong statement for mineral accessories with quartz and stones.

What's next for these designers? Will they show at different fashion weeks around the world to gain more exposure? There are endless opportunities for Mexican designers. Many are born and raised in Mexico, but do have some other backgrounds rooted in Latin America and Europe. They all have talent and a unique vision. I'm sure they’ll be able to start venturing to international fashion weeks and have successes beyond the Mexican borders.