Colombian style ingenue Esteban Cortazar opened Colombia’s premiere fashion event, Colombiamoda, on Monday evening with a provocative nod to international fashion.
The paris-based designer drew on his experiences in Europe as inspiration for the daring collection, which debuted on the runway at the fashion trade-show in the central Colombian city of Medellin.
Clearly taking heed of the four-day event’s leitmotif of “Creative Transformation,” Cortazar’s predominantly black, grey and white color palette took its cue from trends currently gracing runways in the French fashion capital, rather than home-spun styles of Colombia.
The Colombian designer told news agency Efe that he wanted to open the eyes of Colombian women to the world of international fashion.
“I live in Paris” he said “and the inspiration for this collection was that the Parisian woman, the European woman has her own personal style as well as being exposed to the world of international fashion everyday. She knows how to blend very naturally.”
The precociously talented designer, who was born in Bogota, had five major shows at New York Fashion Week under his belt by the age of 20. He went on to head up the design team at Emanuel Ungaro, a post he was ousted from last year after reportedly refusing to work with actress Lindsay Lohan. His youthful, sexy take on female style has nevertheless won him the respect of fashion pundits around the world.
In this latest collection, which premiered to an audience of 3,000, rustic urbanity met with a blend of innocence and sophistication as the 25 year-old designer toyed with a host of antagonistic pairings. In over 60 pieces sent down the runway, feminine was teamed with masculine in a set of irreverently tailored jackets, buttoned shirts and leggings, as well as the ubiquitous black dress.
Cortazar nicely offset his muted colour palette with bursts of leopard print and psychedelic fuchsia whilst showing a fearless use of accessories in an inspired selection of chains, loosely tied belts and brooches.
Although the young designer said his intention was towards “internationalizing” Colombian style, the designer confessed he was “dying” to see how his pieces would be interpreted by women across the country.
On Thursday, Cortazar will be honored with a Colombian Heart for his services to the country’s fashion industry. “It’s an honor,” he said when asked about the award “Anything I can do to give the country a good name abroad is exactly what I want.”
The designer’s collection is due to be sold in selected Success stores around Colombia from Tuesday.
Colombiamoda runs from July 26 to 28 in Medellin’s Plaza Mayor.