Chilean Fashion Week: Santiago Style & Soiree

By S.D.P.

As can be said with the country in general, Chile’s annual fashion show has been gaining regional prominence in recent years as this country of 16 million has begun to influence South American style in an arena normally reserved for neighboring giants Brazil and Argentina. This year’s fashion show, presented by shopping mall developer Parque Arauco, took place in Santiago and was a welcome step back towards what made Chilean style to intriguing to begin with: Andean twists on classic European couture. Crowds gathered to see the latest in local designers’ trends and got a chance to see what their 2012 fall & winter collections had in store. Whispers on the Street was there in full force and got a chance to take in collections from designers Sofia Mendez Schenone, Zero + Maria Cornejo, Angelica Castro, Tatienne, Sabo and of course Ruben Campos. This year’s show showcased an array of fabrics which have been absent in reason years such as linen and woven silk.

The high point had to be “The Architect of Chilean Fashion” Ruben Campos’ impressive 2012 collection in which he masterfully accessorized traditional Chilean garments such as Chamantos and Chupallas together with his popular haute couture designs. His line of men’s clothing did not disappoint either as he wowed the audience with a modern Andean take on both the sport coat and traditional double breasted suit. Whispers on the Street’s nod for best female models would have to go to designers Zero + Maria Cornejo, as they definitely upped the ante with their gorgeous set of Chilean ladies.

The after parties spilled over into the night at invite-only cocktail parties at La Casa en el Aire and Dominica54, both located in Santiago’s stylish Bellavista neighborhood. Yours truly was at home in a lively ambiance surrounded by fine Chilean wines, oven baked empanadas and minas ricas. This year’s event did not disappoint, and we look forward to next year’s incarnation of what is beginning to feel like South America’s best kept fashion secret.

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