Gone to Colombiamoda

Notes from Colombia Fashion Week.


Special international guest designer Haider Ackermann was the highlight fashion week in Colombia (aka Colombiamoda). Here he is at lunch hosted by the Mayor of Medellin, where he received the key to the city.


My cousin, Cloclo Echavarria, worked on the Colombian team that hosted Ackermann and produced his runway show. She arrived at the Mayor’s luncheon wearing this adorable fuchsia look by Piamita, and a python clutch by Hunting Season, a Colombia-based accessories brand.


Waris Ahluwalia, one of Ackermann’s close friends, flew down from New York to join him for the festivities. Here he is standing in front of Medellin’s metro cable, one of the city’s most important means of public transportation. Not a bad view for your morning commute.


The night before Ackermann’s show, I ran into some of his models, fresh in from Europe, having dinner at Zorba, a delicious pizza restaurant.


Ackermann had the honor of opening Colombiamoda fashion week with a runway show of 38 looks from both his past and recent collections. These were some of my favorites.


The designer had 10 models flown in just for the show; the rest of the cast were all local girls.


Another shot from Ackermann’s runway.


Colombian designer and TV personality, Adriana Arboleda Eder arrived to Ackermann’s post-show dinner wearing one of her own designs. I was obsessed with her necklace by the Cuban jewelry maker Rafael Bueno. It’s made of vintage silverwear.


Here is the adorable model Saskia de Brauw enjoying some post-show dessert with her boyfriend.


The celebration continued after dinner a salsa club, El Suave, where Ackermann hosted his after-party. I loved the no-frills feel of the venue, a favorite among local die-hard salsa lovers.


One of my favorite Colombian designers that I came across was Manuela Alvarez. Here is a look from her show on Tuesday.


Alessandra Ambrosio flew in from Brazil to walk for Pink Filosofy, which was started by designers Adriana Arboleda Eder and Joanna Ortiz. The brand’s latest project is a collection for Arkitect, which belongs to El Exito, the Colombian equivalent of Target. It is interesting to see democratization of fashion catching on in Colombia.


Here is Ambrosio backstage at the show.


Uchuas (known in the States as golden berries) are everywhere in Colombia. These delicious tangy fruits were the perfect snack in between shows!


This is the beautiful Paula Mendoza, a Colombian jewelry designer based in New York. Before starting her company, Paula studied sculpture, which is definitely evident when you see her work.


Paula makes her prototypes herself; the jewelry is then hand-made in Colombia by a team of women. She favors emeralds, Colombia’s national stone, and gold-plated brass.


I love these geometric studs, which you can wear pointing up or down. Below, these raw emerald creations are actually dubbed the “Giovanna” earrings after W’s Giovanna Battaglia. Paula’s dream is to one day see her in them!


A close-up view of the Giovanna earrings. I love the variant texture of the stone.


The view of Medellin from Paula Mendoza’s showroom.