If your clothing tastes lean toward artisanal braiding, lacing, weaving, and fringing, then prepare to inject a splash of Latina to update your look. A few seasons back, Benjamin Cho scored copious editorials and red carpet appearances for his hand-braided silk fringe tops favored by J.Lo and Devon Aoki. John Galliano delivered a veritable cornucopia of handicraft detailing in recent seasons at Christian Dior. Tom Ford for YSL had women twisted up in corset lacing and inspired numerous brands with that crisscrossed craze. For spring 2003, two London-based designers, Carlos Miele and Rafael Lopez searched their Brazilian and Spaniard lineage respectively to devise even spicier ways of accentuating curves and lacing their Latina roots around the female form. Tapping indigenous artisans to carry out traditional handwork techniques, Miele favors guipure lacing, silk satin weaves, embroidery and crocheting for clingy bias-cut dresses and barely-there tops. Lopez suggested fringed showgirl mini-skirts by way of disco, plaited satin with Grecian draping — all in fire-hot Latin spirit. Keep an eye out for these sexy twists, which will have women swooning come spring.
- Rora Parker
Photo: Rafael Lopez Spring 2003