Gabriela is a non-native New Yorker who travels the world to understand why people wear what they wear and how. She is an independent fashion reporter, trend chaser, and self-proclaimed beatnik.

Antonio Ortega Paris Fashion Week FW18

Represented by Totem Fashion.

I was very much looking forward to the Antonio Ortega show due to his Latin American heritage and haute couture training. I haven’t been exposed to many couturiers who come from Latin America and couldn’t wait to see what was in store.

I must admit that I was not exactly a fan in the end. In my view, the collection had a lot of holes and was quite conflicting.

To start, the press release discusses the designer’s inspiration and he chose to set this collection in the heart of the desert. The sand, sun and other elements of nature are what he states as the elements that have influenced his design. I do declare that I see how the inspiration translated and yielded the garments he presented but, however, produced underdeveloped pieces.

I feel as though Antonio Ortega used severely inconvenient fabrics for the setting he chose to set this collection, as well as for the season in question. There was a very strong presence of silks and suedes, two fabrics that are less than favorable for direct sun, heat and, gross but real, sweat. At no point did I feel the collection was representative of the spring/summer season beyond the obvious short sleeve and liberated legs. The tiers and drapes are beautifully done on the gown but they’re still made of the wrong fabrics for the season concerned.

I adore the dried dirt effect he used on some of the looks, which in part reflects giraffe patterns but it just wasn’t enough for me. Couture is supposed to feel luxurious and elegant, while this felt a lot more ready to wear and mass-market. It is true that the fabric captures light beautifully and they move as gracefully as ocean waves, but it doesn’t fully feel couture.

I adore the dried dirt effect he used on some of the looks

Further, the designer presented quite a few silk twin set, which to me look quite aged. It is possible that he is targeting an older clientele, but I didn’t get that impression from those invited to attend the show. The design simply looked inconsistent. With these same sets, I thought there seems to be some confusion because the silhouettes themselves were quite old, without offering a contrasting young design, but somehow high slits made an appearance, which would naturally target a young consumer.

It feels incomplete because I see the effort to create something exciting and new in silhouettes but I don’t think it is executed properly. There’s a juxtaposition of fabric such as silk with suede, demonstrating an interest on the designer’s behalf to think thoroughly about adding beauty and complexity to the designs.

Antonio Ortega: Paris FW18

Guided by shifts in light and the slightest passing breeze, garments mutate and take on an ephemeral existence that lasts only until the next movement. The constant to and fro is framed by the passage of shadows of black silk tulle that envelop and consume the warm colors of the collection.

A yellow jute, coarse and rough, juxtaposes the softness of a silk. The play of contrasts that characterizes Ortega’s work takes on its full meaning in a desert landscape; dark shadows bring freshness while a sparkling embroidery instantly reminds us of the glare of a blinding sun.

Suddenly, a burst of bright color, like a desert flower springing up after the rain. From a distance, its contours are fuzzy, like a mirage, but closer, details become more precise. The glitter quickly disappears among the beige, yellow and golden surroundings, as the desert reclaims its rights.


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Paris Fashion Week

With love,