Traditional designs, but with modern materials. That is the proposal that Estela Ramos, owner of the Embroidery Yarina boutique, exhibited at the Culture and Fashion Expo Otavalo 2018.
The event brought together a dozen designers and costume designers from the Kichwas peoples Otavalo and Kayambi of the Sierra Norte. The objective was to promote the workshops and warehouses of the canton, says Edwin Vaca, director of Tourism and Local Economic Development of the Municipality of Otavalo.
The program, which is a preamble to the Fiesta del Yamor, revolved around four axes: catwalks of typical clothes and otavaleña jewelery. There was also an exhibition of community ventures and an Andean music concert. Ramos, who is 15 of her 47 years old, experimenting with fabrics and threads, has specialized in the cuts of the elegant and colorful clothes worn by indigenous women.
Unlike other designers, Estela Ramos is more conservative. While some prefer wide necklines and short sleeves, the Otavaleña artisan likes long sleeves and flights, as women used to look like before. The wedding dress, for example, is composed of an anaco (skirt), a blouse and two veils with which the head is covered. All that clothing is white.
Practically all the elaboration of the bridal clothes is done manually. With patience sews the delicate lace, fine beads and shiny sequins, which look like tiny diamonds. Therefore, among its clients are the Otavalo women who have emigrated abroad, especially to Colombia and Spain.
The preparation of each trousseau takes up to 15 days. In the workshop, she has the assistance of her daughter and two collaborators. For Luis Lema, of Tejidos Rosy, a firm that specializes for two decades in the elaboration of ponchos and scarves, this showcase allowed to spread the new designs of the different ventures. In his case he presented three recent models of a new collection.
It is about two colorful ponchos, known as Mexicans. Also a scarf. In the Expo Culture and Fashion Otavalo 2018 all the details were taken care of. With three weeks in advance, 16 girls and boys from the neighboring communities were chosen, who wore clothes. The parade on the catwalk was in charge of Antony Yamberla. The unusual exhibition attracted some 3,000 visitors who gathered in the Plaza de Ponchos, where the fashion show took place. (I)