By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
September is, as they say in Mexico, “el Mes de la Patria” (“the Patriotic Month”), mainly because the country’s national day, the Sept. 16 anniversary of its declaration of independence, falls in the middle of it.
There are also several other important Mexican historical anniversaries in September, including the fall of the Niños Héroes (Children Heroes), who fought gallantly — albeit futilely — to defend Chapultepec Castle from an invasion by U.S. troops in 1847, and the brave martyrdom of the Saint Patrick Brigade, a ragtag collection of Irish-born U.S. defectors who abandoned their posts in the U.S. Army to defend Mexico on moral grounds in that same war.
But regardless the root of the Mes de la Patria, September is a great time to celebrate all things Mexican, and fashion is no exception.
Here, then, is a sampling of some of the top designs and styles that can give your wardrobe a Viva México! spotlight this season.
Leading the pack of Mexico-inspired fashion is the trend-setting singing sensation Alejandra Robles, aka, La Morena (no affiliation with the Mexican political party that goes by that moniker).
In her latest album, “Tropicalísima” (now available on all digital platforms), Robles celebrates her Oaxacan heritage with a blend of salsa, cumbia, mambo, bachata, bolero and rumba music decked out in a colorful wardrobe drawn from her afro-Mexican roots.
The brilliant traditional-modern outfit she wears on the album’s cover and in the album’s video was designed by her brother, a renowned graphic artist in his own right, and takes cues as well from contemporary African fashion for a upbeat fusion style.
Also drawing on the rich indigenous heritage of Oaxaca — home to 16 of the nation’s more than 100 native American communities, the largest indigenous conglomerate in the country — is designer Ileana Rojas of Oro de Monte Albán.
In her latest filigree collection, out just this month, Robles incorporates the style of Mexico’s ancient traditional craft of intricate metalwork.
The use of filigree in jewelry dates back to around 2500 BC, and in Mexico is produced by curling, twisting and plaiting fine pliable threads of metal and uniting them at their points of contact with each other through the use of borax.
The delicate rings, bracelets, earrings and pendants of the new Oro de Monte Albán collection are all handcrafted by Oaxacan artists in accordance with a tradition that dates back to the arrival of the earliest Spanish conquistadores, who brought with them the craft of filigree jewelry-making from the Moors.
Mexican filigree is known for its rich, lacy adornments and finely detailed designs, and its use is often associated with special occasions such as marriages and religious festivals.
The new Oro de Monte Albán collection blends traditional Mixtec and Zapotec filigree patterns with contemporary styles to make them timeless beautiful for any occasion.
Oro de Monte Albán is a 100 percent Mexican-owned company that has been in existence since 1943, and is the only jewelry firm that has been authorized by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) to produce gold and silver reproductions of pre-Columbian art.
Lady in Red
A functional black purse is the key staple of any handbag wardrobe, but a red purse should also be a basic in your bag closet.
Red makes a statement, and can give a fiery pop of color to an otherwise humdrum outfit.
Moreover, red is one of the three dynamic “tricolor” hues of the Mexican flag, and one of the trio of official national colors, which is why the Guadalajara-based design house Clôe has made it the stand-out color of its new fall collection.
With a stunning variety of clutches, shoulder bags, satchels and totes in a range of shades of carmen, garnet, ruby and vermilion, the new Clôe collection has something red for every taste,
And Clôe is also offering up a vanguard collection of red shoes (think David Bowie), luggage, glasses, watches, backpacks and wallets this season to give your wardrobe a truly Mexican swag of rojo.
Clôe has 57 boutiques and direct points of sale nationwide, and is sold in more than 360 departments stores across Mexico, Chile, El Salvador and Panama.
…Sept. 9, 2020