Mexico City on the Mind-------
Mexico City is rapidly emerging as a—if not the—hotbed for emerging art, fashion, and design. It boasts one of the globe’s highest concentrations of museums, features cutting-edge architecture (check out Museo Soumaya, a hull-like structure plated in honeycomb blocks designed by the firm FR-EE), and just yesterday, received attention in a front-page New York Times article about its increasing attractiveness for expatriate artists and entrepreneurs. It seems the metropolis has appealed to designers, too, as traces of Mexico City popped up on a host of Spring ’14 runways.
While such labels as Rodebjer and Rebecca Minkoff pulled inspiration from Mexico, the biggest splash belonged to Prada (as big splashes often do). Signora Miuccia commissioned a panel of muralists to paint her set with giant faces, which were replicated on dresses, skirts, and coats. Prada reported that political art out of Mexico—particularly the work of Diego Rivera—served as a strong source of inspiration, and the collection’s first look featured a print by Mexican street artist Stinkfish.
At House of Holland, Henry Holland paid homage to Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 hit Romeo + Juliet, much of which was filmed in Mexico City. Splendid hues and religious motifs weren’t compromised, thanks to prints—which nodded to Mexico’s deep Catholic roots—by L.A.-based tattoo artist Alex Garcia.
Considering that Annette and Phoebe Stephens—the duo behind New York-based jewelry line Anndra Neen—were raised in Mexico City, it is perhaps not surprising that notes from their childhood emerged in their latest offering. Spring ’14′s sculptural shields, triangular necklaces, and woven metal wares were reportedly inspired by Ron Fricke’s 1992 globe-trotting documentary Baraka. The designers, who produce the line in Mexico City’s Zona Rosa neighborhood, embraced not just Mexican artisanship but Namibian and MENA crafts as well. To top it off, the Stephens sisters showed their new range alongside their personal collection of Rivera works—the exact artist that led Ms. Prada, thousands of miles away in Milan, to her own effort.