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September 2 2014

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2 posts tagged "Mexico City"

Mexico City on the Mind

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Prada, Anndra Neen, and House of Holland

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.

Photos: Monica Feudi/ Feudiguaineri.com (Prada); David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com (Anndra Neen); Marcus Tondo/ IndigitalImafes.com (House of Holland)

Where To Pack Your Valise

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Mexico City is heating up these days, and with shops like La Valise popping up, it’s not hard to see why. The recently opened store is a one-stop shop for the kind of design objets the stylish traveler wants—you know, a carefully curated assortment of sixties Mexican surf rock records, rare books, and, ahem, Oaxacan sex toys.

Antiques dealer Emmanuel Picault—of the nearby Chic by Accident antique gallery—and event producer Jose Luis Madrigal stock the four-room shop with exactly what strikes their fancy, which turns out to be a bit of anything and everything. “This is the territory we want to create: a space for passion, a space that is the beginning for new dialogues, for things for people to really share—a boudoir!” says Picault, a 20-year resident of Mexico City. That includes a bookstore, curated by Madrigal, with volumes in English, Spanish, French, and Italian, and a space for antique and contemporary design pieces (including the surf rock records by Los Temerarios; the aforementioned toys, by Jason Phlol; capes and ponchos by fashion designer Carla Fernandez; and so on). The other two rooms are dedicated to photography, like an upcoming show by Dutch photog Bob Schalkwijk, of buildings still in ruins 25 years after the Mexico City earthquake. And come September, a nineteenth-century printing press will be installed in the shop, where throughout the month, a different writer or artist will print limited-edition treats every day.

The boutique is already attracting its share of famous fans, like Christian Louboutin, who hung out at its opening bash, chatting up Marie José Paz. She was on hand to exhibit a rare book by Marcel Duchamp and her Nobel Prize-winning husband, Octavio Paz. Its title, aptly enough: La Valise.

La Valise, Zacatecas 126, Mexico City, 52-55-5564-9013.

Photo: Courtesy of La Valise