Sunday, January 22, 2012

Latin America, Changing its Skin.

Bolivia, Mexico, Guatemala and Bolivia.....As we work towards our next visit to Melbourne town, we have been looking up the archives, cleaning the stock room and planning for a very busy week.

As we do this i am reminded of how many lovely things we import, how versatile they are and how easy it is to mix Vintage with New.

Here we have a traditional Bolivian hat worn by most women with pride just on the top of their heads so i  often wonder when i see them how they can walk without loosing them. They choose different colours of donkey grey and black, I am not sure if their is any reason for their choices.

Next the Hand Made, Hand Embroidered Blouse, each one completely different, over the years of buying them i am familiar with the similar types of embroidery but as each one is made individually they are never the same. Some women i buy from are neater makers than others, sometimes i get stock home and find it unfinished and often with the initials in pencil of the women who have embroidered them, it can be easily hidden by a label but often this stock is also unwashed which is my fault, as i pressure the girls to sell me what they can in the short time i have in their towns.

The belts on this outfit are from our Vintage collection, the first a hand woven piece of cotton, with the traditional colours of Guatemala, this and the other piece are old and over the years we see less and less of the traditional garments being worn cotton and indigo being used, these days some women prefer to buy a beautiful meterage of machine Icat with lurex to wear as a skirt and buy "wool" to weave as belts which is often Acrylic, i think they believe they are being progressive, but with 1st world knowledge we know acrylic will never last as long as Cotton.

The skirt is part of our Private Collection, often used for photo shoots and parades, its from Bolivia as well, although now the women of Bolivia (see above) buy Chineese Material often incredibly shiny and make their skirts from this, there is always meters and meters of fabric pleated onto a waistband made from ticking which is left with an extra 10cm to tie your skirt closed. You can also see these banana sellers wearing their hats, and their enviable plaits.

Were-ever we can we buy Vintage, we wish to chronicle, times past, traditions lost and be able to make these comparisons to show us all how Latin America is changing its skin.   For the better??????

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