Trend: Inspiration Heads South

Fashion design can take inspiration from a multitude sources, film, music and past eras are regularly referenced. As are countries and cultures, and of late we can’t help but notice that South America is climbing the fashion radar. Very much in the media spotlight right now is Brazil, home to this year’s World Cup and the next Olympics designers are taking note and soaking up those South American flavours.

Clements Ribeiro took inspiration from the retro tropical glamour of Rio for their S/S collection, starting with the prints, a tropical floral enveloping a postcard photo of the Rio Bay for the centrepiece. Ferns and parrots add to the tropical theme and the iconic black and white wavy pattern of the Copacabana pavement makes a graphic counterpoint whilst the ruffled pencil skirt defines the tropical silhouette.

From the top: Made in Mexico exhibition at the Fashion & Textile Museum, Clements Ribeiro Rio postcard print and printed shorts, Mexico t-shirt by Rebecca Minkoff, parrot and floral print, cropped blouse and skirt by Alberta Ferretti and Rio print dress by Clements Ribeiro.

Elsewhere the Fashion & Textile Museum heads to Mexico for their next exhibition. Made in Mexico is the first exhibition on the Rebozo – the classic shawl made famous in 20th century culture by the iconic Frida Kahlo. This new exhibition has just opened and explores the key role textiles have played in promoting Mexican culture worldwide from the 17th century to the present day.

Rebozos on display include major loans from: the Franz Mayer Museum, Mexico City; the Museum of Textiles, Oaxaca; the British Museum and rebozos from private collections that have never been shown in public before. Contemporary Mexican and UK artists, photographers, fashion and textile designers also present new work created in response to the rebozo and Mexican textiles – including Francisco Toledo, Graciela Iturbide, Carla Fernandez, Zandra Rhodes and Kaffe Fassett.

South America, it seems, is starting to have a moment which will begin to blossom over the next few seasons. Trend forecasters predict that this will become more evident across several sectors from fashion and interiors to restaurants and art.