We're still obsessed with fashions from South of the Equator. This time, however, our gaze has shifted to Argentina, where style innovators such as Trosman, Tramando, and A.Y. Not Dead captured our attention and piqued our wanderlust. Interestingly enough, two of the designers we found ourselves drawn to used to work together. Before splitting up to focus on their own lines, Jessica Trosman and Martin Churba were Trosman Churba, a sartorial force to be reckoned with. Recognized as South America's preeminent contemporary label, the duo's architectural designs garnered praise from fashion editors, fashion forward Argentines, and in-the-know jetsetters. As sad as it was to see them split up, they are now both successful designers in their own right, with distinct visions that continue to appeal to the modern woman. While there is certainly an intellectual bent to both collections, each attracts a different customer.
Tramando: Churba's label, Tramando, offers unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect an art-inspired lifestyle. In fact, he also specializes in decorative items for the home. Stepping into his boutique is an otherworldly, sensory experience, prompting one to touch the beaded vases crafted into organic shapes, eye the prints that look as if they were painted by hand, and enjoy the softly lit, serene atmosphere. Tramando is all about "textile philosophy" and even has its own textile lab, where his team collaborates to craft materials and develop new technologies. The objet d'art aesthetic and use of unusual materials, textures, and shapes gives one the feeling that there are no other objects like these on earth. Click to see images from the Spring 08 collection.
Trosman: Trosman, by contrast, has three boutiques in Buenos Aires and the vibe is much more urban. Though not exactly mass market, it's more accessible than Tramando's "wearable art". Trosman creates edgy yet easy to wear, affordable separates whose artfully draped silhouettes hint at an underlying intellectualism. It's no wonder her influences include Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Charles Eames, and Mies Van der Rohe. Because her collections are never thematic, her pieces have a timelessness about them. Trosman's palette is also much more subdued than that of her former partner, favoring urban-friendly greys and neutrals in fine cotton and stretch jersey. Her line is now carried in exclusive boutiques the world over. Click to see images from the Spring 08 collection.
A.Y. Not Dead: Gleaning inspiration from rock music, art, and the realities of South American life, the tastemaking duo of Noel Romero and Angeles Chevallier launched their first collection in 2003, entitled "Le Freak c'est Chic." As a result, their designs for A.Y. Not Dead look as if they would be equally at home on the streets of Tokyo by day, or getting dancey in London by night, all set to the electro soundtrack of Parisian DJ's. The punchy colors reflect the fun, youthful energy behind the designers, who decided to return to Argentina after a stint at Central Saint Martins and are now highly respected by the young, club-going set who frequent their three stores. Click to see images from the Spring 08 collection.