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LIF Week roundup day 2: Floaty fabrics and post-apocalypse chic in Lima, Peru

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It was a full night and a packed house at Lima Fashion Week’s second evening of runway shows. Six designers presented their collections at the Casa Prado in Miraflores: Ana Maria Guiulfo, ETC Woman, Sitka Semsch, Yirko Sivirich, Basement, and Noe Bernacelli.

Though the collections varied widely in style and tone, common themes were seen between designers. Sitka Semsch and Noe Bernacelli’s collections were ethereal and movement-focused, both adding a touch of glitzy drama to the night. Basement and Yirko Severich (and, to a lesser extent, Ana Maria Guiulfo) presented pieces that almost looked like costume pieces from a movie about about a future dystopia, full of hard lines and solid colors, and out-of-this-world touches.

Let’s start from the beginning. The night opened with Ana Maria Guiulfo’s collection of brightly colored women’s wear Watercolor motifs prevailed, including several dresses that bore soft paintings of women brushed broadly across their fronts. One of the strengths of Guiulfo’s work was her ability to sculpt the material into architectural forms, exaggerating, emphasising, or hiding the human body. The collection, as a whole, was quite lovely. A number of the more fitted dresses could certainly become popular cocktail wear among the fashionable set in Lima in the months to come. Guiulfo’s looks, while perhaps not particularly inspired, were wearable, well-designed, and came together in a solid and skillful collection.

ETC Woman’s collection, while pleasant and certainly wearable, was largely forgettable Though several of the individual pieces did stand out, the collection as a whole was nothing to write home about. Two very sexy bathing suits were part of the collection, including one with a flashy fringe that bobbed about as the model walked. Again, a pleasant group of clothing, but just too common-looking to be memorable.

Sitka Semsch’s collection was the show that I had been waiting for Semsch was one of three Peruvian designers who showed pieces at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Madrid in September. She’s worked internationally with Michael Kors and The Limited, and her work at Lima Fashion Week has been enchanting in the past. Semsch used a soft palette of whites, charcoal greys, and blacks in pieces that flowed effortlessly with the body as the models walked. Though the colors employed by Semsch are simple, her use of detail is complex and remarkable. In this collection, Semsch used a lot of lace in order to create subtle but striking contrasts in color and texture. Her graceful, appealing pieces were well-received by the audience, and were certainly one of the highlights of the night.

Then came Yirko Sivirich, the only menswear presentation of the evening Sivirich’s pieces were far from your standard suit and tie ensemble, but not completely unfamiliar in their styling either. Khaki and white prevailed as dominant colors in the collection, which included a number of summer alternatives to a traditional suit. However, though the pieces were well-constructed, the bland colors and harsh lines made many of the pieces look like military or prison uniforms from a not-so-distant (and not-so-pleasant) future.

I’d like to take this opportunity to ask menswear designers a favor: Stop trying to make the suit with short pants happen. It’s not going to happen. One of Sivirich’s pieces, a khaki short suit ensemble with a collarless jacket, looked distressingly like space age lederhosen. The poor model looked like a sad, overgrown member of the Von Trapp family from some twisted version “The Sound of Music” set on a desert planet light years away from here.

While I shake my head in confusion over the continued push by summer wear designers to edge the short suit into the mainstream, I have to give Sivirich a hand for his show’s well-orchestrated grand finale. When the models came back to exhibit their looks one last time before the show ended, half of them had stripped down to neatly coordinated underwear. The near nude models caused an audible reaction from the audience. Some gasped, some laughed, and some just started clapping. It was likely the largest display of enthusiasm from the audience of the night. The models, somewhat understandably, looked quite pleased with themselves.

After Sivirich came Basement, another collection full of post-apocalyptic fashion Models wore futuristic tinted glasses and had their hair slicked back aerodynamically. It was like an army of scary beautiful spaceship pilots. Much like ETC Woman, Basement’s pieces were pleasant individually and inoffensive as a group. But very little about the collection stood out. That said, their use of sequins, leather, chiffon, and sheeny-smooth materials made for interesting texture contrasts, and the pieces will surely appeal to a wide range of women.

The last show of the night was that of designer Noe Bernacelli. If Sivirich’s pieces are what people wear in a future dystopia, Bernacelli’s luxurious designs are what residents of a future utopia have in their closets. Bernacelli’s pieces were elegant, sumptuous, and a joy to behold Bernacelli very successfully used pleated sheer fabric to create the illusion that his models were gliding, walking on air. Soft mint greens and whites made up a large portion of the collection, but were accompanied by striking red tones. I can forgive Bernacelli’s presentation of a short suit because the rest of the pieces were just so jaw-droppingly beautiful. If you only look at one set of photographs from all of LIF Week, I recommend that you take a gander at Noe Bernacelli’s show.

*Check out our LIF Week slideshows and be sure to come back tomorrow for one more round of fashionable dissection.*

To see the opening night’s designs, click here two of Lima Fashion Week included shows by Ana Maria Guiulfo, ETC Woman, Sitka Semsch, Yirko Sivirich, Basement, and Noe Bernacelli.

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Rachel Chase is a proud born-and-bred Minnesotan who’s moved to Lima after graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College with a double major in Spanish and Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies. During her junior year of college, Rachel studied in Peru and loved it so much that she just had to come back. As well as being a dedicated News Editor, Rachel plays the ukulele and sings, as well as trying to devour as many books as she can.