BACK FROM DARKEST PERU

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Uncharacteristically of me, I’ve come back from a trip having purchased absolutely nothing at all. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve come back empty handed. Perú has many things to offer including much more than just a few sartorial treasures, useful info for all of you who haven’t visited my hometown yet, or what used to be my hometown as a child and teenager. Having studied fashion design while in Lima, I made some fashionable acquaintances that later in life turned into long lasting friendships, and here’s where my actual story begins. As said I didn’t shop at all, true, but I did do some digging in my mum’s closet where I found a vintage linen beige suit, featuring very wide trousers, and in one of my best friend’s closet, where I found some true BF ripped jeans. But the cherry on top of my cake came a little bit after when my good mate Jose made me the best gift ever! Yep. Jose (José Miguel Valdivia) is a true Peruvian fashion designer with a great grasp on fashion history and the ability to meet ethnic elements with contemporary ideas, and what I love the most is that he never fails to project the true essence of Peruvian traditions by using the most noble and characteristic fabrics we’ve got (eg. alpaca wool). Well, now that you know a little bit about him, let me get to the surprising part (at least I was surprised). After visiting him a couple of weeks back (note: I hadn’t seen him for almost 4 years) we got to chat about fashion (is there anything else?) and while doing so he generously offered me one of his latest skirts, inspired on the typical highland costumes of Perú, with original embroidery! Not happy with that, he custom made me a denim corset to sport at LFW this next season (but you’ll see it sooner than that) and last but not least I got this amazing pure alpaca shawl that I will honestly make it part of my uniform this winter. Designer goodies for free… that hardly ever happens to me! I will be styling up these babies in no time, and if you like what you see, which I truly believe you will, and you find yourself roaming the streets of Lima at some point, do pay him a visit, you will be amazed!

Before I end my story, I have another special thing to tell, and this happened just minutes before boarding my flight back home. My mum is a very sensible person when it comes to shopping and she rarely understands why I would spend so much money on clothing. Nevertheless, while accompanying me to my departure gate, we decided to take a little detour and enter a very well established alpaca/vicuña wool apparel store (after all, we’re always early and I had time to spare). In just a few seconds I spotted the greatest vicuña coat I’d ever set eyes on. Being that this kind of animal is rare and a protected species, its wool is hard to come by and needless to say, very expensive. So a bit resigned, my eye lingered towards the nearest rack, and there it was… the same coat but made in its alternative fabric: alpaca wool (20 times less expensive). I tried it on and even if the price was still kind of steep, I cannot imagine what my face must have looked like or how did it glow when I had it on (probably like Rockefeller Centre at Christmas), that my mum simply couldn’t resist the urge of buying it for me. I don’t think I’ve ever received a more precious gift from her, sartorially speaking… and like all the other garments I have retreived from this trip, I cannot wait to wear it and most likely never take it off.

 Skirt and shawl: José Miguel Valdivia, Coat: Kuna

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