Vast and varied references and inspirations, including a recent journey to India with his mother, brought forth the ideas for Esteban Cortazar’s optimistic and spiritual Spring/Summer ’17 collection, which the designer referred to as “a kaleidoscope of personal ideas” backstage.
And that it was. Sari shapes and exotic colors fused with Western styles, inspired by the street style of Indian schoolchildren combined with memories of growing up surrounded by surfers and skaters in South Beach. Sportswear and the distinctive aesthetic of some of Cortazar’s favorite 90s R&B singers such as Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill and a dash of Rasta, which was evident in the color palette, delighted the fellow millennials in the audience in particular.
The collection, complemented by and styled with jewelry designed in collaboration with fellow Colombian Paul Mendoza, was a masterclass in tying and draping and featured many intricate details such as cut-outs, sports-inspired crochet dresses, sequinned panels and bandeau tops, patchwork leather tops and embroidery. Silhouettes ranged from the figure hugging to distinctly more fluid looks, complete with capes.
Offsetting structure with softness is something else Cortazar has done particularly well, and thick sumptuous leather paired with gauzier pieces was a winning combination once again.
With a rare ability to draw on so many both relatable and far-flung references in a cohesive way, it’s safe to assume Cortazar won’t be running out of ideas anytime soon.