and that, dear readers, is what I’d like to focus on in this week’s column, rather than some sporting event. That strong Latino spirit, the whole hips-can’t-help-swaying-to-the-music vibe – that is what we are trying to evoke.
But please, don’t start thinking you have to step totally out of character and go mad here. Firstly, fiesta-style fashion is about having total confidence within – I can’t tell you how many times I have worn my best party dress and heels and never felt less in the mood. Secondly, you’re not channeling Carmen Miranda here, nor will you have to go Gaucho like Rita Hayworth in Gilda. But there are elements from these two iconic figures that one should adopt: a bare midriff if you have the abs, for example; a totem pole of gold bracelets; the perfect hoop earrings; a metallic sandal from Jimmy Choo or Giuseppe Zanotti; the merest hint of a ruffle.
For modern inspiration, I’d like to point you in the direction of one
Solange Knowles – my goodness, can she rock a colorful print – but also to a Dutch model from the ’80s, Marpessa Hennink. Now there was a woman who could wear dangling earrings and a headscarf without looking like anyone on a float. Do Google her: she was and is my favorite-ever model.
In terms of designers, the ones to hone in on are the Italians – Etro, Cavalli, Pucci and Missoni – who have never been afraid of riotous print and color, and also, as a nation, have always got that casual-yet-ready-to-party look down pat. If, like me, you’re a bit scared of doing print and color head to toe, especially for day, what about keeping it to a single piece? Maybe a brightly patterned maxi skirt by Etro or a pair of Pucci harem pants, teamed with a white
“You DON’T have to go mad here: FIESTA-style fashion is about having CONFIDENCE within”
tee from The Row or a sweet little black camisole top by Toteme. To switch it up for evening, try something a little bit more exotic, like the handkerchief-hemmed, tasseled top from Emamo with a pair of white Victoria Beckham Denim jeans (if you’re a real wuss, team it instead with a pair of fail-safe slouchy black pants and a black tuxedo or biker jacket).
Personally, I’ve always liked a bit of flounce around my legs. I think that’s because it reminds me of the flamenco-dancer doll I was once given, which you could turn upside down and another doll would appear where her legs were meant to be. I have just the thing in my wardrobe: a tiered red and white kilt, edged in black lace, from Comme des Garçons. But to balance the inherent fussiness of such a piece, I will wear it with my Birkenstocks and pare back on the hair and makeup front – a slick of creamy red lipstick, a sprinkling of freckles and a super-simple but sexy chignon. Now that, to me, is the perfect canvas for a Carnival-worthy outfit.
Put the fun back into fashion with fringing,
mixed prints and tassels.
A maxi skirt is an ideal 24/7 piece: just add bold jewelry for night.
Keep the focus on your outfit with understated hair and makeup.