Check Mate

Mario Testino,  fashion photographer extraordinaire, has created a line of clothes and accessories called MATE.  I saw them on Net- a- Porter and was curious as to how this ebullient, colorful, expressive collection came about.  With a show and a book entitled Alto Moda, which means high fashion in Spanish, Mario visually pays homage to his homeland by showcasing Peruvians in traditional costume shot over some period of time.  It is named after his cultural foundation located in the heart of Lima's Barranco district.  Being Peruvian, Mario wanted to celebrate the vibrancy of his heritage, document it, and provide a platform for other homegrown artists.

“I wanted to pay homage to Peru and to the sumptuousness of traditional Peruvian clothing, clothing to which Peruvians remain attached today,” shared Testino in April’s edition of Vogue Paris.

“I’ve seen how much Peru has changed in recent years and how much society has become more open.  But despite everything, Peru’s DNA has stayed the same, and it has remained a country that seems to exist as a celebration of diversity and difference – from different landscapes to different ethnic origins and even different foods. I’m proud of our potatoes. Whereas there are only 10 or 20 varieties in Europe, there are thousands in Peru.”

The beautiful caftans, scarves, accessories and jewelry (collaborated on with Vicki Beamon of Erickson Beamon) gives a portion of its profits back to the MATE foundation.  

Shopping for a cause ALWAYS makes sense to me, especially if they are wearable works of art.  Could this collection become collectable?  Hmmm...

Look for the collection exclusively at Net-a -Porter or read more about it in Mario's book.  The exhibit will be traveling to New York in the fall, I am told.

ph: Mario Testino

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