San Juan Moda Review

Two weeks ago, some of the most recognizable designers in Puerto Rico presented their Fall/Winter 2014 collections at San Juan Moda. This year, Dominican special guest designer Miguel Genao presented his impecable Paréntesis collection, whose pure white color palette whose fresh, romantic-yet-modern shapes made it effortless and visually satisfying. Even though the collection was all white, the variety of designs that included dresses and separates included pieces meant for different tastes and styles.

Genao wasn't the only one to deliver a monochromatic palette to the runway. Carlos Alberto presented his entire collection with just cobalt blue fabrics which was, at one point, overwhelming. Just when our eyes were expecting to see something different, another all-blue attire came out on the runway. Unlike Genao, his designs' transparent fabric lacked class. Much to our shock, local celebrity La Burbu came down the runway wearing a very disturbing plunge dress. Sorry, Carlos Alberto, we were expecting to see something more -- let's say -- sophisticated.

Are you as obsessed with capes as we are? Well, it wasn't until day four of San Juan Moda that the gorgeous Monique Pérez walked down the runway of Gustavo Candile's show with one of the most stunning capes we have ever seen: a long, navy blue chiffon beauty with embellished details on the shoulder. This flawless piece could appear on the red carpet at any moment.


Designer duo Orlando López and Félix Fletcher, the geniuses behind OF Atelier, presented their Summoning Muse Collection. When the lights were turned off, a submissive light illuminated the runway, snow started falling on it and every single soul sitting in the audience gasped. The two designers created a fancy atmosphere with dresses evocative of a Russia we all know from the classic children's movie Anastasia. Hues of white, gold, brown, pinks and purples dominated this runway. Not all of the dresses were showstoppers (some were quite bizarre), specially the ones combining pinks and purples. On the other hand, lace, transparent layers, furs, and gold sequins made this collection a vivid representation of elite society women's fashion in the 1930's. OF Atelier took the term "fall-winter collection" to heart.

Stunning pieces walked the Harry Robles show, Unforgettable Me, a collection focused on brides and their bridesmaids. The pretty, romantic dresses, veils, and headpieces made our eyes sparkle. Harry got us wishing for a wedding as magical as his show that night.

Speaking of headpieces, we can't forget to mention the incredibly talented designer Frolain. Her Dark Island collection was edgy and futuristic and featured geometrically-shaped headpieces, like circles and triangles. She added studs, hair extensions, chains, embellishments, and other materials that perfectly complimented the dark look she wanted to recreate, inspired by a Jonas Bendiksen photograph of a Norse lake. On the runway, the models channeled their fierceness so that these edgy pieces looked effortless.

Jaer Caban, well-known for extravagant designs on the runway, delivered with his Ctenophora show. The extremely elaborate pieces he presented are definitely too dramatic to wear day-to-day but optimal attire for the artist who wants to satisfy fans at a show. The runway was filled with light, metallic fabrics, transparencies, and geometric shapes.

Last, but certainly not least, in the San Juan Moda line-up was Eddie Guerrero, who closed the event with his colorful Quechua collection. His designs were inspired by the culture of the Peruvian Mountains' indigenous people. Guerrero took his inspiration a little too seriously by adding excessive accesories, which at times cheapened the attire: at times they looked like costumes and not wearable at all. With such exquisite and lively Peruvian fabrics, we expected minimal designs that would have allowed for almost effortless designs.


Although San Juan Moda has brought a positive upgrade to the Puerto Rican fashion world, we couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed: the collections in general were not the fashion-forward ones we expected, reflecting the careless attitude of the designers. We'd love to see new trend on the Island's runways and would like to identify somehow, one way or another, with the clothes we see presented in the shows. We were also disappointed with invited audience members who seemed uninterested on what was happening on the runway. Increased quality, formality, and (dare we say) a little more exclusivity would have lent this event a more prestige.