Buenos Aires Fashion Week (more like fashion three days) came calling, and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to check it out. Fellow Northwesterner Lauren Maddox and I set out on foot, excited for the big event. After walking until our feet ached, we realized there are two streets named “Sarmiento,” and the one we wanted was on the opposite side of the city. (Of course the BAF Week Web site failed to note this.)
When we finally arrived, the scene was swarming with elegantly thin women with chic apparel and really long hair. Packs of schoolgirls still in their uniforms meandered throughout the various booths advertising electronics, magazines and food products. We soon realized that our 20-peso entrance fee wasn’t going to be enough to get us into the fashion shows, so we joined the line that snaked throughout the entire building. Little did we know we’d be standing in it for the next four hours. At least the event made for good people-watching, and we made a few friends along the way. A few guys that worked at an electronic booth came over and one took particular interest in guessing my country of origin. At the end of our encounter, he gave me his contact info, which I pocketed thinking I’d never make use of it.
When we were finally only 20 people away from being let in (out of thousands), we realized they had stopped letting anybody enter. So many elite “invitados” had showed up that there was no room for the general public in the evening shows. I was not about to test my luck and wait another 2 hours, but Lauren is not one to give up. We tried befriending the security guards, but to no avail. Then, she reminded me of the business card in my pocket, so I headed back to my newest amigo in one final attempt to make our wait worthwhile. And behold, he did have a few “invitado” tickets which he kindly offered after I told my woeful tale!
And boy, I am glad he did. We saw the spring collection of Wanama (it is winter moving into spring in this hemisphere). Flowy, beachy looks paired with vests and bold bags glided down the runway between rows of bird sculptures. The models wore headdresses and brightly colored pieces of art as hats, which reminded me of papier-mâché imitations of tribal deities. Camera flashes sparkled throughout the crowd that filled countless rows of bleachers. The show was quite the experience, and though it was a long wait I’m glad I went. And of course, it inspired me to go shopping the next day.