The Art of Dressing to Match
As part of Selvedge World Fair talks programme, in Back to Basics, lifestyle specialist Marcella Echavarria will be interviewing three contemporary Mexican photographers about how are steering their country away from folkloric clichés of Frida Kahlo and rosa mexicano. One of these photographers is Melania Chavarría Nuño, who mixes fashion, photography and performance in a unique artistic expresión creating a path that takes a leap into a vibrant present and a promising future on pair with other expressions such as architecture. Her photography features on the front of our latest issue of Selvedge and in the article An Ode to the City of Chaos: Melania Chavarría and the Art of Dressing to Match. Read on for an extract of the article...
The Art of Dressing to Match is the project of Mexican fashion designer Melania Chavarría that has caused a sensation on Instagram at @matching.melania. In her feed, Melania is seen posing in different settings in Mexico City, many of which are murals made by urban artists. Melania proposes eye-catching and sometimes strident outfits that match the graphics and visual compositions.
Melania’s project offers a different take on the activity of Mexico City–an alternative, colourful, multicultural and aesthetic vision of a giant city with chaos embedded in its DNA.
Originally from Mexico City, Chavarría recently graduated in Fashion Design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, the very mythical place where years ago the famous Antwerp Six–Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirck Bikkembergs and Marina Yees–studied. After completing a BA in Fashion at the Universidad Centro in Mexico City, Chavarría sought a Master’s degree in Antwerp. However, upon arrival she realized the limitations of her education in Mexico and with great humility decided to begin again with Undergraduate studies, to have a broader and more advanced skill set. The Antwerp program allowed her to refine her vision and decipher her own artistic language. Melania realized her sense of aesthetics was permeated by the anarchy that reigned in her hometown. From that discovery, she was able to restructure her priorities, call upon her strengths and create a unique project that oscillates between the rediscovery of the city amongst urban sprawl, art direction, garment collecting, tour guide services, costume design and fashion.
Melania collects and alters garments, designing those that are needed and using herself as a model to create these tableaux vivants, where the city is also the protagonist. Each vignette is carefully planned, designed and posed. The use of colour is fundamental, as well as the dialogue with the murals, the architecture and the scenery. Like a 19th century portraitist, with each element signifying and contributing to a complexly constructed image, Melania doubles in front of and behind the camera…
Excerpt of article An Ode to the City of Chaos: Melania Chavarría and the Art of Dressing to Match, written by Ana Elena Mallet. Read the rest of the article in the newly released Issue 102 Mend.
All twelve of the 2-hour Selvedge World Fair talks are included in the price of a ticket. Find out more, and buy tickets here: Selvedge World Fair