By Stacy Ellen
Photography Vince Tabora
Hair & Makeup by Krisi Vaughn
Model Anneka Tabone
Showing his collection for the first time in the United States is designer Juan Pablo Martinez at the Moda 360 international show in Los Angeles, California. His collection catches my eye right away with its classic lines, impeccable tailoring and edgy detailing of metal studs and zippers.
Juan Pablo Martinez appears to be a British gent as he introduces himself to me, as I mention this observation, he says, “My grandfather was from the UK.” He is dressed in an impeccably tailored suit, wearing sophisticated wire rim spectacles.
The AUTUMN WINTER 2016-17 COLLECTION is fittingly named MILITARY VS. HEAVY METAL which works perfectly with the location for this editorial shoot. “Water and Power” was shot on location at the pool that wraps around the LADWP building in downtown Los Angeles as well as the metal sculptured structure of the Disney Concert Hall. Martinez describes his love of the music genre of Heavy Metal as part of his inspiration for this collection. Interpretation of the words “heavy metal” can mean many things as displayed even in this article.
As I take a closer look at his womenswear collection, Martinez’s hang tags, display the dedication he has as a designer to not only use materials that are Eco friendly but also his collection is produced mainly from local artisans in his native land of Columbia.
For instance, the “TANK DRESS” was hand knitted by Yessenia Rodriguez, from end of the roll cotton fabric. Another example of this consciousness to the environment is Martinez’s use of “zero waste” 100% local wool fabric and satin short huipil sourced from the last rolls of Columbian factories before they closed due to unfair competition from Chinese suppliers.
This is a testament that not only the United States has participated in non-fair trade deals, which ultimately effects not only the country as a whole but the people that strive to making a living as well.
The “DOUBLE BREASTED VEST” was hand knitted by Erika Marin, a young artist from Zipaquira, Columbia. Showing again the strength and integrity it takes to be a conscious design that employees people which deserve to make a fair living. Yet again another example of this consciousness to Eco friendly design is in the “MILITARY INSPIRED WHITE SHIRT” made from recycled cotton + pet in Envigado, Columbia with Tagua buttons, sown individually with cotton thread by local homeworkers.
As stated in Martinez’s bio on his Not Just A Label profile, “It seems like a lot of ideas for a small collection, but it´s just the drive and the need to push forward that I have as a fashion designer.”
With all this said, the collection encompasses must have staple pieces with a modern edge to anyones wardrobe and it doesn’t hurt that the pieces are so lovingly made as well.
For more information on Juan Pablo Martinez, please visit the prestigious website showcasing independent designers Not Just A Label