PARIS, France — Typed, scrawled and highlighted — the photocopied pages on the seats at Esteban Cortazar’s Spring show contained snippets of text in English, French and his native Spanish. It was a poetic gesture of ideas collected from his nearest and dearest. An intimate but external perception of what his clothes are about.
Backstage, he spoke of butterfly wings and the nightclubs of his native land. Cortazar’s women are smart, global and more than likely multilingual. But the verve his clothes exuded in this breakthrough collection underscored the age-old adage that actions speak louder than words.
The Colombian designer has spent the last few seasons experimenting. His curvy, bouncy and colourful "flou" was already down pat, but things like trousers, jackets and knitwear have taken time to gel. And here they did.
Spring saw his usual enthusiasm for sinuous shapes in intricately cut patterns — a low-slung pant, a bubbly sleeve — and the clash of materials that sometimes leave one guessing where one garment stops and another begins. Some of the best played with shirting: a poplin camisole over a filmy translucent knit sweatshirt or a short, striped satin jacket that fell into a parka behind. Plenty of tied and zipped effects made for the illusion of layers in a single piece, ideas that will play to Cortazar’s bravely editorial streak— and a younger customer.
Those more akin to his Latin persuasion will come back to his double-faced satin, an elegant option for evening that plays matte versus shiny, dotted with his signature gold studs.