NEW YORK – Inspired by her native Spain and the “Big Apple,” where she’s lived eight years, designer Alejandra Alonso Rojas debuted Wednesday at the New York “Fashion Week” displaying a collection based on artisanal work and defined by what she called “casual luxury.”
The Spaniard’s work, who was awarded last year by the Council of Fashion Designers of the United States, drew large crowds on the last day and brought together guests who watched her creations from the front row, such as designer Jason Wu and the event’s creator Fern Mallis.
Dresses and sweaters were made with natural materials, such as silk and cashmere, and hand-dyed fabrics also with natural materials, such as rose petals and eucalyptus leaves; a craft that “transforms” your clothes to the point that “each garment will be different.”
“It has been a very nice process that is almost like ‘couture,’ like an embroidery,” Alonso Rojas said in a backstage interview with EFE at the end of her parade, the first after three years of presenting at Fashion Week.
Alonso Rojas, a fourth-generation weaver who learned this art aged 4, noted that she has been inspired by women in her family who dedicated themselves to it “not in a professional way, but loved it” and have contributed to making her brand famous for “handmade sweaters and dots.”
In her “board of ideas,” in that sense, she has a photo taken in the ‘60s of her great-aunt Pilar wearing a colorful scarf, which has marked the palette used in the collection next to the portrait of “Dońa Teresa” of Francisco Goya and that of “Marguerite Kelsey,” by Meredith Frampton.
However, the 33-year-old Madrid dressmaker who has dressed celebrities such as Beyonce, Prinyanka Chopra or Kim Kardashian West said that “in the end” she designs “for the modern woman.” She said that is why her inspiration emerges from her life experience in Spain, where it has “grown,” and in New York, where “everything is a little faster.”
“The two things have come together and I have created a collection that is a casual luxury: it is all very luxurious but it is comfortable and floats; the silhouettes are not heavy at all. It is like the jumpers give you a hug every now and then, when you need it,” said the designer, who recently moved to a studio in SoHo, New York.
There, with a “fantastic team” and without losing sight of her young son, who today grabbed the attention of his relatives, is where Alonso Rojas has dyed her fabrics with “flowers, cochineal or turmeric,” including her “best-selling eco-cashmere wool made of recycled cashmere” in Italy.
“There is too much you can buy and I want to create garments that last; that people buy my pieces, but almost like pieces of a collection that last and that can pass from one generation to another,” said the dressmaker, who says her craft has never been “guided by what others do.”
“What I do believe is that the rules of how to do things are running out, each brand has to find its place and see what its strength is, and mine is manual work, what I am focusing on now. It is a process that nobody is doing right now on the catwalks,” she said.