FASHION WEEK: Lialia and Richard Ruiz Freshen Things Up

Gen Art's Fresh Faces in Fashion show may not officially take place during the days of Fashion Week, but it's still a must-attend event for industry insiders. A showcase for emerging designers, it's already helped launch the careers of names like Zac Posen and Rebecca Taylor and labels like Twinkle and Hollywould. This season the show featured nine collections, two of which came from Latin designers--and of course we were there to scope them out!

First up was Lialia, the brainchild of Spanish American sisters Julia and Natalia Alarcon. Their spring collection was inspired by summers growing up in Venia, Spain as well as by Diva Italiana, a book with rare photographs of old-school Italian movie stars like Sophia Loren and Monica Vitti ("They had a very natural sex appeal; they wore the clothes.") Among the standouts were gorgeous white pants that brought the term wide-leg to, widths...and leopard print dresses with a hint of pink sheen that managed somehow to look chic.

For Puerto Rican designer Richard Ruiz, the inspiration was an "empowered" Madame Butterfly, with all her steely fortitude but no tragic demise. Straw parasols and hats aside, though, the Asian influence was subtle. The palette consisted mainly of black-and-white, grey-and-violet combinations, save for a lovely peach romper at the end. (If you weren't brave enough to wear one this summer, you won't have much of a choice next year judging by its omnipresenc eon the runways. One of our favorite Ruiz looks, though, was satin crimson worn by the evening's MC, Shannen Doherty. Brenda turned it out!

Watch the video above for our backstage interviews with Richard Ruiz and the sisters of Lialia.

--Monica Herrera

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