Home » Lifestyle » Julia and Renata: tunics for the mystical experience of ‘The Pilgrim’s Route’ in Mexico | Fashion

Julia and Renata: tunics for the mystical experience of ‘The Pilgrim’s Route’ in Mexico | Fashion

Julia and Renata: tunics for the mystical experience of 'The Pilgrim's Route' in Mexico |  Fashion

Pilgrims. There, placed on the catwalk of the Merceds-Benz Fashion Week Mexico, the models dressed in blue linens, in pieces that created layers that dragged on the ground and let their path be seen as they walked, became pilgrims. Ones that invoked thousands of royal pilgrims who, since ancient times, those remembered by the great-grandparents, have walked the path that joins Ameca with Talpa de Allende. There, in Jalisco, in Mexico. Everything to go see the little virgin. The Rosary. The Mexican designers Julia and Renata drew their dresses, they imagined them, after last December 24, when they were having dinner together with her mother, they witnessed a moment of unexpected lucidity of their old lady. “Although she had always told us these legends since we were children, my mother began to tell us with tremendous realism how her great-grandfather had crossed ‘The Pilgrim’s Route’ to pay a bill made by a dead man who had appeared to her. So he goes and offers that path to that dead person and in a spot he meets a coral snake, typical of the region, which gets entangled in his hat and paints his skin and head with its colors, just before to be carried away by the swollen river from which he came out sick with pneumonia. In Talpa, at the end of the pilgrimage, he died”, recalls Renata. These sisters, who have been designing since 1993, knew that the story of their great-grandfather was a legend full of fanciful elements, but they couldn’t stop thinking about that royal road that, for more than 200 years, has served and continues to serve two million people each year to purge. They could not help but let themselves be carried away by the restlessness aroused in them by that magical devotion that leads so many to make a pilgrimage to the Virgin of Talpa, which, it is said, was sculpted by the Tarascan Indians in the 16th century and to whom they attribute a a thousand miracles Julia and Renata’s designs were completed with hats from Lordag & Sondag and espadrilles from Xuxes. “We started thinking about the clothes that would be worn by those walkers who travel 117 kilometers of dry and hot roads to get something. At the time of designing and cutting the fabric, three words were in my head: Load. Dispossession.Empty”, Renata recites as if it were a mantra, the predicament of a rosary, rather. Walk for sacrifice, for atonement, for faith, for oneself, for someone else. The designers began to create their own devotees and imagined them dressed in tunics to climb Mount El Obispo -at 2,000 meters high-, dressed in wide capes that served as shelter when passing through ‘El Espinazo del diablo’, an inescapable peak of the path. They thought about the weights that travelers carry on their backs and concentrated on creating volumes and drapes. They designed blankets that could be knotted here and there while maintaining the austerity of the purification rite. Prone as they are to draping linen and silk and deconstructing patterns, they began to play with two essential geometric figures: the circle and the square, intimately related to the act of pilgrimage. “The square as a symbol of the home, of the surface it supports, of the body. And the circle, like infinity, the eternal, the divine”. His drive for the geometries in this collection, not only derived from his style but from the architectural peculiarities of that road, which unexpectedly and to add to the legends of the pilgrimage, houses monumental platforms, which break the landscape and the silence. Constructions made by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, the Christ & Gantenbein and HHF studio, the Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, the Dellekamp studio and Tatiana Bilbao, among others. For decades, penitents were seen, with their faces of anguish and praise, enduring an inclement sun, without shelters, or inns to rest their feet -like those on the Camino de Santiago- and with a white dust cloud that raises the earth and that Juan Rulfo, in his story entitled ‘Talpa’ inspired by this path, described as follows: “a white powder like a corn husk that rose very high and fell again; but the feet when walking returned it and made it go up again; so at all hours there was that dust above and below us”. That lack of protection of the thousands of walkers changed in 2008, when the region’s government commissioned nine architects and three design studios to create places that would help the devotees on their journey. Scattered along the route, an open chapel, three viewpoints, a sanctuary, two hostels and general services were created. ‘La Gratitud’, an open chapel made by the Mexican Tatiana Bilbao, shows, for example, four imposing white columns that squeak in the sun, two 18 meters high, one 14 meters high and another 16 meters high, creating an unlikely space with the aridity of the landscape of introspection. The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, for his part, created ‘The Sanctuary’, a massive and elongated viewpoint made of local stone that allows you to observe all the peaks along the way and that at the same time serves as an extensive bench where you can rest. The lines and twists and turns of these masses of cement crossing the land, but at the same time sheltering the needs of those who walk the path with their shadow or shelter, led Julia and Renta to create a collection in which architecture and payments, fantasies and concrete blocks that were amalgamated in black, sky blue, indigo and white. Accessories also have their legend To accompany each of Julia and Renata’s creations, the designers used the effervescent talent of Mexican creators and summoned brands that, with their materials and narratives, ended up conferring a degree of sacredness to your dresses. For hats, a fundamental piece for everyone who ventures down a path that will tan the skin, they called on the ‘Lordag & Sondag’ brand, which was inspired by the tall and elongated hats, like tree trunks, that communities from the Sierra Mazateca of Oaxaca use for the Dance of the Huehuentones, during the Day of the Dead. The word ‘Huehues’, from Nahuatl, refers to the elderly, so the dance of this name is that of the old souls who dress that day to dance among the living. One of the Lordag & Sondag hats, presented at the Julia and Renata parade. Death and life thus united by these hats made from a fiber that the locals know as G’noo Xombe Nisin, a vine harvested in the forest by the same families that weave it. The huaraches, on the other hand, the Mexican way of calling the quotes or espadrilles, were created by the artisan brand Xuxes, from Mérida, which, one hundred percent handmade, mixes two fibers, rubber and henequén, and creates a new material called ‘xux’, with which they mold all kinds of objects, this time, comfortable shoes that leave the foot uncovered to face a long trip. “When we talked to walkers on this and other pilgrimage routes, we realized that people start out full of things that, in reality, they then leave behind until they become as light as possible. Many even take off their boots and choose sandals, huaraches. They don’t need more”, explains Julia. With the ‘Talpa’ collection and with the union with small and artisan brands, the Mexican designers summed up what defines Mexican fashion today, and especially that of Guadalajara: a fashion that at the same time draws from the deepest and most mystics of their peoples, dialogues beautifully with clean and contemporary silhouettes. In the end, when dressing in the tunics of these designers, one cannot help but feel the freedom of the path and that transformation that Rulfo narrates in his story of ‘Talpa’ when he finally gets to see the virgin: “She knew how to do that: wash things, put everything new again like a freshly rained field. Already there, in front of Ella, her ills would end; nothing would hurt her, nor would she ever hurt her again.”

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– Article Written By @Beatriz García from https://smoda.elpais.com/moda/julia-y-renata-tunicas-para-la-vivencia-mistica-de-la-ruta-del-peregrino-en-mexico/

Nicole Aniston