Timeless Arequipa at Alpaca Moda

Carola Solis Blog
By: Carola Solis
Photo: Courtesy of Carola Solis

Photo Caption: “Colca woman con halcón” top, alpaca  skirt with pompons, leather and alpaca boots- Arequipa Atemporal.

It was 2012, I had already made the decision to seriously embrace photography and so, I carried my heavy camera everywhere. We decided to go to Arequipa, where I had been in the nineties, but this time was different, I would have time to portray it to my liking. Arequipa has always seemed fascinating to me for several reasons: Because it allows me to dress in different ways depending on the time of day (at that moment of my life, I was beginning to seriously explore clothes like walking canvasses). And because I felt like I could walk around the city as if it were Europe (at least that is the way I remember). Backpack on my back, dress and comfy shoes. I captured its sillar monuments, its flowers, its corners, its religious art and finally its sunsets. They have been my favorite days of exploring a city (especially because of the sun falling on the snowy, it is magical).

I knew nothing of returning four years later to show a collection that would portray these photographs on clothing. Less I knew my daughter would be in the audience, and how moving it was going to be to have her there.

The runway, has this magic of showing the work of months in this case, years in minutes, with its overflowing emotion of the new, which now thanks to digital media can be shown not only at that place, but can reach the world.

For me, paying homage to each city (something that was not planned, but which is naturally given in my work), keeps the magic of processing my work through shaping a space, a certain time, an identity, a certain concept. Clothing acquires flavors, feelings, evokes colors, becomes more than merely clothing.

This is a process that I did not expect maybe but I am very glad to be giving. As Flaminio Soncini said of my work, is to have a marked identity, but shaping the universal soul.

My work would not be what it is, had I not returned to my country to study Anthropology. Anthropology helped me to see my country with eyes from the outside, but to understand it from the inside, to dig in my heart, to dig into its soul, to understand it, to understand myself.

For me, it is no longer a biased fascination of someone who sees their country with eyes of love because it is the only thing that I know. Rather, they are the eyes of a mature love that goes back home, knowing that there is a beautiful world out there, and at the same time, recognizing its wonderfulness and all the opportunities we have to explore within, to reinvent.

I am fascinated by this photographic, anthropological and artistic work, because I am not alone, we are a team made up of artisans, seamstresses, designers, photographers, students, working, who - directly or indirectly - are protagonists of this project, and by doing that, building a new identity (a favorite subject of Peruvians of these times), giving the “who we are” concept a new shape. For me, this work would be nothing without transformation… the transformation that goes inside and which one day will be part of our history, our past is that is our present today and our present that is our future.

I embrace this with my heart and I give “Arequipa Atemporal” to you <3.

Read the original and view all runway photos here.