LAFW SS20 Day 1: Noe Bernacelli Haute Couture

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Peruvian-Italian designer, Noe Bernacelli is a man of precision. Having the steady hand that comes from being both a designer and having a background in medicine, this attention to detail beats at the heart of his craft.

“The beautiful thing about haute couture is that it allows you to explore a much more ornate side and to actually design clothes that are heavenly, extraordinary creations, a fantasy, Bernacelli tells me.

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As Bernacelli’s Spring/Summer 2020 couture collection came down the LA Fashion Week runway, I could not help but get completely enraptured in the fantasy of it: the breathtaking silhouettes of meticulously draped, beaded chiffon that ended in a bow off one shoulder. Earth tone coats made of Peru’s signature alpaca fur with motifs of the moon and serpents. Bernacelli know how to romances his audience. He draws them into the tale of ‘an impossible love,’ the tale of “The Serpent and the Crow.’

“They (the serpent and the crow) make the perfect eclipse to see each other, which is why the logo on the shoulder pads are an eclipse,” Bernacelli explains to me. “They wait for that perfect eclipse to see each other as humans and accomplish their love because she’s a crow in the day, and he’s a snake in the night.”

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Immediately my mind draws to how LA fashion week’s opening night initiates an eclipse of sorts. The studio lights that luminate the runway become eclipsed by the feather-lined gowns (alluding to the crow) the models wear as they grace the catwalks. The play of shadow and light. Perhaps that is why a fashion show is an appropriate setting for a story about “a love that supposed to be and never happened,” Bernacelli said. The lovers prevail through the unity of needle and thread.

Perhaps this love language of Bernacelli’s is reminiscent of his Italian-Peruvian roots, or his time spent studying in Milan and working as an apprentice to Italian couturier, Gianfranco Ferré, or the ‘architect of fashion.’ Such talents have garnered Bernacelli the title, ‘The Peruvian Valentino.’

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“It’s a great honor,” the designer muses to me about the moniker, “The fact that they are comparing that meticulousness and those details. The artistry in every inch of the design, they compare that to Valentino? He’s the master, the genius!”

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I would argue that Bernacelli is a master of design in his own right. Especially living in what seems to be an era of divide, his ability to bring two different cultures together through his creations is vital to moving haute couture into the 21st century. From Lima Fashion Week to the international hub that is LA, his SS20 collection does that with such finesse.

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“I wanted to make sure that I used this window to showcase Peruvian design, because it’s not just for me, but for all of my fellow designers from Peru, Bernacelli told me. “Since we have such a rich culture and Peru is such a melting pot, we have both a native and European side—Spaniard, and Italian. So I wanted to show a European, neoclassic style and also bring that with beautiful fabrics used by the Incas. I am very thankful I got to do this at LA Fashion Week.”

Keeping it Krischic,

Kristin Vartan

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Forward thinker with a Vintage Soul. Editor and traveller with a love affair with words and whimsical wardrobes. Follow me on my journey to amazing sights through the lens of personal style.

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