Art and Salsa at the Di.Me (Diseño Mexicano) Showroom in London
That was a truly fun Latino evening! Diseño Mexicano Showroom revealed the jewels of the creative Mexican people. The festive opening with red ribbon and the introduction by no less than the Mexican Ambassador took place at the Di.Me Showroom at Tank, in Great Portland Street.*
*di.me, 15-18 Sept 2015, 10am-7pm, TANK, 91 Great Portland Street, London W1W 7NX.
Di.Me stands for Diseño Mexicano, which means Mexican Design. If you are already a fan of Latin American Art, that’s probably nothing new to you, but for me everything was new and intriguing. The unique daring style of Mexican artists is definitely a strong statement, and that’s how we like it! Bold and juicy, traditional and futuristic is what makes an exquisite mix of contemporary Mexican Art.
Let me introduce you to some of the great artists I had the pleasure of meeting. In fact, it was an unusual chat, because as I entered the hall, a camerawoman asked me if I could interview the artists for her video channel called Duchess TV. Considering my fragile and inconspicuous nature when on stage, I agreed 😉
Mexican contemporary art is not necessarily my forte, but being curious, I was delighted to discover it together with the viewers. Thanks to Anuar Bello (pictured with me below), who invited me to Di.Mi, I discovered a new and inspiring world of Mexican Art!
Firstly, I was introduced to a demurely smiling gentleman in a tweed jacket. ‘Original jacket!’ – I thought to myself. Well, that is no surprise, because Juan Acevedo is a Mexican fashion designer for his men’s wear label EAST CLUB. I found out from Juan, that they create their designs in Mexico, but their production is scattered beyond the borders of their home country, reaching Portugal and even Lithuania. Lithuania (!), that is an unexpected choice. The reason will remain unknown, but the answer may lie in the word ‘EAST’ or simply in the fact that Lithuania lured Juan with its beautiful blond people… I say this only because I come from their neighbor Latvia with even more attractive natives 😉
The trendy EAST CLUB couture finds its fan club in different countries from its production origin. The biggest markets are UK, Mexico and surprise, surprise, Germany! In fact, no surprise, because knowing the Germans inside out after spending six years there and in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, I can well imagine Germans in Juan’s designs. They must have been seduced by the classic style with some young trendy features. As you know, each cloud has a its silver lining, so does each EAST CLUB item with an original, well crafted lining, some even in a striking flamenco red. I can reassure you, that those designs are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside! When I asked Juan, which of the items is his favorite, he pointed out the blue trench coat worn with a discreet red and blue bow tie. The latter item should be brought to the attention of Tom Keene, the Bloomberg anchor, who so far, has never appeared without a bow tie on his daily ‘Surveillance’ program.
After my exploration of fashion, I moved on to the girls’ best friends. No, not the diamonds, but the colorful gemstones woven into necklaces and bracelets with a golden thread. Each item is a strong statement. Its kaleidoscope of bright colors and high level of craftsmanship caught my eye. BOKS&BAUM was founded by Sylvie Boksenbaum in Mexico City, where she developed her workshop, which now counts seven seamstresses. Why ‘seamstresses’ you may ask… The reason is the unique and unusual manufacturing style technique of crimping gemstones with hand-crochet. Just imagine my temptation in trying out one of those necklaces, especially the one, that so perfectly matched the colour of my outfit! Not in vain did I try my best to find ‘the most Mexican’ colour combination possible that my wardrobe had to offer.
The design of BOKS&BAUM jewelry couture reflects the elegance of Parisian fashion, but the production is handcrafted in the Mexico City workshop. The story behind the golden silk thread comes from the fact that the designer was allergic to the metal fitting, so she found an unconventional solution by fitting those gems into a hand-crafted thread fitting. Not only does it look absolutely unique but it is also pleasant to wear, because the jewelry feels very light considering the amount of the gems in it. Bulle Decastille, the brand manager, (pictured above) gave me a chance to develop a strong bond between me and that golden blue necklace (my favorite mix of the colours!). That necklace likes me a lot, so I returned the admiration.
The most fun part of the evening was the interview with the curator of Di.Mi, Manuel Diaz-Cebrian and Mario González Alvarez, the ProMexico’s Director for Trade & Investment, who organized the event. Why was it fun, well… if your interviewee invites you to dance Salsa while the camera team is sorting technical issues, that’s what I call fun, because it can happen only at a Latin American event! Considering my current title of French Champion in Latin American dancing, I was not frightened by the spontaneous invitation to dance with the cheerful exhibition curator; on the contrary, it was an unexpected highlight of the evening!
My exploration adventures and dynamic dancing rounded up with a short break on that hardly noticeable chair Cactus plants growing on its back. The chair is the creative work of the young Mexican artist, Valentina Glez Wohlers. If you come closer to see the texture, then you would notice that even the Cactus has its thorns! Everything is very authentic! But no need to be nervous, those are soft fabric thorns and the biggest threat to you is to be stroked and tickled! 😉