Unheard of. Success for a first time! In my piece on Le Petit Bazaar Panama, I mentioned the novelty of this seemingly growing worldwide trend - and how it had been bravely embraced by the organizers of Fashion Week Panama. I must admit, I kind of knew it would really work. Basically you have a lot of hungry fashion VIP totally wowed by a catwalk show of either a new or media hot designer. In Panama the only way for a fashionista to buy designer clothing is to go to their studio (in Panama few designers own a shop and most independent boutiques don't carry the national brands). Either this, or you hit the malls.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am a mall trash girl. Just check my Foursquare account to see, plus I have got the badge to prove it. There is Multiplaza Pacifico. It's fantastic and whenever I am in Panama City, it's where I just hang out. I am not the only one. I bump into all my fave people from the designers of Vergara & Vergara to bloggers like Olguita Reyna and Mauricio Herrerabarria. The issue with malls and designers in Panama is that it can be cost prohibitive for designers to have their studios there, and anyhow the guys behind Multiplaza have a queue as long as the Panama Canal of humongous multinational brands waiting to get in.
Faced with this scenario, customers in search of a fashion don't have much of a choice, and they dare not make the leap to the studio, worried about the pressure of having to buy pieces that might be totally out of their price range.
So here in the Le Petit Bazaar Panama, and with the anonymity of the crowd, it's different. You can feel, touch and even try on a couple of pieces with the added bonus of meeting the designer, getting an idea on price and even taking it home with you hot off the catwalk. For some purists, this means demystifying the creator. I sort of get the flow of this idea, but on the other hand creatives do need to see their creations come alive and be appreciated for their talent (people buying them), maybe then they can truly feel they have succeeded in communicating their art?
What do you think?
All photographs by Tania Cabal