Johanna Ortiz brings magical realism to life in her autumn/winter 2021-22 collection. The “Aureliana” collection by the Colombian designer combines what we are living today with the blurred lines of fantasy. And the collection that takes us into into the journey of one’s soul just happens to have oodles of modest pieces that can really level up those festive looks. So if you’re a fashion-loving conservative dresser, rest assured you’ll surely turn some heads thanks to all that artisanal knowledge, innovative craftmanship and inspiring playful creativity the joy-inspired luxury brand is known for.
The silhouettes by the Cali-based eponymous brand are on the edgy spectrum, with an 80’s vibe. A bit rebellious yet bohemian, strong but feminine, mystical and less romantic, they are perfect for “barefoot living”. The sleeves are crafted in way that makes coats easy to put on. They are also versatile, with some removable options so dressing up or down and creating effortless day-to-night looks becomes a cinch. Another way to switch up a piece via the sleeves is to leave them loose or button them up around the wrist for a more polished look. Then there’s the collection’s outerwear, which includes scarves and wraps that can help you stay stylishly warm, as well as hand-threaded Ruanas from Popayán, Colombia.
This season, Ortiz, a global ambassador for Colombian style, has introduced enchanting, oversized prints. A strong, edgy and sophisticated “Fungi shaped flower” print comes in a dark colour palette. Meanwhile, the antique Japanese kimonos meet Kuna tribe molas to give an ethnic, bohemian touch, something always present in the designer’s collections. Dots in the pattern give a 3D texture that looks almost as though it is embroidered.
Additionally, the designer who provides “a little South American flavour” to women around the globe offers a floral print inspired by the forbidden fruit. The black pomegranate woodblock is found on jewel toned backgrounds, including burgundy, green and deep blue. Modern and feminine, it looks mysterious and seductive.
Deep cabernet, dark magentas, midnight blues, forest greens, in contrast with bright colours such as soft lilac, coral and emerald green offer a dramatic contrast to the noir/ecru game.
To create the emotion in the pieces, the brand’s signature intricate embroideries and textures can be spotted throughout “Aureliana.” Wintery “chord” embroideries, raffia, paillettes, feathers, hand stitches on cotton poplin fabric and pleats that recreate fungi textures all help to give the collection that fantastical, fairy-tale like mood. Plus, chunky knitted braids are seen in various looks, whether cotton T-shirts and knits or silks and leathers. Meanwhile, feathers add a touch of edge to removable peplums, sleeves and belts.
Chunky braids also find a place on leather bags such as a “furoshiki,” an oversized bag (traditional Japanese wrapping cloth) as well as on lady-like clutches. And braided necklaces add the perfect touch to any T-shirt or chunky sweater. When it comes to footwear, choices include cow hide booties, braided woolen shearling, slippers and colour-block high-heel leather sandals with signature braids to add that last touch to accentuate the mood.
Johanna Ortiz continues to use certified eco-friendly fabrics like GOTS cotton, BCI cotton, FSC viscose and other organic materials. As well as reducing the use of chemicals and toxic materials on all processes, the label ensures everything comes from responsible managed sources that provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
Upcycling fabrics from their stock and giving them a new life is also another sustainable practice the brand that was founded in 2003 has been trying to implement in their collections.