ALEK’S LAKRAS: Redefining Body and Language in Latin American Fashion.

As the lights dimmed and anticipation filled the air, I found myself immersed in a dream woven by Maria Alejandra Caicedo, also known as ALEK, the young Colombian creative force behind LAKRAS, as she seized the spotlight at New York Fashion Week’s KRATER event. With a voice brimming with passion, she introduced her runway and captivated the audience with a poignant poem, delving into themes of identity, technological evolution, and the empowering essence of feminism.

“Technology is not neutral

We’re inside of what we make

and it’s inside of us

Yesterday I didn’t like my skin

because is dry

because it’s my first winter

woman don’t like dry skin

I’m not woman anymore to be honest

but more than ever because I love mirrors”

New York S/S 2024, LAKRAS COUTURE.

Enhanced by the graceful movements of an aerial dancer, the atmosphere crackled with energy, evoking the enchanting spirit of an 18th-century circus where dreams and realities intertwine transporting audiences to a world where past and future intersect seamlessly.

ALEK and her Colombian team redefine the fusion of fashion and art, championing intersectionality and embracing diversity as core principles. LAKRAS collaborated with stylist Juan Pablo Falla, drawing inspiration from Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest film, “Poor Things,” to create a stylistic narrative that transcends time and tradition. With direction and production assistance from Manuela Caicedo, you also felt immersed in a film chapter of a David Lynch episode. ALEK embarked

on a deeply personal exploration of her ancestry, uncovering garments from her Victorian-era lineage spanning Latin America vs Europe. 

LAKRAS Unveils Groundbreaking 

Spring-Summer 2024 Collection: A

Transmutation of Heritage and Identity,

ALEK’s creative process was imbued with the

spirit of her ancestral home, as she lived in a

Victorian palace in Brooklyn meanwhile she

worked in the collection, surrounded by

aesthetics and interior design that served as

a constant source of inspiration.

This immersive experience inspired her to

reimagine historical garments for the modern

era, blending Victorian artifacts with

contemporary streetwear elements such as hoodies and sneakers. Music, curated by Colombian musician Santiago Alejandro Molina, seamlessly blended classical melodies with reggaeton rhythms, further accentuating the eclectic fusion of past and present.

ALEK also collaborated with Colombian accessory brand Babass, infusing her collection with whimsical yet haunting pieces, including butterfly-shaped handbags adorned with fur—a nod to LAKRAS’ fascination with the macabre.

The collection featured meticulously crafted haute couture garments, handcrafted using techniques such as crochet and needlework, alongside jewelry crafted from Colombian silver,bronze, and alpaca using pre-Columbian techniques such as lost-wax casting.

This is its 4 time participating in fashion week but this time LAKRAS transcends traditional boundaries, embodying a mythological essence elevated to haute couture spiritual fashion standards, reminiscent of the inimitable style of Martin Margiela.

A notable departure from her signature blonde locks, ALEK surprised audiences with long, black hair, embodying a new persona that reflects her transition and inner evolution. Collaborating with renowned Japanese hairdresser Takayuki, ALEK’s hair became an integral part of the performance, adding to the theatricality of the presentation. Makeup artist Mariana Mejia further enhanced ALEK’s transformation, adding depth and dimension to her enigmatic persona.

Moreover, ALEK’s theatrical influences were evident throughout the collection, with nods to iconic figures such as Pina Bausch and video artists like Pipilotti Rist. ALEK curated a fascinating cast, including models of older age, adding a layer of intrigue to the runway. She affectionately dubbed herself as “the queen,” or rather, “the witch” of her collection, embodying a powerful and mystical presence on the runway.

LAKRAS’ Spring-Summer 2024 Collection is a testament to ALEK’s transformative vision and her ability to transcend boundaries, both artistic and personal. As she embraces a new chapter in her life, ALEK emerges as a symbol of reinvention and self-discovery, inspiring audiences to embrace change and celebrate their unique identities.

It’s what I would call ‘Spiritual Fashion.

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Jose Reber

Jose Reber is a professional writer based in Wisconsin. He guides editorial teams consisting of writers across the US to help them become more skilled and diverse writers. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

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