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EDWARD VENERO Cusco - Peru, 1986 "Fashion is a cultural phenomenon producing not only objects for consumption but also lifestyles. By definition fashion introduces a renewed way to face every day, incorporating change and identity in a festive and symbolic manner. Each fashion expression holds a reflection about the reality of individuals and groups, included within the concepts, forms, objects and actions of the symbolic representation of people’s here and now. It has the advantage of flowing through both traditional and most recent and innovative massive media and means of consumption."


I chose to work in natural fibers because they represent my country handmade tradition. From pre-Columbian times our first settlers used weaving as a broad cultural manifestation, not only in terms of functionality (clothes), but also as means of expression and distinction. Certain weaving was used for particular occasions and they entered into visual communication reflecting our ancestor’s world full of myths and stories. The art of weaving in natural fibers was established partly from the inherent search of all pre-Columbian cultures to convey their own community ideal. Today, the fresh appreciation of our pre-Columbian roots takes us to the ethical dimension of every creative and productive activity. Secondly, but no less important, the use of natural fiber is a responsible way of consumption with regards to the environment; since its biodegradable, doesn’t affect it. Moreover, the slaughter of animals for fiber production is ruled out. This is of main importance; in our space, auquenidos (Lamini) are protected under laws against predation. Based on these ideas, i created a project to start a company aiming at sustainable development within marginalized areas of our country. I think that the creation of small businesses should revalue craft and offer different alternatives towards whole production industrialization. In summary, i can synthesize the project in the following strategic formula: Fashion = Development = Peru. In order to put all of this into practice, i have associated with a traditional knitwear company, one of the firsts working in this field: Capelli. We agree in terms of ideas and actions and focus in the reappraisal of our country’s weaving culture aiming at using only weaving handmade skills. The collection introduced in the catalog is the first result of this association: a collection made with the existing raw material, created with threads and colors from the Capelli Company assisted by their traditional handmade skills and the use of handcrafted machines. The proposal aims at a young public who is respectful for others’ well-being and responsible for the environment. Young people who are aware that their behavior can cause changes. This young public with their daily actions represents the heart of change. Part of this change lies in the attitude

and use of clothing made with natural fibers. Thus, they support the sustainable development of a community, their companies and traditions, protect their environment, and at the same time, they become role models of an imaginary which represents our country. This collection aimed at men because part of our responsible actions look to democratize spaces: we want that the public who is interested in aesthetic has the same options. In our country most of the fashion spaces aim at a female public. Thus, men are forgotten and in many cases labeled as ignorant on aesthetic matters. Men, like women, have the need to feel good about their image. We need to point out to our community that gender segregation comes from a malicious and anachronistic prejudice. Knitwear outfits of the collection are basically inspired by the range of colors found within coastal cultures: Nazca, Paracas and Chancay textiles. The stitches i used are based in the way these pre-Columbian cultures weaved their fishing nets to their ceremonial outfits. Also the use of gauzes stands out in this collection. Most of the outfits i designed are translucent since we look for a timeless collection. I did not want to typecast our products for an established season, but i wanted them to be used at any time of the year. The proposal is light, protective and dynamic; created for most of the regions in our country. Pieces kept their textures, used different stitches and combinations of them. Most of them ware handmade and some of them with handcrafted machines. At a structural level, outfits were linear, with a symmetric structure and complex weaving; in some cases i sticked to the use of stitches to look for shapes which work in high and low relief and match with accessories of great volume. Space democratization is also reflected in the outfits’ dynamic treatment. We present several outfits for all occasions: formal, informal and modular.

reference textile from chancay culture

"Ni単os Manuelitos" Jesus as a child, cusquenian handcraft photograph inspired by "Ni単o Sabio" (Wide child) photograph inspired by "Ni単o de la espina" (Child with a thorn)

knit swatches and some skecthes

cusco always in fashion runway pictures taken at CAF runway located in San Antonio Abad Chapel

scketch musician briefcase "The case" and some pages from the absolut rock edition catalogue


By Mihaela Radulescu Extract from the event's catalogue

Fashion is a psychosocial and cultural reality emerging from a group of different existential expressions through apparel, footwear, accessories, hairstyle, make-up. This is achieved by the characterization of the individual through forms converging to define roles, ways of interacting, discourses and messages; through consumption of material and symbolic goods, as food, music, cinema, TV, games, parties, etc.; through habits and performances within the social environment, as the way we interact with others, building our personal environment or through the development of entertainment styles and options.

various apparel and objects become part of the built universe. This dynamics not only involves the interaction of objects but making information within the user’s memory a visible reality or propose and develop conceptual foundations to be used for new messages.

Consequently, the concept of fashion creation takes us to the strategic and far-sighted making of universes filled with images, objects, spaces and dynamics. This concept implies the production of a series of contents, forms and identities appealing the user / consumer which work thanks to his communicative skills, emphasizing on implications effects. The fashion creator does not only create objects, within the frame of a tendency manifested by the consumer market: he creates a whole world with visions and experiences based on the possession of objects or on the participation within sociocultural spaces and dynamics representing him and giving him a meaning. In this sense, Edward Venero is a fashion creator or rather is the designer of a universe with contents and forms expanding from the heart of identity. In practice, he accepts the Peruvian culture as a text to understand and designs its identity sings for personalized and existential use for the ones who want to express themselves through them. The result is composed of fashion collections integrating textile, apparel, footwear, accessories and various objects to advertise the brand. At the same time, these are collections which develop a cultural discourse, a discourse which joins elements representing Peruvian identity, from its textile and apparel raw material to the current and historic display of identity expressions. When design practice is developed as social intervention, as in Edward Venero’s case, a conceptual space is created. This space works, provided that fashion is seen as a place where ideas, symbols, stories, scenes, characters, and objects are found, as a whole, making the created universe solid and plausible. Thus, it opens doors to users, who through the purchase and use of the

The creation of Peruvian identity images has been a key motivation in Edward Venero’s design projects. Besides designing apparel and accessories collections, an activity he started in 2006, he has worked on projects related to graphic design, visual arts and design and visual communication management. He has also worked as a teacher, editor, researcher and manager of the Arts Faculty of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru (Pontifical Catholic University of Peru), Graphic Design major. For his 2012 Collection, winter collection on apparel, textiles, footwear and accessories for men, the conceptual space defined within the expression of the Peruvian identity is the space of the party, translated in the Andean carnival expressions. The warmth and energy of the party become essential for the coming winter. Thus, the collection, benefits from its communication skills not only to introduce desirable objects to wear, but also to let ideas, perceptions and emotions flow. The contents evidenced by the perceptive and emotional effects of the clothes explore the prosperity of the party (it’s a party of the look, mind, memories, images display of the Andean carnival) and represent it symbolically. The path of imagination to design is a path which updates what’s experienced and known, and at the same time encourages the search of new ways to express mental experiences. The carnival is a popular party per excellence, the second life of the town, based in laughter and communal joy. The carnival festivity implies typical interaction rituals. The individual takes part in the show, feels free from the rules of routine and enjoys his own expression through accepted roles. These roles dare to argue with routine and express the suppressed desires of the human being with

yunsa popular carnival celebration

playful spirit and intensity. The carnival owns a concrete and sensitive nature, found and performed within the frontiers of art and life. The game it plays is some theatrical but makes no distinction between actors and spectators. We don’t attend a carnival, we experience it. Moreover, during carnival, everything is carnival and the game becomes the real life: the game of death and resurrection, of successions and renovation, of relationships between people and groups. The carnival owns a universal nature; it’s a particular state of existence reborn and renewed each time the individual takes part in it. It’s a collective party, a party of fully expressed rejoice. Its symbolic and playful nature takes specific shapes within each culture. Every carnival party is based on a determined view of natural (cosmic), biological and historic time. In Peru, the Andean carnivals relate to celebrating the collected harvest and being grateful to the soil or Pachamama for its fruits. People dance, toast and celebrate with music and sometimes with performances in quechua. People play with water. It’s a very colorful and dynamic party. In the Cuzco region, the carnival introduces typical elements as the Yunza de los Solteros y Casados (Singles and Married Yunza), the tree decorated with presents.

In the Cajamarca region, we are impressed by the integration of many and diverse manifestations which go from the humorous display of improvised folk songs or the patrol cars and comparsa parade, dancing and singing on the streets, to mask dance nights or the exhibition of the regions’ products. The grammar of the Andean carnival party becomes the grammar of the collection. There are morphologic elements: ribbons on the T-shirt recall the party’s streamer; textiles pattern integrating and multiplying the vital principle of existence in organic modulation within a dizzy dance of the representative elements of the Peruvian shield; the warm colors of the soil: dark brown, red and yellow with blue and sky-blue from the skies. The composition of each outfit plays with the surrounding structures which equally value cotton and Peruvian alpaca, as rhythms of the Andean clothing appliqué. Finally, the pragmatic view of the collection imposes the identity subject as ordering center followed by the use of Peruvian fibers, the intertextuality with Andean clothing structures and the carnival parties of the different Peruvian regions of the Andes, as well as the use of symbols of the shield for its multiplication and expansion through the Peruvian mandala incorporated to the collection’s fabrics and knitwear.

shoes sketches

make up design for lifweek 2012 traditional carnival mask

patterns design

lifweek F/W 2012 pictures taken at the runway


By Mihaela Radulescu Extract from the event's catalogue

Edward Venero invites us to be travelers in the Amazon: travelers within the soul of this magic space, where you can experience every detail, where individuals complement each other and the irresistible vitality of legends is part of the learning. We enter this space following the signs representing Amazon life and world reading, recreated through textile fashion and apparel design VNRO. This innovative collection values the traditions of the rainforest in order to create new objects and paths to interculturality, where sensations, ideas and emotions from different origins and sources blend, where what’s individual meets what’s communal, where particular meets universal and local meets global.

or artistic works inspired by the Amazon. The inclusion of mythical characters to textiles gives the ritual action of clothing a special power of significance. The pink dolphin is often seen as part of a human metamorphosis thus fostering imagination and recovering ingredients taken from the magic view of the Amazon world.

When local and global first meet, Navy trend travelling all around the world with its horizontal stripes, the white and blue binomial, mooring lines and anchors –comes to the Amazon world. Trends cross spaces and join horizons. Furthermore and in this case, recalls trips and adventures. Why do we like to travel? Why young men dreamt about becoming sailors? Was it to meet other people, to experience what’s different, meet other cultures, make connections and bond, wasn’t it? Travelling by sea is an adventure experienced through body and soul which goal and fulfillment are to discover mysterious or unknown horizons but that at the same time lead us to know ourselves as great travelers, sailors of our own inner sea. Structures with white and blue stripes, used by a designer such as Jean Paul Gaultier since his early years to this day and part of the fashion design world for a century, make an entrance to the Edward Venero design with all their intertextuality. They take us to this memory crossroads where the seas meet the great Amazon River which waters constantly invite us to the rain forest maze to look for its treasures. At this encounter and its fast flowing trip through forest territory, the VNRO logo changes its features, it becomes “Amazonian”, it becomes fluent and organic. The adventure spirit is complemented by the Ranger Camouflage texture at another blend from local and global where symbolic advantage joins the Amazonian power of attraction. What’s the result? The texture is made of Ranger camouflage lines and structures but includes pink dolphins, recurrent Amazon symbol within their myths and legends, as well as in their traditional paintings

The textile design of this VNRO 2012/2013 collection is a proposal which not only includes figurative sings as reference to the evocated culture. Following the Amazon tradition, it involves the geometrization of the infinity through abstract shapes with an approach on shipibo Amazon drawings and on its way of totalizing space as a particular visual perception vehicle. The chosen colors are pink, green and blue. They are emblematic colors: pink comes from dolphins and Amazon lights during dawn and sunset; green comes from the rain forest thick vegetation; blue joins the river and skies. They all come from the great element fusion of the Amazon worldview. Focusing on the chromatic representativeness, pink textures include dolphins blended in a dense composition Escher style, or Navy lines; its aquatic effect is complemented by chains which take the shape of Peru. The green texture shows a composition made of banana leafs over which chains, circles or links in the shape of Peru’s map or shield flow. The blue texture makes reference to the shipibo fabrics with a redesign on colors and proportions. The “mixture” or “superposition” of everyday and symbolism elements, as well as the semantic pattern integrating them become the starting point for an exhibitional and evocative fashion show. Fashion design gives great importance, as expected, to the bathing suit. As travelers, we are constantly filled with enjoyment translated in the pleasures of the eye, mind and skin. The bathing suit proposals are a party of colors, while their shapes recover cultural and natural rain forest sings. Six knitwear outfits establish connections with the Andean Peruvian heart, while the linen suits, iridescent through the golden light on its printing, recall the light spirit of the traveler who goes around the world looking for

nature sources. Linen and cotton, golden patterns on the apparel, give a touch of mystery, key to enter into a legend and mythical world they long to be part of. El Dorado rumors can be heard in the air. Multicolor sandals are everywhere and they seem to make feet fly. Thus, travelers can start their adventure, while the party and life’s intensity bathe their bodies with shapes and colors. The fashion show in itself triggers a story aiming to include travelers within this party of the spirit and

body. Since the arrival of models wearing bathing suits in their mototaxis (motorbike taxi), Amazonia appears with the intensity of its experiences and its everyday rituals. The fashion show continues with models and their apparel. Their little caps in the shape of a pink dolphin highlight the idea of liberty and adventure with a playful touch which at the same time relates to empathy with living beings in the rain forest and legends on metamorphosis. The fashion show finishes as it deserves; with a great Amazon party.

mototaxi tradicional public transportation

Pink dolphin amazon river

kene traditional amazon textile art

amazon art paintings from Chritian Bendayan

patterns design

mototaxi on the runway picture taken at the runway

lifweek S/S 2012-13 pictures taken at the runway


Fashion design relates to multiple aspects, from the raw material and the methodology used in its dressmaking, to the innovative proposal at a world tendency level with local representation within a global scope. But most of all, fashion design can be described as a project with deep economic and cultural implications, since it involves collective psychology intervention in the way the individual relates to his environment depicting himself and to others. Within this context, identity becomes clearly relevant. Identity comprises dimensions which cover the whole collection design, creation and manufacture process of each piece of apparel, footwear, and accessories. It considers local tradition. In the case of Peru, it involves much more than contemporary tradition since includes pre-Columbian textiles to Peruvian new design proposals, using raw material from camelid and cotton on their textile motifs and apparel standards from the different regions in Peru on their popular art design and new urban fusions. Identity has been the key subject of my projects during this last 6 years. I have introduced it through graphic works, curatorship projects, fashion and apparel design, events design, performances design. My research on collective imaginary and its references has resulted in an inner need of a symbolic expression of a multicultural Peru. It aspires integration from diversity and restores its cultural symbols at the same time. My intention is to make a contribution to this process by recovering popular traditions and new urban culture through interaction and intervention within a hybrid culture which chooses creative dialogue among its references. In my opinion, fashion and apparel design involves building a meaning, lifestyle, worldview. The idea of including it as part of a community’s own expression is a project which benefits both the creator and consumer but most of all favors the dynamics on fashion interaction with identity, art, creativity and social responsibility. This is my proposal as designer. Developing it as a professional and life project has become essential for my own identity.

Poseidon reference ilustration

Miguel Grau Pacific war hero

Flashmode 2012 pictures taken at the runway

textile design navy inspiration

cusco always in fashion 2011 pictures taken at CAF runway located in Cusco Hotel

Credits: Edward Venero Design Edward Venero / Mihaela Radulescu Text Rafo Iparraguirre, Ugo Camera, Kenichi Sato, Coco Esteves, Frank Andonaire, Walter Higueras Photography and graphic material

VNRO _ portfolio  
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