The Peruvian ambassador hosted an exclusive fashion show celebrating design and educational exchange.
By Selene San Felice
Peruvian ambassador Luis Miguel Castilla teamed up with designer Sergio Davila and Peruvian Brothers to showcase the very best food and fashion of their country on Monday night.
The evening started off with a cocktail hour during which models presented pieces designed by Peruvian students at the Fashion Institute of Technology in and around the ambassador’s home while the Peruvian brothers served up aji de gallina (chili pepper chicken) and pan con chicharron (pork sliders) alongside appetizers from Del Campo, Taco Bamba and Sardi’s Manassas. Peru’s own Cusqueña beer and Pisco Sours were served with various piscos and cocktails by Macchu Pisco. Dresses designed by Evelyn Brooks of D.C. were also modeled for their unique feature of the traditional Huayruro beads, which are meant to symbolize prosperity, love, happiness and good fortune.
Before the fashion show kicked off, the FIT students were introduced by the White House’s Fran Holuba. Mayra Vidaurre, Micaela Orellana and Sen. Carlos Zerpa Morioka all modeled their own clothing designs, while Christina Gonzales snapped a shot of the audience with her camera to represent her studies in photography.
While not part of the program, the students were supported by President Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative, which strives to increase educational exchanges between the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. Davila’s line boasted soft, natural textiles such as Pima cotton and baby alpaca silk blends. His signature Lima pastel suits made appearances on both men and women. Off the runway Holuba donned a green dress and scarf designed by Davila. He is the first Peruvian designer to participate in New York Fashion Week.
Davila said the most important thing about the night was the support shown for 100,000 Strong.
“I like to help younger generations,” he said. “I like the bridge between both continents, north and south and central. It would be amazing if it would be easier for entrepreneurs to have that bridge between both continents.”
For Giuseppe Lanzone, former Ralph Lauren model, Olympian and Peruvian Brothers co-owner, the night was just as special.
“I’m all about gastro-diplomacy,” Lanzone said. “But tonight was fashion textile diplomacy. It’s really nice to see someone from Peru representing our culture in Washington D.C. with their own style.”
After the show dessert was served by Peruvian Brothers, who offered alfajores (traditional Peruvian cookies) and Firenzes Gelateria put a Peruvian twist on an Italian treat. Hershey’s Kisses were also given as parting gifts from the White House. Among the 200 guests in attendance were Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Gail Strickler, Ambassador of Mexico Roberta Jacobson and the Peruvian Avocado Commission’s Xavier Equihua.
The show kicks off this week’s celebration of Peruvian culture as part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which the Peruvian Brothers will also be a part of.