It’s a new era for fashion designers like Maria Elena Piña Fonti. 2020 was challenging for the fashion industry as brands looked for new ways to showcase their collections. Due to the pandemic, in-person events were postponed or cancelled in New York, Paris, London, and Milan. Digital fashion is here.
It was a beautiful day for beautiful designs in Southold, NY, near the vineyards on Long Island’s North Fork. After months of planning, preparation, and hard work, fashion designer Maria Elena Piña Fonti produced her first-ever digital fashion runway show on Nov. 7, 2020. Her brand, Maria Elena Couture Inc. (MEC), presented its new Mimmo & Lola Esperanza 2020 Collection.
Twelve designs were walked down a long red catwalk that Piña Fonti had constructed for the outdoor showcase. The show was a mix of eclectic and colorful couture reflecting the simple beauty of nature – a source of inspiration.
Esperanza translates to ‘hope.’
“I trust this collection will allow everyone to see the hope ahead of us,” said Piña Fonti. “It echoes the harshness of 2020 in the black and red tones contrasted with the colors of nature evoking the hope for a new year.”
Piña Fonti often finds a motivating force in the vibrancy of nature surrounding her. The designs invoke the navy and blues of the sky and sea mixed with oranges and greens of leaves falling on the grass or a sunset sky.
This collection also draws on the communal experience of 2020. The addition of grey hues symbolizes maturity; the wisdom gained from this past year. Silver signals the hope for a silver lining in the new year.
The designs emulate the appreciation of the joy, comfort, and softness found in an easily constructed dress fitting our lifestyle of the moment. Even in one’s home an inspirational design can lift the positive energy needed at this time.
“The shadows in the video represent coming out of the darkness and into the light of Esperanza,” explained Piña Fonti. “The Esperanza that this too shall pass and we will be a more appreciative and hopeful human race.”
Beautifully modeling for MEC were Valeria Nanclares, Sindy Nanclares, Maylen Niño, and Samantha Piña. For the safety of all involved, Piña Fonti rented and decorated an outdoor shipping container, turning it into a functional dressing room for the models. Precautionary measures included wearing masks and leaving the crate doors open.