Models show off Mexican-Contemporary designs at Latinx Fashion Show


Mackenzie Murtaugh / The DePaulia

The different designs in ‘Beyond What We Wear’ are intended to show all Chicagoans that beauty extends beyond superficiality.

Beauty is a six-letter word that takes on various meanings. But, is this word only skin-deep?

This was the topic of conversation in the Latinx Fashion Show, “Beyond What We Wear,” on Sept. 24, hosted by JLL.

The fashion show welcomed Mexican-Contemporary designers Lydia Lavin and her daughter, Monserrat Messeguer. They design clothing memorializing Mexican culture and textiles with a modern twist.

For this event, their Mexican-Contemporary designs were used for a purpose.

The goal: to send Chicagoans the message that beauty extends beyond superficiality.

Before models of all sizes and different ethnicities were able to walk the runway, Luci Lene Coelho, guest speaker for “Beyond What We Wear,” opened the show with a message and was wearing a piece by designer Lydia Lavin.

She told the audience that the show was meant to empower women and show them that they should be proud of who they are, contrary to what media tell them.

Mackenzie Murtaugh / The DePaulia

“When you think about fashion and body, the media is forcing people, especially women, to be something and someone they are not,” Coelho said. “We have to recognize that beauty goes beyond what we wear.”

As Coelho finished speaking to the audience, models began walking the runway with embroidered clothing made by Mexico’s Indigenous Artisans.

Lisa Vollmer, one of the models at the show, said that modeling for Lavin was a unique experience.

“It was tons of fun,” Vollmer said. “It felt very empowering to think [about] where the clothing came from and wear it through the runway.”

Not only was the audience given a glimpse of Lavin’s designs with a message, but the fashion show also held a pop-up store used as a benefit for Chicago Women Veterans – 20 percent of the proceeds from sales were going to local group Chicago Women Veterans United.

Sharon Stokes-Parry, Board of Directors co-chair for the group, said she appreciated the help this event was able to bring.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for our organization to continue to do the deeds that we do to assist military women veterans,” Parry said. “We not only assist women who have transferred from the service, but also those who are on current duty.”

Mackenzie Murtaugh / The DePaulia

As attendees benefited Chicago Women Veterans by shopping for Lavin’s pieces, they were able to share thoughts about the event.

Sheila Villagrana, an attendee of the event, said it was interesting to see how Latinx culture was demonstrated through fashion.

“I loved it; I thought it was really interesting,” Villagrana said. “It proves that there’s so much more to fashion.”