MBFW-Swim 2015: Designers & Models

MBFW-Swim 2015

Designer Liliana Villalobos, Aguaclara Swimwear.

MIAMI, United States — Last year, the FG Magazine was honoured to bring you some insights of Peru Moda 2013 and among the talented Peruvians featured was Aguaclara Swimwear designer, Liliana Villalobos. This year, we catch up with her during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) Swim 2015 in Miami and get to talk to two beautiful models Lacey Nelson and Thais Monteiro, who share their work life and aspirations with me.

MBFW-Swim 2015

Model Thais Monteiro at MBFW-Swim 2015, Miami.

MBFW-Swim 2015

Model Lacey Nelson at MBFW-Swim 2015, Miami.

Liliana Villalobos is a talented designer and a proud mother of 3 children. She recalled that Aguaclara was founded with her brother Jorge Villalobos 26 years ago: “It started as a little business and I took care of the cutting and the production from the beginning. But as time passed by, our product got better and every collection became a new challenge, and that is when the design thing started. I have not studied design, but to get a better collection each season I must start a procedure of designing that lasts 6 months.”

Liliana further added that Aguaclara started making swimwear in 1988 with artistic influences from Peru and the Amazonian Jungle. As she described Aguaclara’s style:

It is exotic and sophisticated.

I was delighted to attend Aguaclara Swimwear show that took place on 21st July, 2014 at the MBFW-Swim 2015, Miami. Considered one of the world’s top swim wear shows, MBFW-Swim 2015 was held for five days between 17th-21st July at the Raleigh Hotel in South Beach. The colours, shapes and fine designs of Liliana’s latest Swimwear Collection were nothing less than mesmerising. Liliana talked about her favourite materials and the fabrics she likes to work with:

We use the best quality of elastic fabric for our swimwear. After being in this business more than 25 years, this aspect is very important for us. Also we use 100% silk, 100% silk gauze and other latest developments of fabrics which complement the designs.

The complexity of some of her designs gives us some insights on how long her collections could take to be completed. Liliana explained: “To make a complete collection is a process of approximately six months. The production process of a piece probably takes one day, if it has handmade applications. However, the development of the design takes a lot more time.”

Surrounded by a mob of beautiful models running from one show to another, inevitably I had to ask Liliana how she selects the models she uses to feature her outfits. “We develop and try to much our designs to bodies of normal women such as myself or other different bodies. So when the time comes to select models, all of the suits look much better on them. We do select a type of model for our catalogues and for our productions. I like to select a model that has a very feminine and sexy look as well as an elegant sophistication.”

No fashion interview is complete without interviewing the models who actually make the show come alive. I had the opportunity to interview models Lacey Nelson and Thais Monteiro.

Lacey comes from a small city in Saskatchewan in Canada and admitted that watching the Victoria’s Secret fashion shows sparked her interest in modelling. Whereas Thais comes from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and recalled that at the age of 15 her mother set up a photo shoot and signed her up with her first agency in Rio.

I asked both Lacey and Thais how the fashion modelling has evolved throughout the years and they both had slightly different views. Lacey replied:

I think modelling has cycles just as fashion trends recur. Everyone is always looking back to past decades for inspiration. It evolves in the sense that there are constantly new faces and personalities coming into the mix, which is good for all of us as we all have something unique to offer!

MBFW-Swim 2015

Lacey Nelson, Backstage at MBFW-Swim 2015, Miami.

Whereas Thais stated: “I would say that in the past 15 years models were more serious on the runway, but now because of Victoria Secret’s shows, it has become more common that models will smile and interact more. Personally, I do not like the whole laughing, interacting thing, unless you are on a Victoria Secret show or something totally unique. Runways are supposed to be fashionable and edgy, otherwise it could come across as very cheese and tacky.”

Modelling is a fun but also a very challenging career path to follow, so I asked both Lacey and Thais the ups and downs they face in their career as models. “It is fun to be creative, especially when you are doing so with a team of awesome people or when shooting in a fabulous beach location. The only times it becomes challenging is when there is a lack of direction on set. Some people can get frustrated, and a tense atmosphere is no fun in any job,” explained Lacey. While Thais concluded:

The best part is being able to play different characters and dress up with clothes that I would never use on a regular basis. The biggest challenge, I think, is to be away from your family and friends since we are always travelling so much and with the uncertainty of this career, we never know if we will get jobs the following month.

MBFW-Swim 2015

Thais Monterio, Backtage at MBFW-Swim 2015, Miami.

For me it was very interesting to get a perspective of the MBFW-Swim 2015 from the designer and the models’ point of view, which is different and yet similar in some ways to that of a photographer. This exchange of ideas also brings people from different fields of the fashion industry together to make one big successful event in the world of fashion. The makeup-artists, the hair stylists, volunteers, the event organisers and a robust sponsorship behind it play a big part to make an event such as the MBFW-Swim a huge success.

Courtesy of: Liliana Villalobos, Lacey Nelson and Thais Monteiro | Photography by: Arnab Kar | Websites: www.aguaclara-swimwear.com and www.laceynelson.com and www.industrymodelgroup.com
Arnab Kar About the author

An MBA senior software consultant with a passion for photography loves fashion, Fine Art and landscape photography. Drawn towards painting, sketching and music, he works with world-class models and clients.