Fashion, Everyone's Common Viewpoint
By: Idania Machado, Photos: Jorge Pérez
It is said that a farmer living in the central part of Cuba asked his wife to make him a comfortable shirt to wear while working in the country. The wife followed her husband's wishes but she was far from imagining, at that time, that her original design would become so popular, first among the residents of the area, and afterwards all over the world.
She had created the Guayabera, the traditional national Cuban shirt
Now Cuban designers are dreaming of going global, first targeting the growing number of tourists to the island with the goal of penetrating markets abroad. Nancy Pelegrin is a designer widely known for recreating the traditional Guayabera. She also defends it as the national outfit and now presents a very attractive line of different clothes, with her favorite colors of white and beige, for the tropical weather. Born into a family that combines fashion with music, her father being a singer in the Son Pelegrin Septet who regularly perform at the Melia Habana Hotel and the Fashion House La Maison, Pelegrin studied at the San Alejandro School of Painting, one of the most prestigious art schools of Havana. I met Pelegrin at her home-workshop, where she creates her drawings, right after one of her trips to Spain where she worked with her usual styles and produced several collections from discarded fabric. Asked about her fashion views she said, "true fashion arises from everyone's common point of view." "We all impose trends," says Pelegrin, "first for convenience and also to present ourselves and reveal some of ourselves to society. Each of us has our own wardrobe independent with what is worn at the moment. That is why I say that fashion is in all of us."
Fabrics, hats, and ecological colors that help us to stay cool make up her line of clothing. These become important to those who wear them since all of us give our personal shape and meaning to the endless relationship between practicality and beauty.