AUTUMN WINTER 2013 COLLECTION / THE NEW ARRIVALS

Arrival.  Departure.  Unavoidable passage.  Once realized that there is no escape from the ultimate path of life and death, the coming end will be kindly embraced while the departed shall be lovingly remembered.

 Sretsis’ journey to Mexico during Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival opened the door to another side of death, birthing “The New Arrivals”.  Taking after the Aztecs, the Mexicans believe that death is, in fact, a continuation of life—not an annihilation of deep, personal bonds.  Death is to be rejoiced, not mourned nor feared.  Physical presence can disintegrate, but peaceful spiritual bindings are forever etched in, outlasting the heaviest of tombstones and deepest sorrow.

 During Dia de Muertos, Mexico City comes alive with the celebration of death.  The mysterious city remembers those who are no longer roam the earth as its citizens flaunt their heavily decorated altar de muertos (altar of the dead) at home with offerings as well as beautify the graves of their beloved with calaveras de azucar (sugar skulls), glitters, marigolds and other assorted flowers, candles, catrinas (skull figures) and shadow boxes where the departed’ favorite memorabilia are stored alongside love, tenderness and peace of mind.

 Echoing the same spiritual belief, Buddhism’s concept of reincarnation also comes to play that life is transient and only a transition to death where true awakening awaits.  Sretsis dreams up “The New Arrivals” to represent the beautification of death, acceptance of life cycle and tranquil remembrance.  The collection serves a gentle reminder that we should always be aware of this inevitable journey, and it’s only wise to be readily packed. 

 “The New Arrivals” high craftsmanship and intricate textiles pay homage to the festival’s decorated graves and altars as well as profound acknowledgement of truth.  Giving the traditional Mexican dress a more modern edge, the silhouettes rely on inner peace and comfort with Sretsis’ signature grandeur twists.

 The collection’s mascots are Benicio the Lynx, Diego the Fox and Carola the Owl.  They bare their souls when appearing half alive with furry faces while another half showing their skulls, which are Mexican symbols of life and death, suggesting that there is no permanence in life. 

 Inspired by Mexico’s age old, honest craft works through shadow boxes, where memories are guarded, Sretsis’ newly developed flower keepsake technique allows custom made poppies to be kept safely inside the sleeves, pockets and collars, showing memories through layers of transparent, shimmering organdy.  The poppy keepsakes also come in float, glittering chiffon.  Butterflies, the spirit carriers, flutter their faithful wings as organza butterfly appliques rest on dresses with organdy layering over twinkling sequins.  During the day, these butterflies, which are also Frida Kahlo’s favorite, sway coyly, but when night falls, they glow in the dark, signaling a never-ending spiritual journey.

 Butterfly Skull print twists and turns from the usual animal print on a newly developed fabric, Wool Peach, which is soft, silky to the touch, but tough and durable to the wear.  Juvenile Skeleton print—depicting glow in the dark skeletons of baby fox, unicorn and owl—appreciates the livings as well as remembers those who have passed to another dimension.

 For a cold winter night, keep your heart warm and your memory fresh with Dark Shadow Cape, digitally printed on velveteen to mimic lynx fur, and Butterfly Cape Coat with wing collar details.  Butterfly tights and over-the-knee socks also keep the chills at bay.

retsis jewelry has a field day with symbolic keepsakes that Dia de Muertos supplies.  From a pearl cross necklace to flower headpiece, each item appear delicate, but are supported by solid structure, representing fragile, yet impossible to eradicate memories.  The three mascots come in half face/half skull rings with marquise stones, labradorite and druzy.

All flower keepsakes are hand sculpted individually with extra strength Japanese clay while the ever-present shadow box is transformed into a butterfly pendant through double enamel.

 Arriving.  Departing.  You decide.  “The New Arrivals” only hopes to provide something for you to take as a keepsake and also something for you to leave behind…something to be remembered by.

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