Photo of the Day: Alpacas, Soft & Stylish

After a shopping frenzy in the tourist trap that is Cusco, I decided to debut one of my latest Alpaca finds while on a tour of the Sacred Valley. While browsing through the piles of chompas (sweaters) I was unsure at first. I was expecting the itchy quality of wool, and perhaps even a strange animal scent permeating the thread.

I couldn’t have been more wrong! Warm and woolly, my sweater held up marvelously against the finicky Andean weather.

The rest of the day was spent exploring the numerous Inca ruins, and marveling at the glorious pop of color against the bleak landscape.

Small Town Life in the Peruvian Andes

The van rounded each bend with a sharp turn, and I felt my stomach drop at the combination of nearing the cliff’s edge, and the breathless mountain scenery. With each pass the air grew thinner, yet the views grew more magnificent. Rising mountain peaks, cotton ball clumps of fluffy, white sheep, and the occasional Quechua native, dotting the landscape with a burst of color.

While traveling through the Sacred Valley region of Peru, I had been given the change to visit the tiny town of Rumira, high up in the Andes mountains. Accompanied by Threads of Peru, an NGO dedicated to the preservation of the traditional Quechua weaving traditions, I had the rare opportunity to meet and speak with the women of Rumira, talking about their daily routines, the process of weaving, and raising children while working such a laborious life. Continue reading

A Series of Unfortunate Events: Riding the Night Bus to Cusco

I pushed my way through the crowded streets of Ica, with my heavy backpack weighing down like a ton of bricks on my back. Finally reaching the bus station, I threw myself into one of the blue plastic seats, and breathed in deeply. I was about to board a twenty hour bus from Ica to Cusco and knew I had a long night ahead of me. My sister was traveling with me at this point in my trip, and we had decided to get to the station about 30 minutes early, just to give ourselves some time to grab some snacks and water and stretch our legs, before sitting in a tiny seat for an entire day. Continue reading

Peruvian Weaving Traditions

Flickr/Kurt J

When asked to name the key fashion capitals of the world, most people will cite New York, Paris, Milan, and London as the top players. A few may even throw in up and coming locations like Tokyo and Brazil. What many people don’t realize is, while the top talent may come from these countries, designers often find their inspiration from lesser known locations. Drawing on local customs, fabrics, and colors from an exotic locale can help provide the creative direction for an entire season. Looking to these cultures around the world can be an ideal place for new ideas and inspiration on fabrics, colors, shapes, and the combination of textiles. Continue reading