Martin Churba has had a rather unusual path to his current position of being one of the most established designers at the forefront of the new wave of Argentinean fashion designers. He first mastered textiles, researching materials, developing new methods of deploying familiar fabrics and developing new approaches to producing highly distinctive luxury fabrics. Needless to say, this flair for the most basic of building blocks of good fashion still shows in the various lines that he now designs for his Tramando label, whether the chic and slick prêt a porter line, the arty couture line or the more sporty ranges with their distinctive prints and bold use of intricate colour.
As is often the case, the current prêt a porter line – or trama a porter as it’s known– sees a strongly sculptural approach to working with fabric. But, the stark sculptural forms that we have been used by other younger designers to great acclaim in recent years were already charted territory to Martin Chubra some time ago. Although he still continues his more experimental textile art projects in numerous ways, trama a porter is all about taking the lessons learned from such intensive research and applying them to a sexy, wearable fashion for women. The current collection is no exception.
The tight, short figure-hugging dresses that are something of a Tramando specialty are all there; their complex surfaces and intricate detailing of the fabrics all applied to the purpose of showing off an attractive figure. A similar penchant for clothing that elaborates a beautiful figure is also present in a number of the trouser and jacket combinations, tightly fitted; here and there detailing such as leather or glossy sheen drawing attention to a particular curve of a sleeve or front panel of a pair of trousers. With a controlled balance between defining black and strong colour details or intricate pattern, these silhouettes are always guaranteed to make a grand entrance and it’s easy to see why they are favoured by the bold and the beautiful of Buenos Aires.
While the hemlines on the whole remain short, there are also numerous garments and combinations that make use of beautifully draped trousers, comfortably loose at the top and tapering harem-style to a fitted calf and ankle. Together with the equally beautifully draped tops – many featuring signature prints- the look here is one of the casual chic of the disco era reinvented, something that evokes the hedonistic decadence of Studio 54, but never actually feels retro.
By contrast a number of the billowing, more loosely shaped dresses are rather freed up from any specific historic reference. Instead, their bold forms, interesting finishes and consummate use of textiles offer the discerning customer something that is both extremely contemporary and yet also timeless, something that declares that fashion is about a persisting style and not really following a superficial trend.
Fortunately, for those who see these beautiful clothes and want them but are not so conveniently located near to Tramando’s stronghold of Argentina, the brand has become something of a growing cult and is now stocked in a growing number of select stores in the USA, Japan, Spain, France and Belgium, amongst other countries.