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Not to Copy Vogue, but We Agree: These Are the Dresses of The Summer

You can bring back plenty of lovely, tangible, non-ephemeral tokens from a vacation in the sun: sand, photographs, trinkets from the local souvenir shop, seashells…more sand. But all too often, once the post-holiday reality sets in, so too does a fine layer of dust over shelf-scattered summer memorabilia. Sofia Sanchez de Betak, a Buenos Aires-born, New York-based art director and fashion consultant, knows this feeling all too well. But a trip to Mallorca changed all of that when she found a way to make her memories wearable — and not just wearable on vacation, but in her real, non-vacation life.

How did this collaboration come about?

I went to a market in Mallorca a few years ago where I fell in love with a local artist and her paintings, but I couldn’t see myself hanging them in my house. Instead, I asked her if she would paint a dress for me, and she agreed. We sat down and designed it together and she painted it — I told her I wanted it to feel like a canvas. It was the only thing I wore all summer.

The following summer I wanted more, so I went back to the market (she had no email or phone number) and found her again. We went to her studio and designed many different styles of dresses: short, long, wide, with sleeves, without sleeves, with holes in the shoulders, with holes in the hips! We even explored new painting techniques and concepts; some dresses had faces, others just abstract shapes.

By the end of the summer she told me she was sick and that she needed more work, so I quickly commissioned a large order that turned out beautifully.

What did you guys set out to do with this line?

I love buying things when I go on holidays, but most of the time I never wear them when I get back home. I think the reason is that many times the fit, the fabric or the format is not right for my everyday life, so I wanted to reinterpret local crafts into something I would wear anywhere while reminding me of that destination. This is, hopefully, one of many travel collections that I will be sharing in my boutique. This collection is meant to be an art project: one-of-a-kind paintings in form of dresses by Letita Aragon.

How do you hope people feel when they wear one of the dresses?

Free and comfortable…even when not on holiday!

How do they make YOU feel?

Like I’m in Mallorca on holiday, looking relaxed, happy and sexy.

How did the island of Mallorca inspire you and the designer?

Mallorca is a magical place — the colors, the skies, the mountains, the food. It’s a very inspiring destination. Most of our friends there are artists, photographers and hippies. It attracts creative people.

What were the most challenging and rewarding parts of the collaboration?

I thought they were very particular dresses that no one would like but me, so I kept many for myself — at least 20! Eventually, as summer approached, I shyly showed them to a few editors at Vogue and they decided to name it “The Dress of the Summer.” I was amazed and honored. Letita would be so thrilled!

Why should everyone come to Mallorca?

Because of their paellas!!!

And finally (most importantly), how are you insane? (We’re all insane one way or another, right?)

Mmmm. I guess I’m very obsessive with things. When I like something, I can’t get enough of it, like these dresses. Every dress I try on I want to keep! I’m the same with cheesecakes, Havanna Alfajores and the Palitos de la Selva (Argentinian candy). Once I pop, I can’t stop!

These beautiful dresses are available for purchase here. Follow Under Our Sky on Instagram @underoursky_. Check out Sofia’s website and follow her on Instagram @chufy. Photographed by Martina Arcucci, follow her on Instagram @martiarcucci.

hand-painted-dresses

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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