Chulo Pony Fall 2006 Collection - A Tale of Drama and Fashion

For fall 2006, Chulo Pony recounts a tale of passion, romance, and betrayal at Mercedes-Benz LA Fashion Week in Culver City, CA. The Chulo Pony team, known affectionately as "the ponies," were inspired by the wonder of old images, letters, and unrealized dreams as well as by family histories and the ties that bind and break them. The looks, infused with the dramatic elements apparent in the saga, were a brilliant blend of Eastern European themes and signature styles from the early 1900s.

Chulo Pony follows the adventures of the beautiful twin sisters Constanz and Opal who are part of an eccentric family of actors living in a theatre in Prague, circa 1939. Opal meets a handsome fire-eater named Tomas at the circus and instantly becomes smitten.  She brings Tomas home to introduce him to her family.  He falls for her twin, Constanz, and they later marry. Opal, furious, impulsively jumps a steamship for Toronto, never to return. Constanz writes a letter of apology and includes an invitation to her wedding but it gets lost in transit and amends are never made. Fast forward to present day and Opal's great granddaughter Kera, a twin herself, discovers the letter and traces it back to Prague where she explores her roots. She comes across an old family photo album where she finds out that Opal and Constanz were famous actors, legendary beauties, and the toast of Prague. Thus, out of the fusion of century-old styles, modern-day sophistication, and a burst of ingenuity, the Chulo Pony Fall 2006 line was born.

The show began with two models, posed side by side, one resting her head upon the other's shoulder. One was adorned in a loden melange waste length jacket, the hood draped decorously over her hair, and olive cropped riding pants. Coy and bashful, this model walked unassumingly next to her more courageous counterpart. This vivacious vixen, the more daring of the two, was dressed in a brindle-colored fitted vest with raw edge ties and winter white button front sailor pants. With copious cleavage, she strutted down the runway. These two models, although physically strikingly similar, were clearly quite distinct in personality and style. And so the story of Constanz and Opal began to unravel on the runway.

 

The subsequent models graced the runway individually in gorgeous looks that united the demure with the daring. From underneath shrunken vests and fitted blazers peeked sequin tank tops. Succulent fabrics like lace, satin, and cashmere in a rich color palette of Dior red, old gold, petrol blue, and antique bronze gave the collection a luxurious look. Holding true to Opal and Constanz's dramatic and eccentric bloodline, Chulo Pony designers presented their own unique versions of traditional Eastern European garb: kimonos and tunics. An ivory short sleeve kimono dress was paired with a vintage slip completed with a gathered viole hem. An explosion of crystals burst across the chest. After all, what young socialite would be complete without a little sparkle and bling?  Meanwhile, an asymmetrical wrap jacket with a high Japanese neckline in winter white was paired with olive cropped riding pants. The fine gold detailing in the back of this resplendent wrap was simply breath-taking. The design was reminiscent of classic engraving one would find on a priceless, antique locket that perhaps Opal or Constanz wore to the theatre or gala. It simply sparkled against the luscious winter white cashmere. 

With the intricate tailoring of the garments with underarm vents, gathered hems, nipped-in waists and detachable ruffle peplums evoked an old world feel while distressed ornate bronze foil embellishments gave the line a modern edge.

The starry-eyed, romantic mood was unwavering and climaxed in the finale: full-length opera coats in black and dark red cotton velveteen. Again, two models walked side by side down the runway. This time, however, both models were sizzling and scintillating in their deliciously decadent coats. The audience let out a collective awe-inspired gasp as the models gracefully strolled down the runway adorned in these breath-taking coats. The mouthwatering black and dark red velvet shimmered under the lights. So scrumptious were these pieces that any other garments paired with them were quite unnecessary. The designers apparently agreed since the models simply wore black lace panties, garters, and thigh high stockings underneath.

And so the tale of beautiful twin sisters, a vicious love triangle, and a tragic twist of fate concluded. What a perfect fusion of Hollywood and Fashion, and no better place to present a story told through fashion than at the Mercedes-Benz LA Fashion Week.

Photographs courtesy of Jack Fleming.

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