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Party Shows Off Argentinean Fashion

April 2, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

Desino Argentinean fashion showcase Consulate General of Argentina Tuesday, 03.27.01, 6 PM to 9 PM
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It takes as little as one good supermodel to get great fashion buzz for an entire nation--witness what Gisele has done for Brazil--and Argentina tried to get its own version of hot fashion press with a showcase of Argentinean designers at the nation's consulate on West 56th.

Called Desino, the cocktail party included displays of the work of seven Argentinean clothing and accessories designers. Kim Martin from Judith Agisim Associates worked with representatives from Argentina to put together the event, which drew a funky, fashionable crowd of about 200 fashion journalists, buyers and diplomatic folks.

To bring a more modern, funky look to the consulate's austere rooms (think white columns and dark wood floors), Mariano Airaldi, an Argentinean designer who now lives in New York, stretched strips of fabric from the ceiling to the floor, creating dramatic vertical lines within each room. Airaldi also stretched white fabric over the display tables and attached the material to the floor, and he used more fabric strips on the consulate's grand stairway, running the strips from the first floor up through the second, where the showcase actually took place. (Airaldi's firm, Sensorial Enlightenment Technologies, does event and interior design work, and his wife, Alejandra, was one of the designers showing their work at the event.)

There was one glitch in the proceedings: After a mix-up with the caterer--the company, which we'll allow to remain nameless, thought the party was the next day--the organizers scrounged together a few plates of cheese and fruit. Luckily, there was plenty of Argentinean wine (provided by the government) for the evening, and the measly food spread didn't keep guests from browsing through the displays and mingling for a few hours.

--Chad Kaydo

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