Mauricio Alpizar's Winter 2014 collection features original Alpizar prints. Photo: Matt Jelonek.
Mauricio Alpizar’s Winter 2014 collection features original Alpizar prints. Photo: Matt Jelonek.

Mauricio Alpizar and ‘70s Glamour

There’s a fantasy element to Perth fashion designer Mauricio Alpizar’s clothes which is enchanting, as demonstrated at his recent Liberace-esque media presentation. “They make me want to lie on a luxury yacht covered in nothing but a white fur coat and a few diamonds,” ANNA SAXON reports.

WED on Beaufort is the perfect place to host a ‘70s inspired fashion show. Like a scene straight out of Behind the Candelabra, the small boutique has embraced the oft -forgotten luxe glamor of the Disco Decade, while keeping it modern and chic.

I feel like I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and into an alternate dimension where Elizabeth Taylor never died and Watergate was only yesterday. Every surface is a mirror or white marble. There are faux-grecian columns, golden thrones, and oversized floral arrangements scattered throughout the store. Men and women dripping in Chanel lean against giant candelabras as Diana Ross plays over the speakers. Even the hors d’oeuvres – honeyed figs, chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne – help to create a sense of romantic nostalgia which perfectly matches Mauricio Alpizar’s ‘Summer Nights’ Couture Collection.

The collection was heavily inspired by the luxe glamour of 70s icons like Cleopatra Jones, Bianca Jagger and the excessive Studio 54 movement. It’s all about long, flowing gowns, crisp white playsuits, and hair as high as the sky.  The new 25-piece collection includes a combination of luxury resort wear and couture pieces that are set to inspire a “return of 1970s glamour”, each piece handmade with custom print fabric designed by Mauricio himself – which was seen to no greater effect than the gorgeous black and white patterned ball gown which was revealed during the finale to rapturous applause. The Collection will be launched at the 2014 Pierrot’s Model Search by Pierrot’s Hair Studios, followed by Costa Rica & New York Fashion Week.

Mauricio himself is an incredibly interesting character. Born in Costa Rico, he moved to Perth in 1995 to pursue an already successful career in dance and choreography. Just under 5 years ago, Mauricio’s creative energies began to move from dance to fashion. His artistic and theatrical background is evident in every garment he creates, and there is a playful drama to his ‘Summer Night’ silhouettes. But perhaps most importantly, he is passionate about keeping talent in Perth. “It’s been my dream to become a designer since I was very young. I just want people to enjoy my art”, Mauricio said, as he clasped the hand of the host. “And I love Perth. I know everyone goes to Melbourne but I think we have something great here. I don’t want people going to Melbourne or Europe for Haute Couture, I want them coming here. I want to represent Perth.” Mauricio’s excitement about New York Fashion Week was palpable – he even played Empire State of Mind on repeat as the soundtrack for the second half of the runway show. His may not be the typical ‘local-boy-made-good’ story, but Mauricio Alpizar is a brilliant fashion ambassador for Perth – I can’t wait to see what he does with the ‘80s.