“Don’t carry a label, carry a unique style with cache,” declares Cuban designer Maria Elena when describing the vision behind her eponymous label Maria Elena Couture. What does this mean? Well, based on the luxurious contemporary handbags she distributes, “unique style with a cache” is all about making typical travel more fashionable for the modern woman. Maria Elena’s purses are bold, statement pieces for on-the-go fashionistas that retain a versatile functionality usually reserved for less decadent designs. They are also quite diverse. Drawing from vibrant Cuban traditions, Maria Elena Couture stands out thanks to a passionate use of color and appreciation for refined but different creations. These staple elements were key players in the brand’s refreshing spring collection at Couture Fashion Week, adding spice to muted purses as well as brightly-stained bags.
Alongside rich black, warm earthy tan, and vibrant fuchsia pieces, Maria Elena made innovative use of materials in her new collection. Classic leather handbags shared the runway with delightful satin and snakeskin clutches. The flights into new territory didn’t stop there either. Scattered amongst color-blocked neutrals were floral prints emphasized by textured fabrics made out to resemble petals. And, always a fan of pronounced individuality, Maria displayed a menagerie of different shapes and styles on her runway. From massive bucket bags and petite cross-bodies to a show-stopping circle purse, Maria Elena Couture remained true to their code of uniqueness. Combining the stark structure of a contemporary handbag with flavorful Caribbean hues, each new design proved unforgettably stylish yet reasonably useful purses really do exist.
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