The end of a season is often a moment of reflection, a time to evaluate the past and anticipate the future. And for WILLY CHAVARRIA, the Spring 2024 season marked a significant transformation. A departure from the previous season’s all-black collection, which the designer himself referred to as “a palate cleanser,” this new season screamed, “let there be light!” It was a revelation, a declaration that the WILLY CHAVARRIA label is not confined to any single category but is a versatile blend of sportswear, eveningwear, tailoring, and now, underwear. This new collection, titled “New Life,” showcased an elevated vision of the designer, one that is not just glamorous but also encompasses the complexities and vulnerabilities of the youth.
The Spring 2024 collection by WILLY CHAVARRIA was unveiled in the historic Woolworth Building, where the first model descended a grand staircase in a pristine white linen jacket, wide peak lapel, sweeping extra-wide leg trousers, all accessorized with a red wide brim hat and a colossal red flower pinned to the lapel. A sight that could only be described as heavenly.
Backstage, before the show, Chavarria expressed that this was his most elevated collection yet. He wanted to demonstrate that his capabilities extended beyond street and sportswear to a full couture evening collection. He emphasized that his label is a fusion of all categories, sportswear, eveningwear, tailoring, and underwear, worn together harmoniously.
The collection revealed a college prep-inspired navy jacket nipped at the waist and snugly fit, khaki shorts with a slightly dropped crotch, oversized and extended, and a baby blue button-down with a round collar, slightly feminine, proudly displayed over the blazer’s lapel. These pieces distorted in proportions, creating a unique aesthetic. Chavarria also incorporated the collegiate vibe into an athletic jersey with dramatic balloon sleeves and a graphic tee featuring the logo of an imaginary youth group, “Grupo Nueva Visión Por Vida” (The New Vision for Life Group).
A striking red double-breasted jacket featured a light pink fade, as if sun-kissed, paired with long red basketball shorts. Tank tops and underwear adorned with rips throughout symbolized the vulnerability and dystopia experienced by the younger generation. Yet, there was a spirit of resilience, showcased by pairing destroyed basketball shorts with an all-over sequin embroidered turtleneck and a seaweed-made Japanese fabric trench coat worn with only grey boxer shorts underneath.
Chavarria stated that he aimed to avoid quiet luxury at all costs, which was evident in the metallic pleated silk satin trousers paired with a black quasi-poet blouse, unbuttoned and tucked in, and the golden sequin trousers paired with a graphic t-shirt and boxy denim jacket with gold monogrammed buttons. The t-shirt featured an image of Yuji, the model wearing it, wrapped in a Mexican flag and holding a gold coin emblazoned with a “W,” the same design found on the buttons.
The show culminated in breathtaking couture-esque cape-dresses made of red Japanese silk and white recycled polyester. Chavarria noted that the collection was particularly emotional for him as it touched on the incredible influences in fashion throughout Latinidad, from the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, and even the future.
© Photos: WILLY CHAVARRIA
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