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This Latina’s Abuelita Encouraged Her to Compete on ‘Project Runway’ and She Won

@ashley_nell_tipton / Instagram

Say hello to Ashley Nell Tipton.

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Credit: Beto Soto / YouTube / refinery29 / Tumblr

The San Diego native is the season 14 winner of Project Runway.

Her winning collection, which was inspired by 1950s Mexico City, was featured at New York Fashion Week. Get a closer look at Ashley’s collection here.

Ashley is the first Project Runway winner to focus on creating plus-size clothing.

I wasn't lying when I said this back in high school class of '09

A photo posted by Ashley Nell Tipton (@ashley_nell_tipton) on

And she called it when she was in high school! Some people just know what they are meant to do and totally nail it.

Get it, girl!

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Credit: Jane the Virgin / CW / ilikeubuturcrazy / Tumblr

READ: How A Plus-Size Latina Model is Using Social Media to Encourage Women to Be Healthy

Ashley’s greatest inspiration is her abuela, who taught her to sew when she was just 7 years old.

“She taught me how to sew at a young age, and I felt like I had nothing else to lose, so I might as well take this chance,” Ashley told People Magazine about her decision to try out for the show. “I’m very, very glad that I did.”

Just two days before her audition for Project Runway, Ashley’s abuela died.

Dear Grandma, You are the most beautiful woman I have ever see. Your smile and laugh lights up a room. I love everything about you from your beautiful blue eyes to your big wear heart. You always knew how to make me smile. You always told me how beautiful I was. Your a mother to me and always be. You have taught me so much, you taught me how to sew and helped me find my creativity. For that I think you for made me the woman I am today. Just to see you smile wears my heart up. You used to spoil me rotten with all my favorite foods. I remember you use to drag me to all your favorite thrift store as a kid, what I would do to just go back to those days with you. Every time we went out you always make sure you looked your best. I'm pretty sure I got that from you. I loved watching The price is right and the Young in the Restless with you every morning. You would call me 10 times a day, just to see what I was doing and to tell me you were thinking about me. I remember when I was a little girl we would have candle lite dinners together, just because. You were the only one who showed me to pray. I'm your little girl, your angle, your pumpkin, your world, your everything. Being able to see you last night to share our last moment, will be something I will never forget. You had me crying, laughing and smiling all at the same time. Watching you take your last breath was beautiful. Now that your gone I've never felt closer to you then now. I've saved you voice mail to never forget your beautiful voice. I know you will always be watching over me and guiding me the right direction. I love you grandma to the moon and back. Love, your Pumpkin. Your in peace May 22,1928-February 24, 2015.

A photo posted by Ashley Nell Tipton (@ashley_nell_tipton) on

“I feel like now that she’s gone, I really have nothing to lose and I want to do this for her because she pushed me so much and she always asked me why I’ve never applied for this show,” Ashley said in her application video.

Your abuelita would be so proud of you right now, Ashley.

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Credit: Empire / FOX / Empire FOX / Giphy

Don’t mind me. I think I have something in my eye. And now it’s in my other eye.

With the memory of her abuela and determination to change the idea of beauty on Project Runway, Ashley was off to compete.

Do you know what day it is!?!? It's a new episode of #projectrunway don't miss it on #lifetimetv tonight at 9/8c #designerashley

A photo posted by Ashley Nell Tipton (@ashley_nell_tipton) on

“I decided to become a fashion designer when I couldn’t find clothing that was fashionable in my size when growing up,” Ashley told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “The lack of more fashionable and bold clothing for the plus-sized woman inspired me to create what was missing in the plus-size fashion industry.”

READ: Hot, Plus-Size Latinas Redefining Beauty

When the competition got tough, she remembered her abuela and how much she believed in her.

“I wanted to see how far I could go and here I am today,” Ashley told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “I’m so glad that I did, and I know that my grandmother would be proud!”

Ashley’s whole family played a role in supporting her through this journey.

And let’s face it, with an awesome Latino family like this, it’s hard to lose.

@timgunn and my mom. Look how cute they are!!! #designerashley #projectrunway #lifetimetv

A photo posted by Ashley Nell Tipton (@ashley_nell_tipton) on

Kudos, girl!

Share this story and show your friends how Latinos are changing the world of fashion!

This Vogue Exhibit — Featuring A Gorgeous Portrait Of Yalitza Aparicio — Is Now Open In Mexico City

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This Vogue Exhibit — Featuring A Gorgeous Portrait Of Yalitza Aparicio — Is Now Open In Mexico City

@yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

Any designer will tell you that art and fashion often go hand-in-hand. Through the ages, art has reflected so much about society and history solely through the clothing and architecture depicted by oils and pastels. From the runways of Paris and Milan to the pages of VOGUE, the composition, color, and forms of the latest fashions often show us that they are equivalent to the most iconic works of art created by the most masterful fine artists.

Now, Vogue is yet again showing us the relationship between art and fashion with its brand new “Vogue Like a Painting” exhibit.

Twitter / @mamiyolis

The exhibition is being shown at Mexico City’s historic Franz Mayer Museum from now until September 15, 2019. The sample of 65 images is a representation of the greatest photographs to manifest in VOGUE during its past 20 years as a publication.  The magazine’s archives were thoroughly examined to find the most impactful, most artistically composed and most striking pictures to be taken by photographers during their time at VOGUE.

Over the last two decades, some of the most iconic photographers ever have collaborated with the publication. Annie Leibovitz, Paolo Roversi, Tim Walker, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Steven Klein, Sheila Metzner, Cecil Beaton, and Edward Steichen are some of the many big name artists who have captured moments for VOGUE. They have contributed easily some of the most recognizable images that the magazine has printed and their work will be available to view at the “Vogue Like a Painting” event.

Karla Martinez de Salas, editorial director of Vogue Mexico and Latin America, had this to say about the art exhibition:

“I have always believed in the power of images, in that inexplicable magic of telling stories without words that allow us to inspire and make us dream. From a painting signed by Goya, to an image photographed by Tim Walker or Paolo Roversi, it is these beautiful visual records of fashion and culture that are truly treasured in our memory and heart.”

What all of these images have in common are distinct characteristics that are traditionally attributed to paintings and other works of fine art.

Twitter / @museofranzmayer

Their narratives, details and subject matter are approached the same way a master would address a canvas. At first glance, some of these pictures don’t even look like photographs. The stylistic techniques used to capture the subject are implemented as authentically as possible — staying true to the artistic elements artists are trained in.

The compositions also invoke comparisons to different artists and art periods. Split into genres like portraiture and landscapes, artistic movements like Renaissance painting, Rococo art, and even Pre-Raphaelite works are mirrored by these photos. The images in “Vogues Like a Painting” evoke masters such as Magritte, Degas, Dalí, Botticelli and Zurbarán. Their use of light, space, color and figure drawing are mimicked by the pictures on display — making these pieces completely at home in the museum.

Of these breath-taking pictures, a gorgeous portrait of Yalitza Aparicio can also be viewed.

Twitter / @VogueMexico

This image of Yalitza Aparicio comes from a spread by the photographers Santiago & Mauricio and was published back in January 2019. The actress was the first Indigenous woman to appear on the cover of VOGUE. Displayed in the “Vogue Like a Painter” exhibit, the portrait draws comparisons to Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” The steady stare, the use of light and dark and the positioning of her body is reminiscent of the mysterious woman in the Italian master’s piece. We can even see the influence of Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits reflected in the photograph of the “Roma” star.

Debbie Smith, the curator of the “Vogue Like a Picture” exhibit spoke with VOGUE MEXICO about the inclusion of Aparicio’s portrait and how historic the actress’ fashion shoot was for the magazine, fashion and art.

“I was so shocked by the cover of Yalitza, it ‘s one of the most important things that Vogue has done in recent decades … It was impeccable. I have the file saved in my mind.”

As if these beautiful pictures weren’t enough, the exhibition also includes two dresses by Alexander McQueen — one of them never before displayed — as well as another three gowns by Comme des Garçons, Christian Lacroix and Nina Ricci. These pieces were borrowed especially for the “Vogue Like a Painting” exhibit. If you can get to Mexico City for this show, definitely give it a look. It is without a doubt one of the most historic mixtures of art and fashion to be seen today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twdG7xRE2TY

These Latino Fashion Designers Are Putting Culture First In Swimwear

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These Latino Fashion Designers Are Putting Culture First In Swimwear

lena_cali / Instagram

As good as it will feel to support any of these Latino-owned swimwear brands, you’ll feel so much better actually wearing their designs. Like always, knowing you’re supporting a Latino entrepreneur feels good, but these designers are putting Latino culture first in their products.

Ranging from birthplaces in Los Angeles to Puerto Rico to Brazil, these brands have their finger on the pulse of Latin culture and are either preserving 1940’s Cuban fashion or setting new trends. You can’t go wrong with these brands.

Viva La Bonita

Digital Image. Viva La Bonita. 3 July 2019.

Based in Los Angeles, every year, Viva La Bonita comes out with a new print for it’s open-backed, one-piece swimsuits, and we’re obsessed. Last year the print read “Allergic to Pendejadas.” We have a feeling this year’s suit will leave you feeling chingona-level bella.

Agua Bendita

@aguabenditasw / Instagram

Born out of their love for design that honors their Colombian heritage, Catalina Álvarez and Mariana Hinestroza have joined design forces to create Agua Bendita. Their brand also features other local artisans to elevate Colombian artistry around the world.

Jessica Milagros Swimwear

@jmilagrosplus / Instagram

Jessica Milagros had spent her career as a plus-size model and was disappointed with the swimwear available. It just wasn’t highlighting the beauty of curvy bodies. So she teamed up with JCPenney to create a line of plus-size, affordable swimwear.

Nicolita Swimwear

@laura.roque.a @brendalonso18 / Instagram

We love that this brand is all about preserving the fashion of 1940’s Cuban swimwear, while using today’s technologies to keep it comfy. Opt for heavy ruffles or a simple I ❤️ Cuba halter.

Del Mar by Berjheny

@delmarswimwear / Instagram

Venezuelan-born designer Berjheny Del Mar grew up in Aruba and knew her expertise was in coexisting with the ocean. Del Mar promotes ethically sourced fashion and says they aid “highly impoverished community of single mothers by providing them with an income, training scheme, stability and property in their communities and donations from the sales to their local charity.”

Yemaya Swimwear

@yemayaswimwear / Instagram

Paraguayan designer Carla Pallares has dedicated her line to the Goddess of the Ocean, Yemaya. The brand is committed to women being able to live care-free in comfort and style—whether it’s standing up on that surfboard or roasting in the sand.

MarAcuyá Swimwear

@maracuyaswimwear / Instagram

Based in Puerto Rico, MarAcuyá uses four-way stretch lycra made in Colombia, printed with their custom designs for a comfortable and stylish way to lay on the beach, surf or yoga. Their 2019 catalog is on sale now–and with so many of the pieces made with reversible fabrics, it’s like a twofer.

Mauna Loa Beachwear

MAUNALOABEACHWEAR / Etsy

Made in Venezuela, this Etsy company is “inspired by the tropical heat of its origin country” and it shows. You must check out designer Andreina Oliver pieces to see how traditional wear has translated into ruffled bikinis and one pieces alike.

Peixoto

@peixotowear / Instagram

Colombian designer Mauricio Esquenazi created Peixoto to honor nostalgia and classic beauty. You’re not going to find a tanga bottom here. For them, it’s all about “mystery, sophistication and elegance, without giving it all away at first glance.”

Luli Fama

@lulifamaswimwear / Instagram

Another Cuban fashion genius, Lourdes “Luli” Hanimian created Luli Fama to honor all of Latin America. Growing up in Miami, Luli wants to honor the bold prints of our culture with contemporary fits. People just don’t understand how so many of her swimsuits are universally flattering, but they are.

Lybethras

@lybethras / Instagram

Luciana “Lu” Martinez founded Lybethras in 2007 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The brand name “Lybethras” means ‘source of muses’ in Latin. By the time Lu started her brand at age 19, she was creating muses left and right. Her goal is to create swimwear for all bodies, and her success is worldwide.

READ: How A Plus-Size Latina Model is Using Social Media to Encourage Women to Be Healthy

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