The World of The Monterey Cabana Dress

Monterey Cabana Dress


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How I was Inspired

The inspiration for the Monterey cabana dress is decidedly Latin, but with California roots: my appreciation of long, narrow a-line dresses is born from childhood memories of family trips to Mexico in the 1970s. We primarily traveled to the Pacific coast of Mexico, namely Puerto Vallarta; at this time, PV was a sleepy town with mostly tourists from elsewhere in Mexico. My mother had been traveling to the Yucatan since the 1950s and knew the area from the days when the fishing village had only two cars – a hearse and a taxi. Twenty years later, it was a fashionable place to holiday, especially for families from Mexico City. I remember my mother making friends poolside with extraordinarily chic Mexican mothers who wore bright cotton caftans and large gold filigree earrings, red lipstick, and hair tucked into a low chignon. Everyone was the deepest glossiest tan. While the children splashed around in the pool, the mothers would alternate between chatting in Spanish, reading their books, and lounging there looking like paintings – graceful, feminine, watchful, dignified. It was a time when a mother took care getting dressed, even on vacation, out of a sense of self-respect and pride in grooming.

Latin with California Roots

While my memories of 70s Mexico inspire the visual language of the Monterey cabana dress, the feeling and mood of the dress reference Monterey, California where I was born. Monterey is a very old California town: in the downtown one can find historic civic buildings from the 1700s. There is a style of architecture based on the area called “Monterey Colonial” – adobe structures with a long upstairs balcony, crisp white symmetry, and a tile roof. The Monterey cabana dress mirrors this juxtaposition of classical and casual. The cotton fabric of the dress is not in and of itself dressy, but the slender shoulder, narrow sleeve, and a-line shape create a refined silhouette. The Monterey cabana dress is Latin glamour meets Northern California patrician simplicity.

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