Bolivian culture is rich, beautiful, and diverse with countless colorful clothes, exciting makeup styles, and creative hairstyles. Fashion experts take their time to create a variety “looks” for cultural celebrations and more occasions that take place. However, in the capital city of Bolivia, La Paz, native women also referred to as “Cholas” for many centuries have faced a stigma for wearing their traditional bowler hats, simple clothes, tailored blouses, handmade macramé shawls, layered pollera skirts, and jewelry with elaborate designs. The good news is that fashion designers like Eliana Paco Parades are working towards chipping that stigma away. With her new chola clothing line, which debuted at Fashion Week in New York City in September, there’s a great chance this clothing style will transform the fashion trends around the world.
Chola’s of Bolivia and Paco’s Chola Clothing Line
The whole ideology of chola clothing revolves around indigenous, poor women of Bolivia. Probably that’s why people consider it as “inappropriate”. Historically, many indigenous women couldn’t think about wearing chola apparel in certain professions. Until recently, cholas of Bolivia wouldn’t get the permission to enter taxis, certain restaurants, as well as some public buses.
This isn’t the first time Paco received international recognition for her clothing designs. In the year 2012, she got the privilege to design a shawl for Queen Sofia of Spain. However, bringing this trend into New York is a huge step for her. Not only will it promote a new fashion trend but she also hopes this could be an important and turning moment for the indigenous cholas of Bolivia. Such international spotlight on her new designs could help increase the acceptance of these women along with their culture in Bolivia.
In response to her debut in New York’s Fashion Week, the Mayor of La Paz wrote in an email that he feels proud of Paco’s effort and hopes that her designs can reflect the identity of the poor and local women from La Paz. He also hopes this would generate a new fashion trend in the global fashion industry and different countries could incorporate some of the chola clothing elements.
The “Chola” Designs
On the fashion runway, the outfits were all about sophistication. Keeping the fundamental elements like the macramé shawl, bowler hats, and pollera intact, the designs showed that you could combine these elements with an evening gown, or any dress and appear beautiful. In most ways, the outfits showed that no matter which country you belong to, you could use chola clothing as an inspiration and add these elements to your fashion statement.
Success of Paco’s Chola Clothing Line
In La Paz, Paco Parades owns a national store. Here, the clothing is quite famous as the local women wear them every day. At a national level, she has worked with many regions like Santa Cruz, Oruro, Cochabamba, and Potosi. Internationally, some of her products go to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Italy, and Spain. Gradually, people are learning more about this clothing. Soon women outside of Bolivia can wear these outfits since they boast elegant designs.
Definitely, the introduction of chola apparel is a revolutionary step for the fashion world. In all aspects, this new trend can grow. People from all over the world can embrace it and incorporate it in their daily wears.
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