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04.20.2014

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April 19, 2011 10:08 AM

Fashion

Mike Gonzalez Looks to Brazil for Spring

Remember that hooded leather jacket you wore to the point of exhaustion a couple of years ago? Mike Gonzalez was responsible for that. The former founder of Mike & Chris, the brand that made wearing leather jackets to a...

Remember that hooded leather jacket you wore to the point of exhaustion a couple of years ago? Mike Gonzalez was responsible for that. The former founder of Mike & Chris, the brand that made wearing leather jackets to a black tie affair acceptable, has moved on from those days with his eponymous collection, Mike Gonzalez. And this spring, the designer is taking his brand on a tropical Brazilian get away. mglook2.jpgLaunched in the fall of 2010, the collection still counts Gonzalez's wife, Christine, as muse and retains the toughness that made the designer's former collection so popular. And while the native Angeleno relied on his east-LA routes to inspire the line's first outing, his spring 2011 collection looks a little further south -- it's what the designer calls an Afro-Brazilian fusion.

"I remember seeing 'Black Orpheus' in my late teens and was so wowed by the film's beauty, and was equally wowed by the richness within the Brazilian culture.  The colors in the film were so striking and were an amazing starting point for inspiration" Gonzalez told WWD.

Tribal print maxi dresses and head-wraps, silk shorts, crochet cut-out sweater tanks and of course cropped leather jackets (this time in what Gonzalez calls tie dye leather), ranging from $150 to $800, evoke thoughts of romantic tropical nights while maintaining a certain edginess the brand is known for.  That juxtaposition, Gonzalez says, was inspired by Brazilian music in the '60s.  

mgspring2011.jpg"The coupling of songs such as the softer 'Felicidade' to the ground shaking 'O Nosso Amor' had such an amazing range of feeling. I wanted to create that similar range within the Spring collection and have it evoke both the softer and bolder sides of the Mike Gonzalez brand."

Mike Gonzalez is carried at retailers worldwide including Nordstrom, Shopbop.com, Ron Herman, and Intermix.
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