Buenos Aires Feature

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Fashion Forward

The stars of Argentine fashion have much in common with the country's top soccer players: they're as highly trained and technically proficient as their European counterparts, but there's a freshness and flair to their game that the weary old countries just don't have. And, of course, getting them into your wardrobe (or onto your team) can be a relative bargain.

On the Runway

Technically speaking, Buenos Aires Fashion Week (www.bafweek.com) is two fashion half-weeks. Fall-winter collections are presented in February, and spring-summer in August, at La Rural convention center. Entrance costs around 20 pesos, and there's a good chance of getting in to most shows. Plus, the clement exchange rate means you might actually be able to buy the creations you see.

Each March local trend spotters and international buyers descend hungrily on the Feria Puro Diseño (www.feriapurodiseno.com.ar), an expo of works by up-and-coming local designers held at La Rural convention center. Clothing and accessories are the focus, but housewares, lighting, and textiles are also included.

Big in Buenos Aires

There's no question who makes the best little black dresses—and sharp black suits—in town. In fact just about every garment that comes off Pablo Ramírez's (www.pabloramirez.com.ar) cutting table is black, but they're also exquisitely tailored, with waspish waists and structured draping that oozes '40s Hollywood glamour. He regularly designs costumes for highbrow theater productions, his clothes have been exhibited in three Buenos Aires museums, and his drawings appear in Thames and Hudson's Fashion Illustration by Fashion Designers.

Jessica Trosman (www.trosman.com) has shown collections in Paris, been pronounced one of the 250 most influential people in the future of fashion by i-D magazine, and had her work featured in Taschen's Fashion Now 2 and Phaidon's Sample books. Her signature fabric is richly colored cotton T-shirting, which she transforms into highly draped tops and dresses whose futuristic simplicity is both chic and slightly strange.

It's not just fabulous clothes Martín Churba creates, but also the textiles they're made of (his brand name, Tramando [ www.tramando.com ], means both "weaving" and "plotting"). His pleats, floaty folds, and attention to detail recall the best Japanese designers, and indeed, Churba has opened two stores in Tokyo and one in Osaka.

Her market presence is as subtle as the earthy neutrals she favors, but Cora Groppo's (www.coragroppo.com) polished urban designs are quiet showstoppers. Her floaty dresses, skinny pants, and sleek overcoats marry ambitiously stark lines and unusual textures with eminent wearability.

Min Agostini (www.minagostini.com.ar) "builds" her designs on mannequins, and the results are tunics, dresses, and wraps that look like a Star Wars wardrobe collision between Princess Amidala and the whole Jedi crew. Her clothes have been displayed in the windows of Harrods London.

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