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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

David Antonio´s fashion universe

By Iris Edén Santiago

Special to The Star

It’s 6 p.m. and the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel lobby is busy as usual. Tourists coming in and out. Others sit at the majestic lobby bar blending in with locals for a relaxing cocktail on a Friday night.

An hour later on that same night the scene changes. It’s now seven o’clock and the valet parking area at the hotel entrance is full. Uber drivers in line keep dropping off impeccably dressed women. The lobby is now packed. People dressed to impress are making their way through the crowd to get to the ballroom on the second floor.

Local movers and shakers sip champagne and eat bite-sized deliciousness while waiting for the doors to open. They are here to attend fashion designer David Antonio’s haute couture extravaganza. The collection “Made in Puerto Rico” was successfully presented in September’s New York Fashion Week, and now that it is being shown at the Vanderbilt Hotel, locals can’t wait to get a glimpse.

The sold out event benefits “AdoptaAhora,” a local nonprofit organization, founded by Sylvia Villafañe, to promote the adoption of older children and teens from foster homes.

This crowd is unique. The ballroom is grand. There is magic in the ambiance as the show reminds people of how it used to be before the pandemic. No masks. No restrictions. Just a fantastic night out in trendy Condado.

The event is a win win. Guests get to see one of the best shows in town while helping one worthy cause. You see, this foundation is not just helping kids get adopted, they are forming families while making sure kids ages 6 to 17 get a new start in a safe, stable and loving home.

Puerto Ricans respond to organizations making our island a better community. Thus the big turnout. Among the dressed to kill at the show, beloved singer Nydia Caro, political analyst Zoé Laboy, and Museum of Contemporary Art Executive Director Marianne Ramírez Aponte. Also in attendance? Fabulous socialites -- most wearing David Antonio -- the likes of Ruby Lefranc, Cuchy Recio, Maribel González, Angelica Medina, Daniela Dapena, Laura Font, Iris Rodrigo, Milagros Arrieta, Francina Bonnelly, Melissa Delgado, and television personality Ramón Gatto Gómez, who also modeled.

The collection is vibrant, fresh and glitzy. It’s a look at new trends done in an ever elegant way. The collection clearly pleases the daring side of younger generations without forgetting women who treasure more classic styles. The savvy designer presented conversation pieces galore, colorful options to take you from daytime to cocktail hour to seasonal gala affairs. Especially fabulous? The off-the-shoulders blouse in fuchsia with architectural ruffles, the use of plumes in mini dresses and hems, and the slimming sheath in blue sequins modeled by Ann La Place.

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