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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Pava hats restyled for summer


By Iris Edén Santiago

Special to The STAR


Fashion collections by designer Anna Sui are always vibrant, feminine, preppy, wild and a little vintage. There is so much to look at that it takes a while to focus on details and accessories.


Not this time. Sui’s looks for SS2022 immediately jumped at me. In the middle of the runway, models were rocking the look with not just any hat … but with our pride and joy, our Puerto Rican raffia hats better known as pavas.


Glammed up for the occasion in bright green, coral, fuchsia, blue, red and purple, pavas were the highlight of the collection, if you ask me. The pava, a straw hat made out of the leaves of the Puerto Rican palm, is traditionally associated with the Puerto Rican jíbaro, our rural farm worker. It is also associated with the Popular Democratic Party, as it has been part of its emblem since its founding in 1938. The pava hat was used by sugar cane cutters, coffee pickers and other agricultural workers on the island. To this day, you can still see pavas worn by locals, especially in the mountains, outside big cities.


Besides our pavas, Anna Sui styled other fabulous looks with colorful kerchiefs in florals and versions in crochet and knit of retro swimming caps. Bold footwear by Teva, candy sunglasses, corsages, playful socks by Atsugi and chunky jewelry by Bailliecelene and Erickson Beamon were dynamite on the catwalk.


The collection “Another Day in Paradise” was explained by the American designer with dreamy beachy descriptions … “I dream of escaping to a little-known holiday spot, where the weather is forever sunny, the waves are consistently tasty, and the people are always fun and cool. In my personal Shangri-La, I wake up every day, whenever I want, walk among the chirping birds, soaring palm trees, and delicious-smelling tropical flowers, listen to my favorite music, and order beverages that come with colorful little umbrellas. The mood is forever upbeat and anything goes -- it’s Another Day in Paradise!”


And how can you not think about Puerto Rico after reading that? We have it all. Our idyllic destination has endless resorts, beaches and vivid locations to rock these looks, and more than anything the stylish pava hat in happy colors.


Shades of pink, green and teal were all over: dresses, bikinis, sarongs, kaftans, shirts and cardigans. Everything in vacation mode. Print on print, saturated florals, unlimited layers and lots of texture. The Anna Sui girl is as joyous, free spirited and independent as ever. “Another Day in Paradise” was presented at Indochine in New York City.


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