We’ve all heard it before… French women elude a certain je ne sais quoi that transcends fashion and trends. For years, fashion houses have looked to Paris, and the effortlessly cool women that live there, for style inspiration. Daniela Bahamon, the founder and designer behind Maison Alma, is doing things differently and looking away from Paris to find her muse in Latin America. The Paris based designer is a master of fusion: she explores the union of French sophistication and Latin American flair to design statement coats with soul.
The Colombian born designer now calls Paris, one of the world’s fashion capitals, home, but she has lived around the globe. She has resided in Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and Colombia. Her travels and exposure to different cultures have molded her aesthetic, one that could easily be defined as a vibrant celebration of Latin American heritage. Bahamon designs statement coats and basket bags that embody the luxuries of Latin America.
Prior to launching Maison Alma in 2017, Bahamon worked at the Paris headquarters of both Dior and L’Oreal. The designer debuted at Paris Week in 2017, presenting a chic and joyful collection. Since the firm’s inception, Bahamon has been driven by three core values: mastery of color, nature in the city and heritage. These values are all evident in Bahamon’s creations: all colorful with fabric patterns that pay a tribute to the outdoors. For her coats and bags, Bahamon is also inspired by the indoors, citing hidden treasures found inside homes as a source of inspiration.
Bahamon often mixes textiles commonly found in interior design with her nature celebrating motifs. Pieces are exuberant: explosions of colors that can make the dreariest of winter days feel like a fun getaway. Hand illustrated prints are turned into embroideries and Bahamon works alongside expert looms and weavers to create lasting pieces. Coats are all hand-made in her home country of Colombia. In Guacamayas, Colombia, weavers turn each coat into different basket bags.
Maison Alma’s bags are a depiction of the jubilation that derives from the hues and textures of traditional Latin American designs. The hand-crafted artisanal handbags blend Latin American aesthetics with established French techniques and the results are unique handbags that bring cheer to any ensemble.
For Maison Alma’s Fall/Winter 2018-2019 collection, Bahamon created eight coats in three styles. Styles include a classic trench, the night robe and a kimono wrap. They’re all crafted using full body embroidery and lined with cashmere, satin silk or velvet. Coats are appropriately named after elements commonly found in nature, including Lluvia (Rain) and Horizonte (horizon). The collection also includes heart baskets and totes in the same textiles used for the coats. Maison Alma is available at Bergdorf Goodman, Moda Operandi and on the brand’s website.
A common fashion conversation often revolves around wardrobe essentials: those key pieces that every woman should have in their closet. A constant fundamental is a structured statement coat that can be easily mixed and matched with other pieces. Maison Alma is proof that a striking coat can take you from day to night, or even from Paris to Latin America. ■