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green

Green, how I want you green…

Hello everyone,

I know I have been since the last year a little bit lost, but my two last weeks of December were very chaotic. I got an operation so I had to stay in bed for about almost two weeks. That’s the reason why I cannot write the last article of the year and for a moment I really believe all the plages of Egipt were falling over me. But nevermind at the end I am very grateful that the Lord took care of me during all this entire recovery process and that my medical exams were very positive. My resolutions for this year 2017 are just simple as to stop doing one of my beloved activities: PROCRASTINATION. I will commit miself to stay focus on the development of my blog, and to maintain you my dear readers well and more often informed.

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Today I want to introduce you the color that will catch everyone´s attention on this year: the greenery. The well-know spanish poet: Federico García Lorca said once: Green, how I want you green. According to Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of Pantone: Greenery burst forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize” and that´s exactly what I feel when I try to choose one of the multiple shades of green that our Ecuadorian hats have. The green color, all time associated with the nature and it´s healing power, was never so related with the manufacture of clothes and accessories as nowadays. The increase concern about the climate changes and the ultimate last 4 years view on the ethic fashion, are the reason why we will see this year the green color all over the world.

Leave me any comment you have,

Andrea

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That time of the year…

Hello!

The red  is definitely one the colors you will probably not find in any of my posts…I´m a natural blue lover, with a particular liking for the black and white color. But we are finally in that time of the year where the sparkle and the twinkling lights begin to appear and a lot of simultaneous things in green and red color flood the shelves. So I get this wonderful hat and think: why not? The anti-holiday mood should not be an impediment for me!

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Yes, the plants behind me are the toquilla palms….

Most of The Grinch people or the Advent haters succumb to the paraphernalia of the Christmas.  In Ecuador, as a nation with a Judeo-Christian view, the holidays are celebrated with a lot of excitement and a huge sense of solidarity for the ones who at Christmas Eve would not have any presents or a “decent dinner”.

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I don´t like to show my entire face and smile, but nevermind…

This year is almost ending and I will take important resolutions that without doubt are going to affect the entire  perspective of my blog, thanks for reading me and stay tuned for the news…

 

Leave me any comment about your Christmas impressions,

Andrea

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I will come back

Hellooo,

I know I have not written any article from a while.This year I passed through a very strange and difficult period of inner silence and that also reflects on my blog. I must be sincere when I say that I hate all that stuff that related with the self-help or the programs and people who encourage you to move forward even though you know you are under mood swings. Albert Camus said (the quote is translated):” to remain alone in Paris for a year in a miserable room teaches a man more than a hundred literary salons”. In my case to remain alone in my room almost one year, help me to recognize my breaking points and also to understand my chaotic mind.

I think that there are a lot of signs around me that must be checked very carefully, the development of my blog is one of them.  I love to read, believe me when I say that there were weeks when I read more than 5 books at the same time ( the Literature classes were pretty charged) The writing path is sometimes a little bit tortuous, intricate and also demand a lot of time. So I decide today to bury the procrastination specter that is always above me!

Now I can formerly change the status in my blog, I´m not longer a “Literature student” but a Bachelor in Literature. There is a quote here in my country that is: the time is short and never returns back!  I have a lot of disposition now, so let´s restart the journey and I hope I will have your lecture and feedback very soon…

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You can never be OVERDRESSED with a Panama Hat!

 

“Fashion should be flexible and responsive. Instead, global chains are trying to take the risk out of fashion by selling the same carefully orchestrated trends, which are repeated on the racks of virtually every retailer, making our store-bought looks feel homogenous and genericElizabeth L. Cline- Overdressed

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How much of you have ever been tired of wearing the same flowered dress, the same button-front denim skirt, the same black chocker ( yes, like the thousands of girls in their Tumblr Profiles), the same cropped flare jeans as anyone else and so on? I decided to start this post with a quote that really impressed me, and the funny part is that I found it on a book that I didn´t buy. In my country Guayaquil, Ecuador, there is one cultural group named “Casa Morada” that made almost every month “the book garage” (where people can buy and exchange their own books). That´s where I got my precious acquisition,  the ethical fashion book “Over-Dressed” by Elizabeth L. Cline, and I discovered there an entire different worldview about the responsability of buying in a correct way.  Most of us are enchanted by the same look-alike clothes that we find on Zara, Bershka and other fast fashion companies, not only because they are on “trend” but also because of their lower prices.  But if you let me sincere to you, I was really tired and exhausted of see clones of me everywhere!

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The fact is,  I was totally blinded by the magazines and all the other bloggers that propose to wear the exactly dress or skirt, so I  said to myself: Am I condemned to be a robot-follower of the trends or I can construct my own style? The media tell us to be UNIQUE AND ORIGINAL WOMEN, but  the truth is that in a world that promotes to consume and the massification of all, yes- including the fashion sector, we are far away from this wish. So I realized that the only solution and cure for me at least  were this two things:

First I go to all this fast fashion stores and made a shock therapy ( I walk through the showcase but I don´t buy anything), so when I get away I feel this special satisfaction because I don´t succumb to their atraction powers.

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Second  I go to some swapping events and  thrift shops here in my city, and started to make unique purchases ( believe me  or not I have  found pretty good stuff and above all I can be hundred porcent sure that not anyone will have my oufit)

 At least I can be sure of one accesory that its price is perfectly accurate with the reality! Since I was a little girl I knew the entire process behind our iconic Ecuadorian hat and the time that our weavers spent on its manufacture , but that’s a topic for another article!

For this ocassion I wore a Montecristi Ecua-Andino Hat,  denim vintage long skirt, a black blouse a  and a flat blue navy sandals (made by a Ecuadorian shoemaker),

Journey to the Spirit of Ecuador

Well, yes, I admit in public: I’m not neutral (I never claimed I was ;) It is not only my new travelmate – a wonderful Panama Hat – but also the marvellous moments in Guayaquil and Manabí, the sympathetic company of Andrea and Ecua Andino Hats and our journey along the entire production chain of Panama Hats that make me say: Wow, I’m impressed! This was one of the most beautiful moments of my journey through Latin America. Honestly, who wouldn´t be happy in the company of (hat-)soulmates?

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Anyway Imagine the most original thing from your country is said to be from another country, although it’s totally clear that you “own” this thing, idea, story… Imagine the Baseball Cap was called Nicaragua Cap, imagine Scotch was called French.

Repeatedly, every Ecuadorian you talk to will tell you: The Panama Hat is NOT from Panama. It is from Ecuador. The finest Jipijapas (that’s the original name of these straw hats) are produced here, along the coastline of Ecuador’s Provence Manabí. In Panama, there were just the right people with a lot of money in the right moment of time, who made hat dealers export their products to the canal. This art of hat-making, however, you find only in Ecuador. Nobody seems to notice. And here we find ourselves just in the middle of Ecuador’s soul: A small, not really important but tremendously beautiful country that fights to be noticed as something more than just Galapagos and bananas. Hat-makers in Ecuador live in small houses in small villages. They don’t earn much. Again and again they explain visitors how Panama Hats are made, in order for their craft to be the choice and not the cheap machine-made plastic hats.

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The sparkling colourful showroom might not transport the long long story of the hat-making craft in Ecuador. Yet, every single Panama Hat is 100% handmade. Even the straw is carried by donkeys if the weather doesn’t allow for heavy machines to be used, if the pick-ups get stuck in the mud, for example.

It has been raining heavily for a week. That doesn’t really disturb me in the breath-taking humid heat of Guayaquil. But it disturbs the production. The volume of water which has rained down on Manabí and trickled down through roofs and into the earth, has stopped the straw drying and bleaching processes. Some orders won’t be sent in time.

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A little of the ever more difficult climate conditions – talking about El Nino, for example, – I see when I stand next to the Ecua Andino Hats team. In their sandwich position between clients – hat dealers all over the world – and hat weavers working in cooperatives they constantly have to mediate.

They sometimes can’t deliver in time, because the hats have just not arrived. Clients need to be contacted, hat makers as well. What is the problem? When will they deliver? Are there any alternatives? But what can be done when there is draught or when it rains twine so that the straw does not dry but rot?

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Andrea Lecaro from Ecua Andino Hat, Fashionblogger Aleech and I want to know more. We start our trip to the production places early in a rainy morning. When we arrive at the cooperative Santa Elena things look bad. We walk into a huge drying hall which is full of straw. But the rain has already destroyed most of the straw when it was drying outside. The black tips indicate that it’s rotting. The women and men from the cooperative lost weeks of hard work. In addition to this tragedy, they cannot continue their work now, because the rain has flooded the dirt roads. They can hardly move from one house to the next. The ladies argue strongly that they urgently need rubber boots. So, Andrea takes their shoe sizes: Teresa: 34, Margarita 35, Maxsimiliano 40…

Afterwards they show me how the material for the hat-weaving is made: The men and women from the cooperative cut the leaves into strips and take out the outer green parts (these are used for the roofs). The yellowish white strips they boil in huge pots for a few hours. Afterwards they dry them just the way you would dry your clothes on never ending lines.

Only when the material is really dry it can be coloured. Therefoer other big pots are used. To bleach it, Teresa and her colleagues put the straw in a separate “room” together with sulfur. “Bleaching is very unhealthy,” Teresa explains. That’s why we have these rooms, now.

Depending on the quality of the ordered hats the weavers, who buy the straw from the cooperative, continue to cut it into even finer strips. Only when everything is perfectly well prepared they start weaving.

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Don’t ask me, how exactly the weaving is being done. I’ve watched them for hours and hours and still I’m not able to tell. There are different patterns and as I said before there are different qualities. The finest hats have hundreds of little knots per square inch. Just try. Sit down with a handful of straw and make 400 knots per square inch. If you manage to do so I’ll give you Mr Espinar’s contact. He will definitely be interested in finally talking to someone who is able to hold a candle to him. Mr Espinar lives in Pile, close to Montecristi. His father Senóvio is 73 years old, still doing hats for 8 hours a day. The rest of the day Senóvio works in the fields. !!!

Author of the article: Stefanie Bickle

1 Year of Panamaholic!

Whaaaaaaat? My blog has already a year? I can´t believe it!

When I started this journey I had printed on my mind that it wouldn´t be definitely like the other fashion blogs. So I made 4 sections that let me have some creativity and also self-expression: PLACES, HAT FICTION HATS EVERYWHERE, HAT ART. Since the beginning I want to express throughout my posts not the typical advice “You should wear this o the trends are”, so I propose myself to show my readers, that the only different statement in their outfits can be the good choice of a Panama hat. My clothes most of the time were casual and I didn´t reveal where they come from, because for me was kind of useless.

What I achieved this year? Well, more confidence of course. I want to give God a special thanks for all the surprises during this 2015 (an important magazine here in Ecuador named “Hola”, made an article about my blog and the labour I play in Ecua-Andino), also  I have been making some good friends such as  Krysthell Ganin, one of the most humble and prolific Ecuadorian photographers  and Virgit Canaz, one of the most impressive Ecuadorian fashion bloggers). Eventhough there were stressful times or sadly moments, this 2015 brought me the joy of having a supporting family, that gave me many advices and loyal friends that helped me.

I gained experience but most of all I decided to follow a path,  that will bring me tons of joy I hope. I have to admit that I need more commitment with the articles and also to post more, so my goal for this New Year it will be definitely to get more involved with my blog.

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ph: Rubén Ruata @rubenruatab

I hope you have the best new year!

Andrea

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“Blues in my soul”

Yesterday it was a very blues day. The Ecuadorian American center in Guayaquil, organized a musical event where Blues was the main protagonist of the night. They brought the amazing guitarist and singer Lurrie Bell. The concert started on time (7:10 pm) and finished approx. one hour and a half later.

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Lurrie Bell began to play guitar at age of six, and in his adolescence he glazed his skills playing with some legends of Chicago blues set like Eddie Taylor and Big Walter Horton. Even though Bell´s career seems to be going forwards through the years, he won so much attention of the people, that later he developed some emotional problems and also drug abuse, that didn´t let him to perform with his normally skills.

Fortunately he passed all this path and return to delight us with his God-touched fingers. Additionally in 2014 he won a Blues Music Award for his track “Blues in my Soul”, in the ‘Song of the Year’ category. Bell was also nominated for a similar award in four other categories. This year he won a Blues Music Award in the ‘Traditional Blues Male Artist’ category.

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I attended to the event in company of my dad, and we have the infinite pleasure of giving him one of our precious hats (there were also other hats for the members of his band). They played the entire concert with our iconic hat, and songs like “Let´s talk about love” gave us chills of excitement. Everyone enjoyed their performance and you could see the audience clapping their hands and moving their feet according to the beat.

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I used for this occasion a Bershka dress, black sandals, a cardigan Lu by Lolita such as a white classic Panama Hat (but never mind). You can find it here.

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There are a lot of things more important to use like a big smile when you met such an artist.

leave all your comments,

Andrea Lecaro

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Sun, sun, sun, here it comes!

Helloooooo,

Ecuador is in a very blessed position, all the year we have  a plenty sun in the sky. So for this ocassion i decided to post about a quick trip I made to a beach named General Villamil. This beach is located very close from Guayaquil, aprox one hour and a half. Maybe the night life is not so evident like in other ecuadorian seaboards, but the township is working on this point.

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There are several places to eat seafood ( I went to La Ostra que fuma, they have one of the best dishes like the gratin oyster).

Address:Township of Playas, Street 8

 If you are a desserts lover, you have to visit  ” La Casa de Marie et Gabriel”,  and ask them for their lemon pie, coconut flan, chocolate cake and other pretty deliciuos stuff.

Adress: Ave. Jaime Roldós Aguilera, angled to “la Madre de Playas” park.

 I went in company of two good friends, one of them took all the photos / @JossKat.  I have to admited that eventhough we live in a warm country, we don´t always have the chance to go to the beach, so when I arrived to Playas I decided to go directly to the sea. I wore a classic light blue model hat, you can find it here,  and my favourite pair of sandals, the Eco Panama Sandals and a long white blouse with some red embroidery.

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Keep in touch for further articles,

 Andrea

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Click and start!

Hi guys,

Just a little note about when I discovered the Polyvore amazing website and that I realized it would help me a lot with ???. I have always had fun with my sisters clicking on a product image and instantly having it in my closet (at least this app gives me a virtual experience on how I would look like with these outfits).

As my daily options I prefer to dress casual (most of my clothes are black, grey or blue) but this year I decided to start using more colorful clothes. I let you some examples on how to combine the must-have hat of the season, a Panama Hat and some nice apparel.

 

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You can find the entire models here,

Stay in touch,

Andrea