Bold, beautiful mustard yellow mixed with a soft lilac, delicate floral details, and knee-length ruffles all played a subtle—but spot-on—homage to Frida Kahlo in designer Rolando Santana’s Fashion Houston show. Known for his neutral, mostly dark-hued collections, this bright-and-cheerful departure was a challenge for the veteran of womenswear—one he conquered with the deft use of simple silhouettes.

Santana is known for having clothing that complements powerful women—with clean lines, luxury fabrics and details like feathered accents or sequins. This collection was no different, but it was a much lighter, more ethereal showing than his previous ones. The use of mustard and lilac throughout the show—appearing in flouncy skirts, hand-painted florals, and simple sheaths—was fresh, modern, and very appropriate for spring.

Though the real stunners were not the colors, they were the subtle florals infusing many pieces throughout the show. In particular, the closing garments rendered in white neoprene (yes! The same fabric that makes scuba suits) in a sheer floral. The softness of the fabric with the delicate pattern was simply beautiful, as was the careful construction of each piece. It’s nice to see designers take care to create silhouettes that flatter, allowing the woman underneath the shine.

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