Alteria: Mexican Haute Couture through Acetate

Alteria: Mexican Haute Couture through Acetate

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Fashion comprises the world of textiles and innovation of fine materials, destined to be shared with the human body. Fashion designers have been surprising us with exquisite runways where designs surpass our expectation and imagination, although some are classics, others expand eccentricity  in order to attract a special public or somehow open up a niche of possibilities.

It is the case of Carolina Oliva, a 21 years old Mexican graduate from UDEM (Universidad de Monterrey Mexico) who completed a Fashion and Textile Design degree with an  Avant Garde Fashion group Project called: Alteria, –a term ethnologically derived from the latin “alter”, which means, to represent an utopian world of shadows and lights, structures; an alternate reality or an “alter ego”.- implies Carolina.

For the exhibition each student had to create a design line that would represent the Alteria idea and make it fashionable enough to categorize it as Avant Garde and of course, innovative.

Carolina’s work was then represented with a special material called Acetate, to be more precise, Cellulose Acetate film; a material derived from cellulose by deconstructing wood pulp into a purified fluffy white cellulose.

“I wanted to make ethereal concepts of symbolisms, and for that I thought I wouldn’t be using only textiles and fabrics, I wanted to mix them creating a new ideal for fashion: A structured dress with futuristic elements and rigid materials, in this case applied through acetate and linings.”

Alteria comes from a combination of fashion with other factors such as graphic, industrial and architectural designs, which Olivia states: “makes it more intellectual and more innovative”- something for which she has been constantly searching, finding concrete inspirations through Plato’s “The Theory of forms”, concepts from the Ancient Greece, and quoting:

“True knowledge is the ability to understand the world of forms with one’s mind; the world of forms is important in our own world (the world of substances) and is also the essential basis of reality (…) on which forms are the purest of all things.”

The path for obtaining this innovative garment required forward and back testing of various materials such as felt and paper forms on a chiffon dress, shape making for a perfect design that may explain the pursued concept. Yet another concept was realized by an ambiguous story with the necessary morphs that could help express Alteria and comprise the partí of this design, described as follows:

“A young woman, transparent and delicate and at the same time she’s chaos, she’s being murdered by her own true self, he alter ego made of her a set of wounds and sharp peaks. She’s perfect and pure young child in an “alteria” adult state, and this is how she understands the world.”

As every innovation has a precedence, Oliva looked close into Dutch Designer Iris Van Herpen’s Fall-Winter 2011-2012 Capriole Collection on which Van Herpen explains, her pieces were reflections of extreme emotions and mental states in which she resets her body and mind, and from which she understands the exploration of rare materials. As Carolina’s admiration for designers who take advantage of complex stories expressed through different techniques, she took this quest onwards to an exploration on materials through fashion, that will not end there, it will always evolve.

Altera dress9

About the designer

Carolina Oliva is a 21 years old Mexican Fashion and Textile Designer who also conducts a blog about fashion design titled Couture Talk filled with interesting ideas and findings oriented towards her best interests described here. Find more about her throughout her page and on social platforms at:

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Mabelle Plasencia

Founder and Editor at INmatteria©
• Architect | LEED AP BD+C, with an intense passion for materiality, innovation, technology and science. • Arquitecta | LEED AP BD+C apasionada por la materialidad, innovación, tecnología y ciencia.