Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim: Mara Hoffman’s Mystic Jungle

Mara Hoffman has done it once again. She’s managed to turn heads and have on-lookers agape as models walked the runway at the Mara Hoffman Swim fashion show on Saturday evening at The Raleigh Hotel.

Before the show, we had the opportunity to go backstage to chat with Lottie from Make Up For Ever. Lottie collaborated with Hoffman directly so that she could create a strategic makeup look could complement the entire collection. To go along with the theme of the collection, which was a tribal look, makeup artists painted a row of tiny white dots underneath each model’s eyes and across the brim of their noses. This concept was fairly simple to execute and took only about five minutes per model, however the hair, which was done by TRESemmé, was far more complicated with each model sporting a just-messy-enough fishtail braid.

The mood was calm, and little did we know that we were backstage for truly one of the more attention-grabbing shows of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim. The Mara Hoffman fashion show took onlookers on a “mystical journey through the jungle,” which is exactly what it said it would do in the show’s official press release. It was a journey through time and space as well. Hoffman seemed to draw from fashion elements from the past and present (and possibly the future?) from cultures all over the world.

The tribal-chic collection showcased bold colors, psychedelic prints and patterns, unusual silhouettes, and elaborate beading mixed in with a handful of non-swimwear items like colorful spandex pants, sheer cover-ups, and Ikat printed dresses. Feathered accessories and black leather and wooden platform heels added to the oddity.

In the midst of the jungle fever, the collection featured several multi-functional pieces as well, including a three-way convertible cotton jersey dress and a printed canvas beach bag. Though parts of the collection felt sensationalized, Mara Hoffman once again reminded us that fashion is above all else a form of artistic expression.

And in fashion, the words unusual or eccentric can often be translated into trendy and en vogue.