A&E Abroad: Style in Sevilla

Models pose in designs by Elio Berhanyer. (photo by Rachel Chada) Models pose in designs by Elio Berhanyer. (Photo Courtesy of Rachel Chada)

Travel has a beautiful way of inflaming a pre-existing passion and exposing its most profound and intricate details.

For marketing junior Rachel Chada, studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain with the Spanish Language and Mediterranean Culture program amplified her passion for style and fashion.

Chada said her host mother was a stylist who was able to get tickets to a Sevilla fashion show that took place during the students' second week in Spain. The entire show lasted a total of three days, though Chada and her fellow travelers were only able to see the work of Spanish designer Elio Berhanyer on one day.

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However, that single show was enough to leave a lasting impact on Chada.

"As someone who is totally obsessed with all things fashion, it was an amazing experience. You know, one of those you know you'll remember for the rest of your life," Chada said. "I remember at one point I stopped taking pictures altogether, because I just wanted to live in the moment. I don't regret that at all."

The runway at the Elio Berhanyer show in Alcazár de Sevilla. (Photo Courtesy of Rachel Chada) The runway at the Elio Berhanyer show in Alcazár de Sevilla. (Photo Courtesy of Rachel Chada)

It's certainly easy to see why Chada's desire to be fully present was so strong. As if the show's venue wasn't spectacular enough (the runway was within the walls of a 14th century palace called Alcázar de Sevilla), designer Elio Berhanyer's personal appearance evoked tears and a standing ovation from the audience.

"Like out of a movie, the designer — an extremely old, extremely stylish man — very softly and slowly put his hand on his heart and said, 'No me ha dejado Sevilla' ('Sevilla has not left me')," Chada said. "We were stuck in a moment of utter cultural/emotional/fashion awe."

This stark display of cultural love and cohesion was part of what made Chada's experience unforgettable. Experiences like hers are part of what make passion and travel a truly dynamic duo.

 

Reach the reporter at celina.jimenez@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @lina_lauren

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