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An Afternoon With... Ecliptica

By Francheska N. Quiñones

Hushed melodic steps came to a halt when a familiar face opened a rather intimidating gate keeping secured what was yet to be seen.  The hall carried a dim feel, a bit on the contrast to the space; jewelry designer, Alberto Torres immediately ushered me into the atelier.  Subtle lights of green and blue lit up an ambiental element to the spacious loft.  Within a speck of minutes two staggering visions walked up with such a lovable look in their eyes, I could not help but smile.  “Hi there, I’m Michelle, I’m Norein.  Welcome to Ecliptica”, the sister duo exclaimed. 

Wanting to grab a personal take on their day-to-day basis, I asked for the twosome to act as if the photographer and I were not present while he took the photos.  “Us two, we’ll be ghosts lurking around and immortalizing your day...don’t mind us”, I murmured while Michelle let out a small chuckle.  A sudden burst of luminescence came throughout the windows embellishing their new collection with a hidden sense of enchantment.  The simplicity of it is endearing; with an intricate lightness I was drawn to its muted tones.  Swift birds glide majestically in a stilled imprint specially made for Ecliptica’s s’14 collection, Paradis.  A charming soothing feel emanates from their fabrics, the finesse from the diverse French lace and Holland textiles radiate the same lovable allure the sisters carry. 

While the photographer eternalized fragments of time (with Michelle and Norein sewing and cutting fabrics), I remained gazing at the structural aspect of the clothes.  How creativity is transferred from the fingertips onto cloth creating a goddess-esque glamour is certainly a normal day for Ecliptica.  Beguiled by the certainty that is their lives, I sat with the two to inculcate their visions on record.  Surrounded by their creations in which stand out by the alabaster walls an unfading conversation took place.  Being bound by family their visionary process requires limits.  “Everything is based on questioning; the collaboration of the exchanging of ideas creates a whole base for the design”, Michelle and Norein expressed.  “Personally, I can be classified as classic while Norein remains in the everyday relaxed vibe.  When it comes to our style for the brand I think of silhouettes that are more loose on the body while Norein is very meticulous on tailoring, the balance of it all.”  The clothes carry this elixir of youthfulness to its very core. The detailed thoughts put into every garment embraces the concealed lure a woman carries.

Ecliptica’s history is based on a project Michelle was given.  To create a name for a nameless brand was the task and she immediately thought of her seamstress sister to be that brand.  Skimming through the dictionary, they were graced with an enchanting elucidation of what was soon to be their future.  Ecliptica (n): A great circle on the celestial sphere representing the sun’s apparent path during the year.  “This word jumped at us since it is the change of seasons and what better thing than fashion to be based on that word”, Norein shared.  With fashion design not being a primal choice when younger, Michelle stated she always had an ardor for architecture (which can be seen in the anatomy of their designs).  “The likenesses of our differences create equilibrium in our work force, a yin and yang”, Michelle smiled.  “Transparency is what unites us; it is the predominant statement in our clothes.”

Not maintaining the celebration to themselves, they shared the exquisite experiment they partook with their fabulous jewelry designer, Alberto Torres.  “He’s been with us for eight seasons and each experience has been grand.  He understands the brand and our ideas, the manner in which each of us expresses our thoughts is so fluid and relaxed it makes for a great team”, the sisters uttered.  The Ecliptica lady emits confidence from within all throughout.  The diversity of the clients takes no toll from what they see in women: “she wants to leave a mark everywhere she goes, leave a subtle scent of her charm” and indeed the Ecliptica woman does.  With captivating prints, dainty lace, slick transparencies with an architectural movement, Michelle and Norein Otero reinvent themselves each season.  “The day we say we made it is the day you stop trying and we don’t want to stop trying.”  “To do what you have such passion for is what makes it all of the work so fulfilling”, the duo declared.  That same passion is distinguished in each thread sewn onto the enchantment of clothes Ecliptica dreamingly conjures. 

This Friday, October 4th, 2013, Ecliptica will grace us with their collection 'Paradis SS14' in benefit of CAP at the Museum of Puerto Rico (MAPR). RSVP 787.723.3053

Photos by Pedro Burgos