It is just soon after sunset in San Miguel de Allende, and a pleasant desert chill is presently descending on the colourful cobbled town. Below, in the heart of Mexico’s central highlands, I have arrived at the house studio of the Sonora-born hat designer Alejandra “Suki” Armendariz. Soon after sharing cocktails across the street at the rooftop bar, Bekeb—helmed by her partner, the famed mixologist Fabiola Padilla—my close friends and I stumbled our way uphill to her workshop, only a handful of blocks absent. Winded, we passed through a thick picket doorway of an unassuming façade to get there at the studio, a subterranean place lined with very well-worn cowboy saddles, geometric-patterned flannel tops, and antique silver and turquoise metallic belts. Norteño songs blasts from the speaker as Armendariz grabs beers from the refrigerator. She pops the cap off a bottle with her dusty leather-based boots and palms it to me a smile sweeps her face at her trick as congratulatory applause ricochets through the room.
In between sips of my beer, Armendariz tells me how she launched her dwelling studio four months back as a pathway for guests to San Miguel de Allende to discover about the region’s traditional cowboy culture and customs. Clad in an all-black sombrero of her structure and jet-black trousers held in area with a thick leather-based belt with a gold buckle, Armendariz clarifies how she prefers to make the most of one of 3 supplies to make her hats: Bolivian wool, Mexican rabbit fur, and Mexican palm leaves. All through bespoke experiences not far too dissimilar from the one my pals and I are now experiencing, she even guides attendees via the creation of their personal hat, with the choice to have a much more interactive practical experience by shaping and steaming the brim on their own.
Nowadays I have picked out a milky grey foundation, verging on pink when the mild hits it just proper, ringed by an alabaster leather rope. As I sift via a box of gold and silver buttons to locate the great adornment for my piece, Armendariz reaches beneath her workshop desk for a box of feathers. There are dozens of alternatives. I gravitate to a 3-pronged piece with brown, white, and black plumages to solidify my minimalist search. As Armendariz can make the final adjustments to my hat by hammering in a collection of steel buttons—and my pals solidify their layouts while obtaining distracted by the classic tops and belts that line the wall—I just can’t support but smile at the harmony of the night. Fully unplanned, fully impromptu, I know no other state and culture the place an artist like Armendariz would so freely open up their studio for a spur-of-the-instant design get together. It is celebratory and even a minor chaotic it’s also fantastic.