Royal Caballito

by Maike Moncayo,

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I think Art History, all that knowledge and the sensitivity to visual images and culture, that I have accumulated over the years, plus traveling and the many years living abroad, have been very important in all of my productions. They are part of who I am and, without them, I  wouldn’t be the same designer.

With Royal Caballito Diana Saldaña creates the clothes she has always dreamed of. After traveling the world as a curator for photography, she finally heeded that inner voice that had long urged her to find an artistic medium through which she could develop a project on her own. An impulse that gave way to a line of playful wooden brooches that laid the groundwork for what would later become Royal Caballito. A brand closely linked to Diana’s style – from each of the prints up to the final result. “I think Art History, all that knowledge and sensitivity to visual images and culture that I have accumulated over the years, plus traveling and the many years living abroad, have been very important in all of my productions. They are part of who I am and, without them, I  wouldn’t be the same designer”, she tells us. A sensitivity that helps her find stimulus in everything around her. Like her first summer collection, that draws inspiration from the underwater world. Caribbean fish and underwater plants, that transmute into colourful abstract prints born from the designer’s hand. And, undoubtedly, protagonists in this first proposal, which showcases wearable garments, infused with humour and a hint of melancholy. A collection to the sound of Galaxie 500, if it could have had its own soundtrack, so Diana thinks.

For me, fashion is a form of creative expression and, therefore, must be inextricably linked to fun, magic and humour!

However, her vision as a designer is also marked by an ethical, social and environmental awareness. And this is reflected in all her every day decisions as the creative force behind Royal Caballito: from her choice to work with local professionals and artisans, with whom she produces clothes that will outlive any fads, to the relentless pursuit of textiles, which are less toxic to the environment and to our health. A challenging task, considering the infinite production chain of most textile materials and the lack of transparency which goes with it. Perhaps that’s why it is especially the small brands, which have been able to work in the industry without losing their principles and philosophy, that Diana appreciates and is so passionate about. Dusen Dusen, Colenimo, Family Affairs or La Casita de Wendy, or designers like Eley Kishimoto, Samantha Pleet, Orla Kiley and Mina Perhonen, who, like Royal Caballito, value to the playfulness and prints. “For me, fashion is a form of creative expression and, therefore, must be inextricably linked to fun, magic and humour! (…) A perfect garment should also be as far away as possible from the prefabricated and the taste for immediate consumption, and if it is done by hand, under ethical guidelines and with organic materials, it is a real gem … “ Just like those, which can be found in Royal Caballito’s online shop.

Lookbook

Model: Ana Naranjo (Linda Mirada)

Photographer: Chus Antón