Photographer Carmen Triana and stylist Juan Camilo Rodríguez collaborate on “Melodía del Río” a meditation on the spiritual resonance of the nature and natural resources surrounding small Colombian villages.

Colombia is a land of extremes. The country’s breathtaking landscapes are among the most biodiverse in the world—a 30-minute train ride from Cocora’s tropical rainforests lands you walking distance from the middle of the Andean mountain range. It’s not just small indigenous communities that thrive on natural resources, but also the young urban creatives reinvigorating Latin America’s fashion capital. Photographer Carmen Triana and stylist Juan Camilo Rodriguez highlight five emerging Colombian labels in this fashion editorial for Document Online. “Melodía del Río”—or “Melody of the River”—is inspired by Colombia’s otherworldly nature and the overwhelming sense of mysticism that permeates it.

“We aim to project the magic and spiritual meaning that people give to earth and its different elements, and how culture and everyday life is projected around these to survive in the countryside,” Rodriguez says. “The mix of beliefs, legends, and myths, it’s what makes culture evolve and live across centuries in Colombia, creating different planes of reality where spiritualism, magic, and habits cohabitate together. In this case we talk about how the metaphysical meets the physical, creating a fantasy. The countryside boy meets the spirit of the river, blooming in the mist forest where he lives his days, living in harmony.”

‘Melodía del Río’: Colombian fashion shot against otherworldly landscapes
‘Melodía del Río’: Colombian fashion shot against otherworldly landscapes

Alejandro wears top by Pepa Pombo. Pants by Olga Piedrahita. Earrings stylist’s own.

Manuela Peña, the young founder of ethical label Religare, which is sold in Bogotá’s MADE IN_ concept store, utilizes the same “Cumare” vegetable fibers used by indigenous elders in tiny villages. “Making fashion in Colombia is very inspiring not only for its rich geography full of beautiful landscapes and climates,” says Manuela Peña, founder of ethical label Religare, “but for the ancestral treasures that still preserve the indigenous communities that exist throughout the country.” Olga Piedrahita, known for exquisite textiles printed with images of native flora, collaborates with different artists to show how fashion can weave all other creative disciplines together.

The brand is all about experimentation and deconstruction,” she says. Rodriguez and Triana also used delicate knitwear by Pepa Pombo, contemporary tailoring by Atelier Crump, and jewelry by CAOS, “We aim to project the magic and spiritual meaning that people give to earth and its different elements,” Rodriguez says, “and how culture and everyday life is projected around these to survive in the countryside.”

Models Alejandro Mosquera at IRIS Model Agency and Benjamin Calderon at ESPECIE Forma. Make Up Sara Venegas. Styling Assistant Maria Ponce de León.