Traditional Mexican, Central American Huipiles Showing Up In Sonoma County Shops

By Eloísa Ruano González
The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Roseanna Garcia, founder of Los Angeles-based “Latina Fashionista” says huipiles, (loose-fitting embroidered blouses or dresses traditionally worn by Mexican and Central American women) are increasingly popular in the Bay area. Garcia says for many, it’s a way to showcase their culture and show resistance at a time of intensifying anti-immigrant rhetoric.

The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif.

Just a few years ago, Maria Mendoza could not find stores that carried huipiles, loose-fitting embroidered blouses or dresses traditionally worn by Mexican and Central American indigenous women. Often associated with Frida Kahlo, the garments decorated with vibrant flowers and geometric designs were hard to come by until recently when Mendoza started seeing them pop up at shops and flea markets across the Bay Area.

“It was an item you had to get from Mexico,” she said.

Comfy and versatile, huipiles now make up the majority of her wardrobe.

They’re similar to the clothing worn by her grandmother, an indigenous woman from a small village near the Veracruz-Oaxaca border in southern Mexico.

“It’s my way of honoring her and connecting with her,” said Mendoza, a Sonoma State University senior majoring in Chicano studies and sociology. “It’s a form of identity and connecting with my roots.”

Increasingly, Latina students and young professionals throughout the state are embracing huipiles and other traditional clothes, including the tehuana dresses and adelita skirts — long, flowing garments once worn by the military women of the Mexican Revolution.

It’s a way to showcase their culture and show resistance at a time of intensifying anti-immigrant rhetoric in the United States, says Roseanna Garcia, founder of Los Angeles-based Latina Fashionista.

While she’s seen the clothing reemerge in the last two years, she said it’s really picked up since January. She’s seen more Latinas showing up to pro-immigration and women’s marches in the attire.

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