Fashion / Style

Texas Designer Channels Mexico’s Most Charming Town — Hunter Bell’s New Collection is All About Escapism

A Magical Place Inspires Plenty of Romantic Flourishes

BY

Ah, San Miguel de Allende. As summer temps soar across Texas, our thoughts turn to the colonial-era artful enclave just high enough in Mexico’s central highlands to dismiss any notion of a scorching summer. For Houston-based designer Hunter Bell, the charming cobblestone streets, baroque Spanish architecture and the blazing bougainvillea that climb stucco walls have provided inspiration for her pre-fall collection 2022. And it is a charmer.

Bell’s signature romantic flourishes — ruffles, tiered skirts and eyelet embroidery —  (sometimes with an edge) dominate the design as color and more color address the bold palette of San Miguel.

The designer explains to PaperCity that San Miguel de Allende is “a place close to my heart and my family’s. My mother-in-law spent summers there growing up while her mother, who was an artist, taught classes at Instituto Allende. She has the best memories of taking the train down from Texas and being transported into this magical place. San Miguel is an artist community, and you can immediately feel it surrounding you there.”

“Walking the streets, I was endlessly fascinated by the vibrant saturated colors, cobblestone streets, intricate doors, paint chipped walls and lush flowers that give San Miguel its vibrant old-world feel,” Bell says.

The pre-fall palette runs from soft lavender to sunny yellow, from lime green and pristine white to daring patterns that echo the folk traditions of colonial Mexico.

“Each collection I design has tons of texture and color and the influence here is seen in the bold patterns, striking mix of colors and overall texture,” Bell says. “This beautiful place provides a cultural experience you won’t forget and gave me infinite inspiration.

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Mallory Dress – Multi Talavera – Hunter Bell NYC – 32

“My team and I talk a lot about escapism. I want each collection to take you on a journey and show you a new world. At the same time, I want you to feel like you can bring our pieces wherever your adventures take you.”

The Expanding World of Hunter Bell

Bonus for those with little girls, Hunter Bell has translated several of the designs into frocks for youngsters, a segment she first created in 2019 with her then 3-year-old daughter Harrison as her muse.

And let’s not forget that Bell introduced her equally charming tabletop collection in August with a photo shoot in Round Top where those esthetics speak to the tabletop designs.

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