Countries borders may be difficult to cross, but fashion has been able to permeate through boundaries, barriers and crossings to serve as a medium for an individual's culture.
As the independence of Mexico inches toward its 202nd anniversary many Mexicans in Colorado are preparing to show their patriotism through their daily wear.
Gabriela Martinez who grew up in Mexico and is a fashion designer in Denver said she has always included Mexican motifs in her creations.
"I like using a lot of flowers, even when I use night dresses I like to include something with lace and flowers," Martinez said.
One of the most beautiful traditional pieces for women is the huipil, a sleeveless cotton tunic embellished with intricate
Martinez said she has seen many elements of Mexican wear crawl into worldwide trends such as the use of rebozos, an elegant cover-up with unique designs including fringe, embroidery and lace.
"Right now scarves and 'rebozos', which were not being used as much, are coming back," she said.
Martinez said Latinos and Americans alike appreciate when art is placed or interpreted through clothing especially when it is colorful.
Linda Aguirre, who was born and raised in Colorado, but her parents are from Mexico, said she wears traditional outfits for special occasions and Mexican-inspired blouses at least twice a week.
"When I wear my Mexican blouses first of all I get a lot of compliments on how pretty they are, the hand-made embroidery and the beautiful colors," Aguirre said.
Women don't have all the fun though. Many Mexican men are known for their impeccably arranged styles and over-the-top boot designs, many times inspired in their culture's staples.
Such is the case with Daniel Nuñez, a young man from Jalisco who wanted to show off his culture through fashion at a recent concert of Grupera music (a genre of Mexican folk music). For
"It reminds me of when I used to be in Mexico at the ranch," Nuñez said.
Ernesto Chavez, owner of "El Caporal" a boot store in Greeley, said Mexican fashion comes from a mix between the Spanish and the indigenous cultures.
"The Indians loved wearing bright colors and that mixed with the more sober Spanish culture," Chavez said.
Chavez said he gets all kinds of petitions for boot designs, ranging from the
"The very pointy ones usually come with a lot of adornments, with rhinestones and a lot of color," Chavez said. "The square ones are simpler, you only have the traditional colors like brown, black and grey. I personally like those better."
Boots have become an art form with shapes and designs being custom made many times. The material of the boots can include, armadillo, snake, crocodile, and a favorite, ostrich leather.
Chavez who comes from Chihuahua said you used to be able to tell where someone came from based on the types of boots they wore. Those with pointier boots came from Northern Mexico, while a more rounded front referred to the south. Now, he said, everyone can design what they want to wear regardless of where they come from.
"Now they have elements different to what it used to be when I was young," Chavez said. "People say those from Chihuahua like the pointy ones, but really it's everybody."
The over the top detailing and the intricate designs is a fairly new style. Nuñez said young Mexican-Americans are the ones changing the style.
Rafael Brito from Guerrero, in southern Mexico, who wore a white cowboy hat, a checkered tejana, jeans and white snake boots, said people didn't dress this way mainly because they couldn't afford it.
Chavez said he usually sells boots between $280 and $480, and the price increases as the design gets more intricate.
"You could say that because of a lack of money you wouldn't dress like this at the ranch," Brito said. "Now it is better and you can buy something."
The effort behind these outfits makes it difficult to turn into daily wear. Brito said he usually only dresses this way for special occasions like concerts, parties, Cinco de Mayo and some weekends. One of those times will of course be while celebrating the Independence of Mexico on Sept. 16.
202nd Anniversary of the Independence of Mexico
When: September 13, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Boettcher Concert Hall
Denver Performing Arts Complex
14th St. & Curtis St., Denver
Fiestas Patrias 2012
When: September 16, 11 a.m.
Where: Civic Center Park
Details: Snacks and Mexican food, activities for adults and games for the kids.