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For anyone who has walked through the boutique-filled streets of Palermo Soho, a trendy Buenos Aires neighbourhood, it quickly becomes obvious that Porteños have a great sense of style. The city is also home to a vibrant fashion community, where dozens of independent designers and clothing brands influence country and continent-wide fashion trends.

In such a fashion-conscious city, the bi-annual Buenos Aires Fashion Week (BAFWeek) is an important event, spotlighting the country’s growing influence in the world of haute couture. The autumn/winter shows, taking place from 26 February to 1 March at the city’s largest conference centre, La Rural, will fuse four days of catwalks shows and designer showrooms by Argentina's top brands.

BAFWeek stands out from other fashion weeks by putting an exciting collaboration at the centre of the proceedings. This year's theme is the fusion between illustration and fashion, with 10 Argentinean illustrators and 10 designers working together to create 10 new outfits influenced by both these ideas. The resulting pieces will be used in the advertising campaign for the show, and some will be presented during BAFWeek.

Local independent brands will on display and for sale in the conference centre’s more than 30 showrooms, and around 20 catwalk shows will feature men and women's clothes along with shoes, jewellery, bags and other accessories. Watch out for internationally recognised Argentine designer Pablo Ramírez’s new collection, inspired by the youth of the late 1950s and early 1960s, and Buenos Aires designer Benitez Emilse, whose collection purposely contrasts the flashy outfits of the Argentine Carnival with neutral tones and black leather.

To get a sneak preview of South America’s fashion of the future, don’t miss the 1 March show by Débora D´Amico and María Noel Pepe, the winners of a University of Buenos Aires design competition. María Noel Pepe’s collection “Puppets” takes its inspiration from antique hand puppets and includes materials such as wood and brass bolts, while Débora D´Amico’s collection “Wanderer” is inspired by famous Argentine Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s first trip through South America and will includes touches of revolutionary and militant design elements.    

Tickets to BAFWeek cost 40 Argentinean pesos and can be bought at the venue on any day of the show. A full schedule of catwalk shows can be found on the website.

Tim Fitzgerald is the Buenos Aires Localite for BBC Travel. He also writes gringoinbuenosaires.com.

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