Words by Jesse Serwer, Photo by Lauren Doyle
Cuban-American designer Isabel Toledo, who outfitted Michelle Obama in the “lemongrass” dress and jacket the First Lady wore to the President’s inauguration in 2009, unveiled a new line of Caribbean-inspired dresses and accessories in Miami this week. It was the first U.S. runway show in over a decade for Toledo, who unveiled the spring 2012 collection in Puerto Rico last month, and she credited Caribbean women for inspiring the vibrantly colored, tropical aesthetics. “This collection is less New York,” she told the Miami Herald. “I was inspired by the sensuality of Caribbean style, the coloration.” The designer’s husband, illustrator Ruben Toledo, hand-painted the watercolor designs displayed on hats, bags and other accessories. The line marks a homecoming of sorts Toledo, who in recent years has put her own line on the backburner to focus on her shoe and handbag collection for Payless ShoeSource. See some looks below and head over here for more.