Ronchi de Cuba, Island Chic, Master Designer

We are proud of Ronchi de Cuba who for the past two decades plus, has been dressing us, and showing us a good time at fashion shows, at model competitions and at past Aruba In Style events.

I think that his most important contribution to our island is his Pygmalion effect, which is the phenomenon whereby higher expectations lead to better results, and I will explain.

He regularly invites local teens to join modeling classes, they bring him their braces and pimples and low self esteem and at the end of the course they all transform into swans, gorgeous, self confident, male and female Koma Models, with runway and camera experience, having completely changed the way they look at the world and how the world looks at them!

On Saturday Ronchi presented his new collection, 9 bathing suits and 20 high-fashion designs to a full house, a loving and supportive local audience, mostly female, at the House of Mosaic.

The evening started with much-appreciated valet-parking and a cocktail hour. Then about two dozen of Aruba’s top models, past and present, showed the collection off.

The bathing suits, all made of the same material, depicting a big flashy scarlet poppy flower with a black center appeared in all styles ranging from a one-piece tank with a plunging front, to a Brazilian bikini with a cape; a one-piece off the shoulder; a tank with a floor-length skirt; a halter top maxi dress; a sport top with a bell skirt; a deep V neck tank with slit long skirt; a square neck tank with a short jacket.

The parade of swim suits was chased by 20 evening looks. The designer loves to mix and match colors and textures, so that there was a lot going on. He favors black and white patterns with lace accents, both feminine curves and geometric structures, fur flowers, sheer and opaque contrasts, long skirts of faux fur crinkled fabric, short glittery organza tops, long quilted fabric skirts and sheer capes; he shows underwear under over-wear!

Kaylan Cooper, one our favorite models looked stunning in a structured black & white, full length gown, with a cut out front, and square pointy shoulders. Miss Aruba, Charlene Leslie showed off a slinky glittery sheath with a transparent chiffon cape. Alexandra Ochoa, returned to the runway after 15 years, gorgeous in organza and brocade, wearing a spectacular short-in-front, long-in-the-back, plunging neckline gala dress, in gold. Her sister Paula Ochoa, an equally famous runway favorite, returned to the limelight after a long absence is a strapless gown, with a molded cup underwire top and a flowy sheer bottom. Alina Mansur wore a giant quilted skirt, matched with a dainty lace top.

We welcomed good friends Casia Altamar & Vivian Chow looking like a million dollar,  even a mother and daughter duo Xiomara and Falon Werleman, two generations of Koma models on one runway, something to be proud of.

Make up by Bruce Stamper and hair by Vladimir Orozco, complemented the show nicely and Fernando Mansur lent his spectacular home and support team to the event. It was nice to reconnect with some of the former Island Temptations models, we have used a lot of these island personalities in the magazine over the past 15 years!

The models showed off Jewelry by Mimi, sold at Trash by Ronchi.