Puerto Rican Pride

Puerto Rican Pride
For us Nuyoricans, the 116th Street Festival officially sets off the Summer! It is held the second Saturday in June, and gets us all charged up for the Puerto Rican day Parade that takes place the next day! This celebration of Puerto Rican culture is not just limited to Puerto Ricans. People from all Latino and non Latino cultures gather here for a day of Music, authentic Puerto Rican cuisine, art and shopping! Spanning 20+ blocks, this grand Uptown "Block Party" has been going down since 1985 and is the biggest Latin Festival in the North East. You can only imagine all the walking one must do! My favorite are the two huge musical stages that are assembled on 112th street and 106th street with celebrity appearances and performances from some of the best Puerto Rican talent from old school to new school. There's a lot to do and see in between so you want to make sure your attire is adequate for roaming around on foot especially in the hot weather!  Street Festival wear has to be easy and comfortable so you are able to move around with ease. My look for the Festival this year was a playful take on the traditional Bomba y Plena dresses worn by the women who dance to these two classic musical styles from Puerto Rico. BOMBA attire is considered to be more conservative than PLENA , and this VIVA AVIVA dress is a little of both. It's definitely not conservative, BUT, the sleeveless one shoulder design is similar to the tops you see on a PLENA dress and the whimsy side ruffles mimic the ruffles in the skirts on both BOMBA and PLENA skirts. The skirts are a big part of the dances and are swished around just like the women in the Sugar Plantations used to do, which is where BOMBA originated in the 17th century. PLENA music was developed from BOMBA and was introduced in the beginning of the 20th century. I didn't use my side ruffles to dance, but I did use them to strike a pose or two! I wanted to wear Red, White and Blue to honor the colors of the Flag so the dress represents the Blue. It's not the exact Blue of the Flag but it's the kind of Blue you want to wear on an 80 degree day; light and fresh! I didn't want to be too literal, but I still wanted to represent! Red statement earrings and simple white sneakers complete the trifecta of colors that make up our beautiful flag.  I always look forward to "Puerto Rican weekend" in NYC. Puerto Rican Pride is contagious and you can't help but feel it in the air that weekend. The cheerful energy of the people, the Salsa you hear blasting on every street corner, the colors of the Flag freely dancing in the wind, the Savory scents of Lechon {Roast Pork} and Puerto Rican fritter dishes like Alcapurrias and Bacalaitos in the air, the chanting of the people screaming "Yo soy BORICUA, pa' que tu lo sepas!"  all contribute to the Magic of the 116th Festival.  A huge thank you to LEAH & CAV for coming all the way from Queens to spend the afternoon in EL BARRIO with me! They were so much fun to work with and made me feel super comfortable! Remember Fashionistas! Dress to the beat of your own drum, even if it goes against what everyone else is doing! With Style & Pizazz, YAZ Photographer: Leah Santos (Instagram @Theneolang Videographer: Cav (Instagram @dreamers.revenge)    Dress: VIVA AVIVA - Renttherunway.com Earrings & Sneakers: Amazon.com

For us Nuyoricans, the 116th Street Festival officially sets off the Summer! It is held the second Saturday in June, and gets us all charged up for the Puerto Rican day Parade that takes place the next day! This celebration of Puerto Rican culture is not just limited to Puerto Ricans. People from all Latino and non Latino cultures gather here for a day of Music, authentic Puerto Rican cuisine, art and shopping! Spanning 20+ blocks, this grand Uptown "Block Party" has been going down since 1985 and is the biggest Latin Festival in the North East. You can only imagine all the walking one must do! My favorite are the two huge musical stages that are assembled on 112th street and 106th street with celebrity appearances and performances from some of the best Puerto Rican talent from old school to new school. There's a lot to do and see in between so you want to make sure your attire is adequate for roaming around on foot especially in the hot weather! 

Street Festival wear has to be easy and comfortable so you are able to move around with ease. My look for the Festival this year was a playful take on the traditional Bomba y Plena dresses worn by the women who dance to these two classic musical styles from Puerto Rico. BOMBA attire is considered to be more conservative than PLENA , and this VIVA AVIVA dress is a little of both. It's definitely not conservative, BUT, the sleeveless one shoulder design is similar to the tops you see on a PLENA dress and the whimsy side ruffles mimic the ruffles in the skirts on both BOMBA and PLENA skirts. The skirts are a big part of the dances and are swished around just like the women in the Sugar Plantations used to do, which is where BOMBA originated in the 17th century. PLENA music was developed from BOMBA and was introduced in the beginning of the 20th century. I didn't use my side ruffles to dance, but I did use them to strike a pose or two! I wanted to wear Red, White and Blue to honor the colors of the Flag so the dress represents the Blue. It's not the exact Blue of the Flag but it's the kind of Blue you want to wear on an 80 degree day; light and fresh! I didn't want to be too literal, but I still wanted to represent! Red statement earrings and simple white sneakers complete the trifecta of colors that make up our beautiful flag. 

I always look forward to "Puerto Rican weekend" in NYC. Puerto Rican Pride is contagious and you can't help but feel it in the air that weekend. The cheerful energy of the people, the Salsa you hear blasting on every street corner, the colors of the Flag freely dancing in the wind, the Savory scents of Lechon {Roast Pork} and Puerto Rican fritter dishes like Alcapurrias and Bacalaitos in the air, the chanting of the people screaming "Yo soy BORICUA, pa' que tu lo sepas!"  all contribute to the Magic of the 116th Festival. 

A huge thank you to LEAH & CAV for coming all the way from Queens to spend the afternoon in EL BARRIO with me! They were so much fun to work with and made me feel super comfortable! Remember Fashionistas! Dress to the beat of your own drum, even if it goes against what everyone else is doing!

With Style & Pizazz,

YAZ

Photographer: Leah Santos (Instagram @Theneolang

Videographer: Cav (Instagram @dreamers.revenge) 

 

Dress: VIVA AVIVA - Renttherunway.com

Earrings & Sneakers: Amazon.com

Pic taken in front of a DE LA VEGA mural on 110th & Lexington. 

Pic taken in front of a DE LA VEGA mural on 110th & Lexington.