What Are Those? / by Ivan Morelos

Growing up Mexican-American, I was exposed to the Western-Cowboy style from a very early age. This is commonly known as "Paisa" or "Chuntaro" style. It is a trend that has been around for years and continues to develop, especially in Mexico and predominantly Mexican neighborhoods in the U.S.  As a child, my parents dressed me in the traditional boots, hats, and belts. There was also an abundance of denim. Lots and lots of denim. Maybe this is where my current affection with the Canadian tuxedo comes from. Anyways, seeing all of the men and women in my life dress in this particular way definitely influenced my current personal style. I remember thinking how the women always looked so put together and embraced loud colors and bold styles. And then there were the men. Eccentric and on-the-verge of flamboyant silk-shirts. Extremely tight, form-fitting Levis. Over the top belts and belt buckles. Matching cowboy-style hats. But most prominent in my memory are the boots. Python, ostrich, crocodile, and other exotic leathers made into elaborate cowboy boots. All men had a pair, even the young boys, including myself. Every party or special event included a matching head-to-toe look.

Over the years I grew out of this style as my teenage years kicked in and I moved more towards American trends. I still attended family parties and these looks continued to thrive. The culture behind some of these looks is one that doesn't seem to be dying out. Here is where high fashion comes in. As an avid follower of all fashion trends and styles, there is one that just always seems to get a re-birth and is introduced time and time again. Western and Cowboy looks have been in and out of the fashion world for years now. Styles re-invented, mixed with other trends, and traditional pieces, making their way back every season.

With these styles being so fashionable and embraced worldwide its clear to me that it's not going anywhere anytime soon. But of course the Mexicans had to reclaim their culture and take it to the next level. One of the craziest turns in this particular style over the last couple of years has been due to the introduction of "Tribal Music" in various regions of Mexico. Younger generations have kept the traditional looks, but have tweaked and updated them to make them more modern and cool. Mexican pointy boots are the latest trend to hit southern Mexico states again, with groups of young males striving to out-do each other in length and swag. Formal competitions where dance teams show off their matching looks and dance to carefully choreographed "Tribal" music have become a popular pass time and obsession. These styles of boots have become more outrageous and eye-catching. Never did I imagine that it would get to this point (no pun intended). I'm curious to see how far they will take this. It looks like things are just starting.

Although I may not be down to sport a pair of these outlandish boots, I'm definitely going to reconsider tapping into my old wardrobe for some updated Western looks. In the meantime, enjoy some dope Tribal beats below. #PlugItIn