This weekend we celebrate the 5th Annual Fort Lauderdale Fashion Week, and I am thrilled to be a member of the press corps.

Lis Castella kicked off the first runway show, on March 14, at the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach. Originally from Medellin, Colombia, she has studios in Hollywood and Deerfield.

Engrossed in her elegant designs, mostly in red, white and black, I immediately felt the Spanish connection.

“My grandpa is from Spain, so I love Flamenco, and wanted to mix it with United States culture,” she told me after her Spring/Summer runway show. “There are a lot of Latinos in this country, and I want take advantage of that. My models are Latinas, Africa-Americans, and Europeans as well, to make everybody happy.”

As I watched the women go by, I kept thinking how comfortable all the dresses and jumpsuits looked — I could picture myself lounging on the couch in each of them. Turns out she does that, well, by design. Whether it’s velvet, mesh, or leather fringe, she always begins with a stretch fabric.

If you buy one of Lis’s creations, you can also rest comfortably knowing you won’t have to worry about a big investment in jewelry to go with. Most of her creations come with embellishments such as bold flowers gracing a sheer top, cut-outs, silver chains running down the shoulder, bows and soft corsets, or sequin collars.

One of the coolest pieces was a white jumpsuit with a sheer train, as if for a wedding. Only the hippest of chicks could pull it off — what an awesome beach union it would be. And, you could wear the jumpsuit over and over, unlike the traditional wedding dress.

“It’s so fun for me to create,” she said. “I focus on ladies who take care of themselves, aren’t afraid to show their bodies, who are unique, and want to look special at every party they go. My inspiration is everybody on the street.”

Here are last night’s highlights courtesy of photographer Wellington Guzman, IG @wellington_miami  and Intellimidia. Find Lis at and IG @liscastelladesigns. Congratulations to my new friend on a stellar show!  #fllfw #fllfashionweek

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