The Pechuga Blog / Vintage Fashion

Pechuga Gets Dirrty: A Firsthand Look Inside the Roberto Cavalli SS03 Archives

Pechuga Gets Dirrty: A Firsthand Look Inside the Roberto Cavalli SS03 Archives

Pechuga Preface

   I want to first start by thanking the Roberto Cavalli archive for trusting me with this piece and by thanking Kris Fe for believing in Pechuga’s mission which is to teach and share fashion. Please note the views expressed in this article are solely my own.

On This Day in Fashion...

   I started yesterday’s Roberto Cavalli unveiling video with the question,  “what were you doing in 2002 ?”, for a reason. In 2002 I was 13 going on 14 escaping middle school in Los Angeles to go to high school on the West Side. Freshman year was going to start anew, I was going to get a girlfriend and everything was going to be great. 

   It was around this time that Christina Aguilera released “Dirrty” and everyone lost their shit. So this is what had been hiding in that genie’s bottle this whole time? Wow. Who knew? However, I still think I was slightly more oblivious than others. I grew up in an extremely conservative household. I wasn’t allowed to watch or listen to music from the time that I was about 10 to 14 years old. How did I even know about Christina Aguilera? I had a portable radio player and I would sneakily listen to my “ungodly” music on it.  When my mom would ask me what I was listening to I’d tell her they were church hymns. Now fast forward to the first year of high school. 

To Our Lady Xtina We Pray

The Dirrty Years

   Two thousand two was the year my world exploded with pop culture and I was a sponge that soaked it all up. However, there was one event that stood out from the rest, the music video to Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty” featuring Redman, I was blown away, the song was epic, the imagery-  I didn’t even know people were allowed to dance like that. I swore I was in love with Xtina, she was going to be the girl that I would tell others I had a crush on and everyone would believe me then that I was straight. 

Haaay girlfriend!

   Come to find out I was really just extremely gay and mistook loving  Xtina to actually wanting to look like her, particularly at that time whe she introduced us to her alter ego. The “Dirrty” music video, which was directed by David LaChappelle and released on September 30, 2002, had it all: assless chaps, gyrating shower orgies, and….Redman? There was no in between you either loved the video or you hated it. Fans were shocked, Time called the video a gathering at an “intergalactic hooker convention” and Entertainment Weekly called Aguilera “desperate and shrill".

(Yeah, we're gonna need a whole article just to explain this union)

   Transforming into  Xtina really changed the course of Aguilera’s musical career. The impact trickled down, however. Amidst the backlash that the video received, the American artist would scoff and point out that she was the one in control in the music video and that critics weren’t comfortable when the male gaze was flipped. A bare-naked girl in a music video with a voice? The world wasn’t ready for it but Aguilera didn’t care. 

   But while the singer was taking control of her own image, empowering herself and other women at the same time, I just sat in the corner and thought, “Damn. I think I’m gay.” There was no denying the influence that Xtina had on culture at the time, she proved to have vocal range to be taken seriously as a singer but it was her smashing the image of the sweet girl-next-door that took everyone aback. 

   Now I’m not saying that Xtina’s “Dirrty” music video made me gay (lol) but it did open up my eyes to a world I didn’t know existed or was acceptable (do you see where I’m going here?). Being told your whole life you have to act or look a certain way is tiring. On that level I related to the alter ego that Aguilera had created. But what if it wasn’t an alter ego? What if that was her way of breaking free? As a closeted gay kid I felt the need to do the same. I needed to embrace my inner Xtina. 

This outfit alone was a cry for help

VH1 Best of 2002 Awards

   It was the month of December when the VH1 Best of 2002 Awards celebrated the year’s wildest moments in entertainment. It was an anything goes event and Aguilera was set to perform but not before she showed up in that red Roberto Cavalli number. Xtina shocked people yet again. The ice blond hair on top of the jet back extensions, the tan, and the whittled waist (could she breathe?). She deserved an award for that dress alone. 

Xtina, VH1 Best of 2002, Dec. 4, 2002

   The dress was part of the Roberto Cavalli Spring / Summer 2003 collection that had debuted about a week and a half before the release of the “Dirrty” music video. It was seen on the runway on Danish beauty, Louise Pedersen. The piece which is made of red leather panels, cinches at the back with mile long laces, and has a Victorian-like busk in the center went perfectly with Aguilera’s new image, she may as well have worn it in the music video. Cavalli would later declare Aguilera his muse and in 2007 he designed all 10 costumes for the singer's  “Back to Basics” tour. 

Louise Pedersen for Roberto Cavalli SS03
   Dubbed the “Italian rock god of fashion” by Vogue in 2002, Cavalli’s SS03 collection had some impressive pieces. Delicate silk trims in floral patterns were combined with leopard accents; Chinoiserie in bondage with a rock n' roll bravado. Only Cavalli could get away with it. As an avid corset collector in 2021 the cinchers from this season are a must. You can already imagine my surprise when one day I received a text message from Kris Fe, stylist to Madison Beer. Ps. I met Kris when she put in a request on behalf Kourtney Kardashian, Pechuga was still in its trial period and Kris really just took a chance on me. 

   “You’re gonna die when you see this.” 

   Kris is full of surprises, she’ll come to me with the most fascinating requests and that's when we bond over our love for fashion and art history. When she told me she had styled Madison Beer in the archival dress that Aguilera wore in 2002 I flipped. To my knowledge the dress hadn’t been worn since then. Beer would go on to perform in the same Cavalli dress Xtina wore to a Vevo LIFT performance in December 2020. Iconic all around.

Madison Beer in Roberto Cavalli, Vevo LIFT, SS03 styled by Kris Fe; Dec. 2020

   About two weeks ago I invited Kris to my studio. While we were discussing our upcoming projects this red Cavalli dress came up in conversation (casually). I asked her where the piece was exactly and she told me. I flipped out again. 

I'm not crying, you're crying

“You mean to tell me this masterpiece lives in the same city that I do?!”

   It was at that time that I popped the question. 

Cavalli Pechuga Roberto Madison Beer

“Kris, do you think that the Cavalli archives would let me study and document the dress?” 

Cavalli Madison Beer Pechuga Corset

   To my surprise the request was approved. Four days later and the dress was hanging in my studio and the wheels in my mind were spinning.     

  Cavalli Corset Pechuga Vintage Madison Beer

I could stare at this angle all day

   The dress looked like it could have been painted onto the form. It has a hand-painted tattoo motif (a trend that the 2000’s did not shy away from), it exudes femininity with the lace up detailing in the back, but it looks almost surgical like with the interlacing panels (that look like bandages) and its imposing metal busk in the center. 

Cavalli Madison Beer Xtina Pechuga

Undoing and redoing the laces took about half an hour

    The series of events that led this dress to land in our studio were most definitely random but it made sense that we’d be the ones handling such a rare piece. It was that realization that prompted me to ask the team where they were in 2002. For someone who's obsessed with vintage I rarely like talking about the past, especially when it's too personal, but this was a rare instance wherein I sought insight from my team. My tailor told me he had just arrived to the United States at the age of 15, my assistant told me he had just turned two. Two different generations of queer Latino men in the same room with two vastly different experiences coming together in 2021 for the love of Cavalli, Xtina, and corsets.

   We then proceeded to blast “Dirrty” in the office. 

Xtina Cavalli Pechuga Corset


   It does not get any gayer than that. 

Xtina Wave Cavalli Goodbye Pechuga


Thank you for reading and until next time!

Johnny Valencia 


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The Making Of: Pechuga's Vogue Corset

The Making Of:  Pechuga's Vogue Corset

A Year in the Making

   Monday night as I lay down to sleep I told myself tomorrow was going to be a better day. Something didn’t feel right, however. Was it really going to be a better day? I had to say it out loud. So I said it out loud in Spanish. Mañana será un día mejor. I found that more comforting.

   Being the owner of Pechuga has been tough. I expected the work. I didn’t expect the paperwork, however. Nor did I expect the legal doings and the amount of people that were going to be involved in making this business not only successful but profitable. Oh, right, and a pandemic. I don’t think anyone was expecting that this year. After all wasn’t 2020 supposed to be the year of clarity? But I digress.

   I woke up Tuesday from a DM from Steven La Fuente, Ashley Graham’s stylist, with a link and little heart emojis. The link was to Graham’s “7 Days, 7 Looks Feature” in Vogue, one of my pieces was in it. Tuesday did turn out to be a better day, indeed.

   Any time Pechuga is mentioned anywhere I count it as a blessing (I got called a snake the other day by an anonymous user in the DM’s and even that was a blessing, it means they were thinking of me, I mean they took the time to write the message right?). But any time I’m mentioned in Vogue I’m always surprised. Pechuga, in Vogue? However, this time it wasn’t just any piece that was highlighted in Vogue and it wasn’t just on any person.

   This was a piece a year and a half in the making.

In the Beginning There Was Rosé

   July 2019, 2 bottles of rosé deep (fine maybe three, but who was counting), Jesse (the corset maker behind my Vivienne Westwood corset restorations one and two) was in his studio blasting Saweetie and working on our second project. I was taking pictures of fabrics, labels, I had just approved a $600 DHL customs and fees charge (heads up paying your bills drunk is the best way to go, it’s akin to falling flat on your face after a night of drinking and not feeling a single thing) for another Vivienne Westwood corset.



   This Vivienne Westwood AW90/91 “Portrait” corset needed customs clearance (she would later sell for $12,000, by the way). That’s when I had another idea. The corset trend was in full throttle, Pechuga was spearheading the busty movement forward with rare Westwood corsets that at this point were locked up in museums all over the world but now suddenly found themselves in my hands (in Koreatown out of all places).

   “Why don’t we make our own corset…?” I asked Jesse.

   “Sure.” He said rather bluntly.

   I continued, “…Because, see, I found this dress.”

Pechuga's White Whale

   When I used to work for Vivienne Westwood there was a piece in the shop that I remember being completely enamored by. It was this red lurex corset with the most ostentatious bejeweled appliqués in peridot hues. It was from Vivienne’s SS13 Gold Label show, if I remember correctly it was around $2-3,000.



   The corset was purchased by the daughter of a 70’s rock legend and I have never been able to find the corset ever again. In my weekly quest to locate the red number seen above, I stumbled upon a diamond in the rough.

   Those appliqués! I knew this dress had to be from the same season as that red corset from the shop, I went ahead and purchased the dress and that’s when the wheels started turning. Now you may be wondering why this took a year and half to make? Well because with as much that piles on a daily (mind you, Jesse himself as a full time job) there needed to be a reason to push the project forward, after all I was going to be funding this all by myself (in the back, Shangela’s infamous Drag Race “Sugar Daddy” speech plays softly). 

The Call

   Finally in September of 2020 I got a call, a client needed a corset made for a project she was working on. There were two requests, the corset needed to be a size US 16 and preferably with sleeves. That’s when I called Jesse and we hit the ground running.

Let's Get to It

   I wanted to use as much fabric from the dress as possible, purchasing the dress was a risky investment already. Ruining it by cutting it up was going to break my heart. However, Jesse said this was feasible, he would take the bottom part of the dress and use it as the side and back panels. As soon as we got the measurements from  my client, Jesse started to make the muslin.




   After a couple of days the body of the piece was starting to take shape. Jesse had boned the stomacher and the back. The appliqués had all been rearranged to flatter the shape of the corset better and now it was time to make the sleeves. For the sleeves I asked Jesse to send me some reference images. From the images he sent over I chose the sleeves from a 1770 stays. 


   I particularly loved this 18th century piece because of the soft ribbons at the shoulders. Plus this meant options with our new corset. The wearer can choose to take the sleeves off simply by untying the silk chiffon ribbons. I love having options when I wear certain pieces. My clients should have options as well. 


   Jesse was successful in using most of the fabric for the side and back panels. However we did need to make two more runs to Downtown LA to purchase more fabric, for the sleeves and for the ribbons, and lastly for the zipper closure. I wanted the zipper closure to be sturdy but I also wanted it to look expensive and dainty, I went with a metal teardrop ("Metal Teardrop" is also the name of my new metal rock band, we only wear Westwood, look us up).  


An Emotional Rollercoaster

   From start to finish making this piece was no easy task. There was a pandemic that we had to tip-toe around, fabric stores were operating at irregular hours, zipper shops were essential businesses but somehow trimmings weren't. Throughout the whole process, however, I had my client's expectations in mind and making her happy was really the end goal here. 

   The corset was a success, the client was happy, I crossed off another task on my never-ending bucket list of things I wanted to achieve for Pechuga: design an upcycled piece for the shop. 


 This is what the original SS13 dress looked liked

...and this was the final result

7 Days, 7 Looks with Vogue

   In mid-November I received another DM, it was a pull request for Vogue's newest series, "7 Days, 7 Looks". Ashley Graham was going to be the model featured and they needed looks sized US 14. I always get a bit nervous pitching pieces to clients. My thoughts sometimes betray me. What if they hate my options? Or worse yet, what if I send over options and they tell me that it wasn't what they expected it?

   The Pechuga corset needed some mending, some of the metal boning was sticking out. I was a bit embarrassed to send over a piece with that slight imperfection. But as they say, time waits for no one and when Vogue and Ashley Graham want something uh, you better send. 

   The end result was nothing short of fabulous. Thanks again, Steven, for letting me be a part of this, Ashely for looking stunning, Jesse for bringing my vision to life. Hope you enjoyed the post, fellow reader!

   Until next time. 





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Pechuga Corset Restoration 101 from Mangy to Marvelous

Pechuga Corset Restoration 101 from Mangy to Marvelous

Pechuga Corset Restoration 101 from Mangy to Marvelous

On the Off Chance:



   Last year in April (when the world’s mood was decidedly calmer and Corona was still just a beer) I got a DM one evening. It was a colleague in the business and she had a very interesting question. 

   I was in Paris at the time, on a buying trip for Pechuga, and I remember I had had a bit too much wine that night. I didn’t see the name of the person who had DM’ed all I saw was a mangled corset.

   “Oh, that looks fake.”

   As a rule of thumb when I come across something that doesn’t sit right- I immediately have to brush it off as a fake. It’s hard to authenticate an item when you’re presented with only pictures. Feeling something, studying the make, the stitching on garments, or the plating and weight (if it’s a jewelry piece, for example) will never take the place of an image. Especially if the image is that of mangled corset on the floor.

Pechuga the Autodidact

   I learn everyday. As I work and source pieces I’m simultaneously doing research. Just because I haven’t seen something before doesn’t mean it didn’t exist or that it wasn’t made, does the authentication of something become harder when the edition is 1/1? Sure. But this is why research is so important.

   Two months went by after I was presented with the image of the corset above- in my mind it was still a bad fake. I was going through some pictures one night in June doing research for Vivienne Westwood menswear and I stumbled upon an image of this : a Vivienne Westwood men’s suit from Spring / Summer 1991, “Cut N’ Slash” from the 2016 “Reigning Men” exhibit at the LACMA. (Side note I helped source a pair of shoes for this exhibit).

   And then I went down a rabbit hole of printed floral appliqué until I found as many references of this printed floral colorway on anything Vivienne Westwood related. That’s when I found this:  another coat from VW "Cut N’ Slash" SS91. 

Men's Coat from "Cut N' Slash" SS91, Vivienne Westwood

   But another image of a men’s coat wasn’t enough - I needed to know if the floral printed appliqué was ever represented on womenswear. When lo and behold! The image that I had been waiting for.

Photo Montage of Vivienne Westwood  SS91 "Cut N' Slash" Show

   I work backwards a lot when I’m doing research and I didn’t study fashion design or art history (I studied economics and foreign languages in college) so a lot of what I encounter is really brand new to me (not to mention the fact that I was still in elementary school when all these shows came out). Through different sources I was able to narrow down the piece I was presented to Westwood’s “Cut N’ Slash” collection. Granted it’s not rocket science what I do for a living but it does take a level of skill (and maybe more obsession) to go through endless amounts of images, videos, and books.

The Frankencorset

   After doing a fair amount of research one night at around 9:00 pm I shot my shot. 

   The seller and I affectionally called this piece a “Frankencorset” because my initial thought (based on the photos) was that the stomacher (the front of the corset) had the fabric sewn on from another garment and stitched onto a plain satin corset (it only took 2 months to prove myself wrong). To my surprise when I DM’ed the seller asking if the piece was still available she said it was still with her (no one wanted to buy a mangled corset, go figure). When I saw the corset in person I audibly gasped. It was misshapen, the side panels were torn and stained, the straps had signs of fraying, and there was boning coming out from the bottom.




Putting in the Work

   I’ve worked on another Vivienne Westwood corset prior to this one. I believe the last one I restored was from “On Liberty” AW95, a gorgeous white lace piece that my corset maker, Jesse, and I totally reworked and restored. This SS91 piece was going to be another challenge so I got on the phone again with Jesse and we started scheming. Here’s what went down.

Risky Business



Bubble baths...but make it fashion

  There’s always a risk when you’re handling a piece, especially one that’s almost 30 years old. Dealing with stains is a bitch (for lack of a better word). Dealing with 30 year old stains? Now that’s a bitch and a half. My main concern with the corset I was handling was the stomacher- fortunately for me the stomacher didn’t have any major stains, the side panels and the back were the real issues but something told me that there was hope. The floral design was printed on silk and embroidered onto silk satin, I figured that if there was any color bleeding then it would’ve happened during the course of 30 years, right? So what could possibly go wrong from here? I delicately hand washed the piece and it gets ruined further? You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.


A mess

   To my surprise the majority of stains were lifted. I used a liquid detergent diluted in cold water and let the piece air dry flat on a white towel turning it every hour. Now that the piece was as clean as it could’ve possibly been I noticed the side paneling and the stomacher took on a different luster. This piece used to be gorgeous! Seeing it sort of come back to life compelled me to continue with the project (yeah not gonna lie I almost gave up) and then we really got down to business.

Putting in the Work

The Fabric Shopping



 Silk satin vs. silk chiffon

   Jesse and I made a date to go to Downtown LA and source materials for our project. In the sourcing process we took into consideration several factors. What size did we want this to be? I looked at my sales though and based on that 4/6 US (Italian 40/42) was the best selling size for me in Vivienne Westwood corsets. So we went with that. Fabric composition was then chosen, in order to conform to the body we needed something with stretch but that was going to also retain its shape, we went with silk stretch satin. Color. Did we want to pull a wild card and pick a color that matched the floral print embroidery? Or did we want to stay true to the color of the original piece? I’m a purist. So we went with a champagne color, I wanted this SS91 piece to remain as true to its form as possible. She was getting a face lift after 30 years fitting that it was all being done in Los Angeles.



No these are not the same color

    We then visited another shop to pick the exact same color thread to match the same color fabric we had just chosen and then we bought the boning. As for the zipper in the back we decided to keep the original (hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it).


2 yards of champagne, silk stretch satin, por favor 

   I’m a perfectionist (surprise) but I also let those around me (the experts) take control. Someone once told me: would you take your computer to a mechanic to get it fixed? Obviously not and now I apply that simple logic to everything I do. So I listened to Jesse and the sales assistant at the fabric store and together we all made the best judgment for the piece at hand. I’m still a business and ultimately it was going to be my job to sell this piece. However, there is a degree of creative freedom that I needed to hand over to Jesse and trust that he will do his best to make my vision come to life.


 This is me having a vision…

 The Panels and Pattern

   In college I took a sewing lab class which consisted of me in the dungeon of my university’s costume department. I don’t know why we had a costuming department (it was called "The Enchanted Cellar") in an agricultural college (I went to UC Davis) but there I was 3 hours a week thinking I was going to be the next Valentino Garavani. Jesse, my corset maker, on the other hand knows all the technical sewing and pattern making procedures. This is what he went to school for.


   I love watching Jesse work. He’s so patient and knowledgeable and seeing him makes me proud to know him. He’s Salvadoran like me and being around him feels like family. He has funny quips that he says when he’s not working but takes on a very serious demeanor when I ask him to explain to me what he’s working on next. With this SS91 piece he first started off by taking off the side panels with a seam ripper.


Corset's Anatomy

Boning & More

   Now that we had the fabric and all the corset accoutrements Jesse sketched out the patterns and then started the preliminary steps in putting the SS91 piece back together again.


Let the boning begin

   We had to rebone the back panels, stitch the side panels to the stomacher, rebone the stomacher, then hand-sew pieces that needed to be sewn, and then put the zipper back in place. Seeing as how I don’t know how to do any of those things I decided to pop open a bottle of chilled rosé and pour a glass for Jesse and myself and then let Jesse take the wheel. I saw a lot of steaming, I heard a lot machine sewing sounds, and then the occasional “ouch”. 





A Discovery

   As Jesse was taking the SS91 corset apart I noticed two very odd things. The corset had the label sewn inside of the strap, every single garment I’ve come across has always had a label sewn on the outside. A tiny square piece of fabric with a name is sometimes all you need to start a hunt. In this instance I always wondered why the label was hidden on this garment.

   Side note: When I read Vivienne Westwood’s autobiography I remembered that around 1994/95 Westwood moved her manufacturing to Italy (there was a blip in time where some pieces were even made in China!) The label inside of the Vivienne Westwood SS91 piece we had said “Made in England”, this coincided with the time period and collection I narrowed it down to.


Omg what is that (as said in Cardi's voice)

   Then as we really started taking the piece apart I noticed another thing. Tape! Masking tape on the ends of some of the boning. The piece must have been made in a hurry or it may have been made as a representation only. Was this a sample that I had in my hands? Again I referred back to Westwood’s autobiography and I remember reading that Westwood didn’t have much money in the early 90’s (she actually went bankrupt around this time) and pieces were being assembled backstage before hitting the runway. Could this have been one of those pieces? Could Westwood have touched this piece herself? Who knows. I build a story around every piece in my head with every piece I get and this SS91 piece seemed to be extra special.


 The Final Product

   No Pechuga restoration would be complete without finally going through the master himself, Johnny the tailor. The piece that I had waited off on buying and had done research on, the same piece that had been stripped down to its bare blocks, was almost, almost done. 


Pre-pandemic, non socially distance sussing

   There was just one last part that needed to be fixed that Jesse didn't feel comfortable in mending, there was a fraying that needed to be taken care of one one of the straps and Johnny was the guy to do it. Once this was done it was time to document the piece. 

Jesse took the SS91 piece from this :



 To this:



    After three buying trips, two evenings of research, 48 hours of actual labor, and one visit to the tailor she was done! I photographed the piece, I allowed it to go out for one pull (it wasn't worn), and sold it a collector for $2,100 USD. Given that I had to pay to acquire the piece, purchase all the materials to restore it, pay Jesse for his labor, and finally pay Johnny I thought that this amount was a reasonable price to ask. 

   Ultimately I was very proud of the results, the finalized VW SS91 corset proves wonderful things can be achieved with the right team, trust, and a positive outlook. Moreover, there's nothing that compares to the feeling of seeing something you've envisioned come to life. 

   Until next time, mes amis.  


Johnny Valencia



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Bum History : Le Faux Cul de Vivienne Westwood and Louis Vuitton

Bum History : Le Faux Cul de Vivienne Westwood and Louis Vuitton

   Not too long ago I posted a photo of Louis Vuitton monogrammed boot on my Instagram stories (I post new arrivals, inspiration, and my obsession du jour there - it allows me to openly interact with y'all and I want to believe that it sort of gives insight to the method to Pechuga's madness). I was surprised to see how much attention the LV boot garnered with questions pouring in asking me where to buy and why I had also tagged Vivienne Westwood. Many, as I found out, weren't aware of the Vivienne Westwood for Louis Vuitton collaboration. And here is where things got interesting. By the way I don't think the boot was ever sent to production. Sorry to break it to y'all. 

The elusive boot

   The year was 1996. Pokémon had just been introduced to the world, Bill Clinton had just gotten re-elected, and the Louis Vuitton monogrammed canvas was turning a cool 100 years old. To commemorate the centennial, Louis Vuitton commissioned seven leading designers of the time to create a unique item and interpret the monogram.

The designers and their creations: 


   Azzedine Alaia - Leo Alma bag


   Manolo Blahnik - Oval travel trunk 

   Romeo Gigli - Cylindrical shoulder bag (for the life of me I could not find the ad)   

   Helmut Lang - Record trunk 

   Isaac Mizrahi  - Transparent plastic shopping bag

   Sybilla - Bag pack with umbrella

   Vivienne Westwood - Bum bag

   The pieces all ranged from 450-26,000 Francs (around $650 - $4,500 in 1996) with the Gigli, Alaïa, Mizrahi, Sybilla pieces produced in larger quantities and the Lang, Blahnik, and Westwood pieces produced in limited issues. The Westwood "Faux cul" (fake ass in English) bag was made in a quantity of 100 (Westwood herself confirmed it in a 1996 interview). 

Pechuga is the mannequin 

   To launch the release of these items Louis Vuitton had parties all over the world in all the major cities: Paris, Rome, London, Madrid, New York, and Hong Kong. There was even a themed event where two giant bananas clad in the Vivienne Westwood Louis Vuitton bum bags danced along with models dressed as Josephine Baker. 

The bags the bananas are wearing are next on my list 

   I have a list of clients that in turn have a list of items they're looking for. I go through these lists every so often to see what items I come across and for whom. Being the Westwood fanatic that I am I thought to myself, "Hmm, now wouldn't it be great if I could find this bag? Now wouldn't it be great to have an excuse to buy it?"  Hours of e-mails, some phone calls, a meltdown with my assistant, and a credit card charge later: EUREKA! The coveted bum bag was mine. All mine. Out of 100 issues I was able to get the 66th one. The 66th! Sorry. Still freaking out over it. 

Nadja Auermann (left), Vivienne Westwood, SS1996 "Les femmes"; Model wearing "Les femmes" jacket and hat with LV bum bag shot by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

   I texted the first name on my LV x VW Bum Bag list. A client that recently impressed me with her Vivienne Westwood, "Pagan V" Spring Summer 1990 cow print, chiffon ensemble (you either get it or you don't). The exchange I had with her went something like this: 

"Hey girl. I found the VW x LV bum bag."

"Yes. Need. Done." 

"Cool. Kthnx. Yay. Bye."

   If you guys read the Dazed article on Pechuga last month you may have realized I talk like a surfer guy on the phone...well I text like a valley girl. There's no in between and I don't know how to quite feel about that (I blame growing up in Los Angeles). 

  Now on with the bag! It arrived yesterday. And I can not even begin to describe the NERVES. Was it going to be in the condition I was told it was going to be in? Was I going to have to make angry phone calls? Was my hunt going to be worth it?  Was I going to cry?

   Well the hunt was worth it. I tried on the bag. Beautiful. I put it on my mannequin. Stunning. I hopped in a car with my precious cargo and off into the sunset I rode to deliver it to its final destination. 

Vivienne Westwood wearing the LV bum bag and boots, shot by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

   If you have any special requests please be sure to write them in the comment section below, DM me on Instagram (@pechuga_vintage), or shoot me an e-mail: I will try to respond within 24 hours. 

Thank you for reading and until next time! 

Johnny Valencia


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