Even though the season has wound down, I am in the summer dance mode of Despacito, the musical phenomenon from Puerto Rico. The video, filmed in the romantically gritty La Perla neighborhood of Old San Juan, has hit the 3 billion mark (and counting) for viewings on YouTube. It is a mesmerizing dance number, sexy and full of joy. Its composer and singer, Luis Fonzi, celebrates the movement, dancing, and rhythm of Latin America that he says are “engraved on my bones.”
Despacito is all in the mix. It began as cumbia, a popular music style influenced by Afro-Caribbean courtship dancing. Then Fonzi upped the heat by inviting rapper Daddy Yankee to add some reggaeton energy. This mix of influences is what’s happening now in Latin music. And it is irresistible.
Despacito means “slowly” in Spanish. Panamanian songwriter Erika Ender keeps the lyrics tasteful, but one gets the idea of what is being suggested in the song. The song and video were released in January 2017. By July, interest in Puerto Rico tourism had risen by 45%.
So, let’s go to Puerto Rico! What to wear? Follow the lead of the former Miss Universe who stars in the video: go for elevated skivvies in the daytime and showstopping (if a bit deconstructed) glamour at night. You’ll need a swimsuit, or maybe two, that can double for the street or the dance floor. The knotted offering from Fleur of England is sleek. Their high-waisted bikini has a mid-century Caribbean vibe. Both in ink blue. Slip into Rossell England’s beachy lingerie sets and wear a spectacular Klements square scarf as a sarong. For evening, venture out in Morpho+Luna’s stunning Chloe Night Silk Gown. Spaghetti straps keep it cool, a bit of cling keeps it interesting.
Let the allure of Latin dance and romance give you a soft transit into fall.