Johanna Ortiz chose silk as her primary material for spring, designing the flowery motifs in pinks and reds. The tropics were inspiration, which explained the fanciful golden bugs adorning her dresses.

“It’s Asia, Africa and America coming together,” she said, animated by a rush of excitement from showing her collection at the Colombian Ambassador’s residence in Paris.

She also used embroidery to embellish the formal dresses, many with tiers of ruffles.

It was cocktail hour at teatime; the macarons and truffles sat in the next room, next to a bowl of plantain chips as mint was ground for fresh mojitos. The clothes were appropriate for the stately setting, but perhaps better suited for the evening.

“I love fabrics that feel nice on your skin, I try on all the pieces,” said Ortiz, noting she has to use a stool for the long dresses because she is petite. She was wearing one of her black-and-white silk tunics over jeans, with platform heels for height.

Trenchcoats were another inspiration, evident by the flaps on the front of a polka-dot dress with a ruffled bottom.

The setting for her collection was humbling, Ortiz offered readily, looking up at the painting above her: a fat blue vase of white and yellow flowers by Fernando Botero.

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