EFEBy Fernando Gimeno Quito

From war to the catwalk. That is the jump that has been made by the military uniforms of the soldiers who 200 years ago secured Ecuador's independence and which are now providing the inspiration for a group of young Ecuadorian fashion designers for a collection reflecting freedom and emancipation.

Big buttons, high collars, golden braids and trim, among other iconic elements of military outfits at the start of the 19th century, have been reinterpreted by the design students at the Yavirac Institute in Quito's historic center, all with an eye toward creating contemporary garments with an heroic look.

That is their special tribute to the 1822 Battle of Pichincha, which was fought on the flank of the volcano giving the battle its name and the bicentennial of which will be commemorated on May 24 as one of the most important days in Ecuadorian history.