I got into the closet of Los Gabos

Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mercedes barcha They were not assiduous to fashion, they were not followers or bearers of luxurious brands, at first glance.

I am a faithful follower of the fashion, but not the bearer of it, I am passionate about documenting trends, designers and textiles. The favorite literature for my world is that of Gabo, magical realism that has made me feel intense emotions every time I read his books and that has taught me to create scenes through the letters, every time I write.

Knowing the wardrobe of a historical person and being able to read it through something as personal as his closet is something that I was very excited about. I think my grandmother, María Meléndez, instilled in me this fascination with clothes and reading people by the way they dress.

I had a desire to enter the Los Gabos closet, beyond being able to buy something or not, I wanted to live the experience of being able to see something as intimate as the wardrobe of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1982) and his wife. I wished in a low voice in my head and I say in a low voice, because I did not want to have the disappointment of not having come; the fact of being able to leave that garage sale with a coat and be able to use it, or else with a handkerchief or a few pairs of shoes or a pen and leave them in my bookshelf with my books by Gabriel García Márquez.

Can you imagine? … With that scene in my memory I was already hallucinated. I literally felt the butterflies in my belly.

The house located in Pedregal, on Calle de Fuego, is full of purple bougainvillea on its facade, with a garden in an intense green tone, and with a tree that has embedded orchids. This tree is the one who saw the huge wall of the garden that has the sign of “Plaza de Gabriel Garcia Márquez 1927-2914, Colombian man of letters, Nobel Prize in Literature”, An emblematic wall. I was lucky to take a photo there.

In the background was the study of Gabo with his IMac G3 computer, they were my first visual picture to later meet his granddaughter Emilia garcia, who welcomed me to a small room where I was the clothes of Los Gabos.

EE Photo: Isamar Escobar

There were already few things, what I had seen in photos of people who had already come compared to what I found was already different, you could tell that it was the last day.

I went straight to the bags, everything was high priced, if I had had the money without thinking twice, I would buy it, and the sale was made for a good cause. 100% of the profits go to the FISANIN Foundation, this organization is directed by the actress Ofelia Medina, and is focused on fighting malnutrition in the states of Guerrero and Chiapas. The granddaughter of Los Gabos, Emilia, and actress Ofelia, teamed up to support this cause.

I kept going in and saw the packed stockings from the collection “Brilliant Christian Dior 1988”, In a basket, they were priceless, and I asked the man who was arranging and taking care of the pieces in a certain way. Out of curiosity.

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EE Photo: Isamar Escobar

I kept looking and became more and more intrigued by the way her closet was made up.

I grabbed a Chiapas embroidered bag in red tones with fluorescent pink tassels, and Genovevo, the man who was hanging around said to me “take it, it’s very pretty, the lady really liked to buy those kinds of bags” … and I told him Yes, did they tell you? … “No, I am your lifelong driver,” he replied.

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EE Photo: Isamar Escobar

At that moment I began to make up a million questions but Genoveno Quiróz, whom Gabo called his assistant, set the pace and I got ready to listen with all my senses, I was attentive to the smells, it was a woody aroma that was impregnated on the clothes, Everything was perfectly clean, the weather was cold, the textures of most of the clothes were silk, linen and poplin. I made that comment to Genovevo and he said “Yes, they liked to be very fresh.”

Inspecting each garment, I found that Barcha bought everything that the firm produced Marina Rinaldi. This firm is an Italian clothing brand for plus size women and it is not that Mercedes She was robust, although I can perceive that she was a very large, tall woman. Her shoes were 6 and a half and 7, and remembering with the photos that the couple have I could conclude that that way they fit in the photos so that she does not look so big next to him. Gabo, which I also consider was not so small. The sacks were size 40 on average.

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EE Photo: Isamar Escobar

The bags that were still for sale were three Louis Vuittons, one Guess and the rest, about four without recognizable brand names, but they were small handbags that were fairly used but in good condition. There were raincoats, huipiles, button-down blouses, and about 7 pairs of slippers.

I could also deduce that: Gabo liked briefcases Louis Vuitton, the bags made to measure and the moccasins already well molded to the shape of your foot. The occasional loot looked used, all perfectly cared for. He had light colored shirts, white, beige, pink, blue, one or another in black, he liked to bring handkerchiefs in his sacks.

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EE Photo: Isamar Escobar

Genovevo and I were back and forth inside this room where the clothes were put to sell. The approximately 60-year-old man told me about his work with the gentlemen of the house (Mercedes and Gabo), we were both excited, and he directed me to one of the four coat racks and opened one: “There was a down! That’s how he left them in their bags ”, he taught me that he kept that bag with everything and his traditional Sharpie that carried the Nobel Prize for literature.

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EE Photo: Isamar Escobar

I asked him about the price of the most used shoes that I saw, because Genovevo is the one who gave the price and if he did not know he would go with Emilia, the granddaughter and she would remind him of the price. But how expensive and unattainable that pair of designer shoes was Beefar, my memory blocked the amount and I do not remember it but I did not want to miss the opportunity and take a picture of it down to the sole. I was very worn out and between laughs Genovevo told me “Wow, those were one of his favorites!” and I said yes, you can see it.

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EE Photo: Isamar Escobar

Followed by the shoes —which died because they were in my bookshelf—, I went to see in detail the emerald green ball gown with black leaves that she wore Mercedes barcha when they gave him the award Nobel to Gabo.

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EE Photo: Isamar Escobar

I had an hour to do the tour, from 4 to 5 it was the appointment but it was 6 in the afternoon and I was still there, with my guide who to date proudly presents himself as his Don Gabo driver, seeing the clothes and finally I chose a signature black linen shirt dress Marina Rinaldi. He didn’t want to get out of there without something. I really liked that dress and beyond wearing it or not, I like to collect things that are iconic in my world and that sometimes are also iconic for the world in general.

Now I can boast that I have a Rinaldi that Mercedes Barcha and I used.

Genovevo, when he saw that I measured my dress by the eye of a good cubero and looking at myself in the oval brass mirror that was at the back of the room where the clothes were, he told me: The lady used that a lot when they went on vacation, it is very fresh and elegant, I think he even used it for breakfast the next day after the Nobel Prize was given to the man!

And they will say, it will be the serene, but with all the emotion and more with what Genovevo told me, I now brought him to my closet. It is a very simple but very cute shirt dress, its buttons are made of mother-of-pearl shell, it is short-sleeved.

Now the one who manages both the house and the garage sale is Mónica, the secretary of Gabo, who is still working for the family as Genovevo does.

Emilia Garcia Elizondo, her granddaughter, sitting in the garden, got up and went to say goodbye to Monica, who was in Gabo’s library, “Bye Moni, I’m going to see my mother, no one will come,” said Emilia.

Monica, sitting in front of the computer in the home library —that was where they were making the payment — fired her.

Genovevo kept giving me the tour, showing me the books that had dividers between them and that he used them for reference. Garcia Marquez. The white walls divided with shelves that formed a huge bookcase three meters high and 8 meters long, full of their books and among them photographs and now the offering of the couple who are known to love each other deeply.

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EE Photo: Isamar Escobar

There were books by: Juan Rulfo, Kundera, Nikos Kazantzakis, Freud, Jostein Gaader, Ivo Andric, Sándor Márai, to mention a few authors. The shelves were full of literature, a Don Quixote de la Mancha in different presentations, world encyclopedias and coffee table books of photographs of the history of Mexico.

On a table in his library he has a Zen garden, with 19 pebbles and on each pebble he wrote the title and year of his books. What a gem!

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EE Photo: Isamar Escobar

The workers, speaking of Mercedes barcha and of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, are filled with pride, and express the charisma that the couple had. A huge painting of Gabo with his grandchildren inside the library can be seen on an illuminated white wall.

The moment they saw me stop at the painting they confided to me: “They are their grandchildren, their adoration and look, in this chair he would sit when he needed a break to continue writing or he would sit down to talk with us.” The head of the Nobel Prize in Literature was marked on the skin of the chair, it is seen that he used it and recharged himself looking up at the ceiling.

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EE Photo: Isamar Escobar

“Are you wearing this dress?” Monica asked me and I said yes and took the opportunity to ask her about the number of people who went per day. I can’t tell you, but there were people every day, not on weekends, but a lot of things have been sold ”.

There were 400 pieces that were put up for sale, of which 20% of them still remained inside the house that the couple lived in and that was already without some of them, Mercedes died on August 20, 2020 and Gabriel Garcia Marquez died on August 14, 2014. Now it will be García Márquez House of Literature.

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EE Photo: Isamar Escobar

“What do you do and where are you from?”

I said goodbye to them and Genovevo accompanied me to the door, “So, are you a journalist?” I said, smiling under my mask, that I did and that it gave me a lot of emotion to have witnessed what he had just experienced. Genovevo recalled that García Márquez was also a journalist and he told me about the newspapers that Don Gabo received. He read them in his room, and with his gaze towards the room he began to list the diaries: “The universal, The country, The Day, The Economist… He threw them all ”. We laughed again and said goodbye.

It was since 1974 that the couple lived in this house in Pedregal, and this was where they made most of their literary titles. Between his room, his office and the library according to his trusted people were the places where the Nobel Prize winner wrote the pages of his books.

I was not the first to go but I was the last to have been inside the house of the Gabos privately, they well say that there is no journalist without luck.


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I got into the closet of Los Gabos