The week of fashion shows that made up 080 Barcelona yet again asserted the creative, entrepreneurial and commercial strengths behind the city’s fashion system. Tapping into the existing heritage of the city’s textile industry, the Generalitat de Catalunya is committed and diligent in promoting the work of local companies to an international audience. Now in its 14th edition, the event boasted a breadth of collections, with new additions to the schedule. Schön! was left with a feeling of awe at the forward-thinking designers who presented their Spring/Summer 2015 collections. Held in the architectural marvel that is the Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau, an early twentieth century hospital (listed as a UNESCO world heritage site since 1998), the proceedings celebrated Catalan style and creativity.
Mango launched the event with a sobre, understatedly-cool collection, where urban silhouettes met evening-wear. From flowing woolen capes, to sharply tailored pieces, the collection was particularly sleek. And when Toni Garrn closed the show baring, some leg in a flowing leopard maxi-skirt, Mango hit the spot. The collection’s restraint and urban elegance will undoubtedly be a success.
The second day opened with the collections of Georgina Vendrell and Guillem Rodrìguez, the latter joining the schedule as a newcomer. Both collections were decidedly modern, with Vendrell focusing on strong urban shapes, showcasing sleeveless perfecto-style jackets, bomber silhouettes and a fine example of a male playsuit. Rodriguez also explored the sleeveless pieces, and featured a clash of textures and textiles, further enhanced by hand-painted brushstroke effects.
A place of honour was awarded to monochrome pieces, with a rich sunflower yellow collection seen at Menchén Tomàs. From the pared-down white maxi-dresses, to the rounded collars and silver pieces, the collection was as svelte as it was refined. The royal blue pieces were the highlight of the Justicia Ruano show, where floral motifs were set against sultry lace cut-outs.
Desigual brought the day to a close with a spectacle worthy of the heydays of Thierry Mugler or Gianni Versace, with an impromptu flamenco perfomance and mask-bearing children, as well as a top model mermaid carried in at the end of the show. The summery designs were as bright and bold as could be expected of the brand, with signature prints and motifs recurrent throughout.
Josep Abril, winner of the last edition of 080 Barcelona, showcased a textured array of pieces, contrasting linen pieces with nylon. With relaxed tailoring and a muted clash of prints, Abril presented a beautifully sophisticated collection. Miriam Ponsa, who was announced winner of this week, based her collection on the Dones Mula (‘mule-women’) of Melilla, with a focus on the load-bearing silhouette: backpacks incorporated into the structure of her coats, woven straps or elasticized pieces made of rubber metaphorised the very act of carrying, portrayed in vestimentary form. Draping was key in Txell Miras’ collection, with volumes of cloth elegantly wrapped around bodies. Jackets seemed to be constructed almost as if the textile were sculptural origami, making the collection a particularly inventive one.
The day of shows closed with the Custo Barcelona runway show, with Custo Dalmau returning to his home turf to present his S/S’15 collection. With a signature study of juxtaposed prints, Custo returned to his roots, using bright floral colours and architectural motifs that didn’t go without echoing Catalan style.
Sportswear was celebrated in all shapes and forms in the shows of Slazenger, Punto Blanco and Guillermina Baeza, with tennis seemingly being a leitmotiv throughout all three collections. From the striped wonders seen at Slazenger, to the whimsical beach gear seen at Baeza, the collections seemed to delve into the silhouettes of postwar sportswear. The decidely vintage theme was further highlighted by Punto Blanco, whose acid pop colour palette was worthy of an ‘80s disco.
From the panoply of international top models, to the festivities hosted by Mango and the incredible architectural wonders of the location, Schön! was impressed by this season of 080 Barcelona. The focus of the collections is undeniably market-based, but 080 Barcelona, yet again, proved its worth in this field Its strength lies in the continual and constant balance of commercial profitability and creative endeavour, and in doing so it furthers the image of the Catalonian capital in the global fashion industry.
For more information, visit the 080 Barcelona website.
Words / Patrick Clark