Over 40,000 visitors, including Schön!, descended on the Catalan capital to discover what 080 Barcelona Fashion does best: Spring/Summer collections. The event is the city’s fashion week, held twice a year in January and July, but the venue changes each season. This time, Montjuïc Olympic stadium (built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition and home to the 1992 Olympic Games) provided the impressive backdrop to over 35 catwalk shows.
As usual, the bigger, internationally distributed labels such as Mango, Desigual and Custo Barcelona were an important presence, demonstrating that Catalan design sells, both at home and abroad. However, there were plenty of other Spanish designers and brands to discover, from fresh, emerging talent to those already firmly established in their home country.
Celia Vela, who says she is “happy to be here year after year, presenting my proposals at home,” was awarded the Best National Collection Award, for her fluid, draped and asymmetric silhouettes in light weight fabrics for both men and women. Predominantly white garments included a belted shirt dress with one long sleeve and one short, while the safari suit was given a clean and crisp reinterpretation. The simplicity of the clothing was countered by multi-coloured floral head pieces, lace detailing and crochet ankle boots.
Meanwhile, CARLOTAOMS scooped the National Award for Emerging Design. Black – particularly black denim – dominated the collection, which featured utilitarian garments such as aprons, dungarees and giant holdalls, but there were also cropped tops and Capri pants in primary yellow with woven raffia detailing.
Other highlights included Brain & Beast’s collection, which was full of ’80s references, with models sporting New Romantic-esque ‘mime’ make-up, Ra-Ra and puffball skirts in wide stripes teamed with cropped and slogan bearing t-shirts, tie-die sweat pants and sweat shirts, printed leggings and plenty of denim.
Sport Luxe designer Krizia Robustella delighted us with her take on the ‘First Class Bitch’, with Chanel inspired jackets and miniskirts worn with fluorescent Reeboks and sweat socks, and dresses, shirts and leggings covered in illustrator Susana López’s ironic, cartoonish prints, loaded with witty references to consumer culture. The result was hip-hop meets cruise ship and we loved it.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Pablo Erroz presented austere and oversized, masculine shapes for both men and women, combining fabrics to add interest, including piqué, lamé, technical materials and nappa leather. A restrained palette of navy, sky blue and lemon yellow added to the refined feel of the collection.
In addition to the catwalk shows, after parties and shopping, the event premiered fashion film Amore Mio, produced by photographer Ruven Afanador and inspired by a shoot with Rossy de Palma. There was also the opportunity for a European audience to see IRIS, directed by the late, legendary documentary maker Albert Maysles, and to meet the subject of the film, fashion icon Iris Apfel, at a Q&A session. Apfel was not only guest of honour at 080 Barcelona Fashion, but was asked to become its international ambassador.
With advocates such as Apfel, mega-brands like Mango, and a whole host of young design talent, Catalan fashion looks set to make its mark further afield than ever before.
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Words / Huma Humayun
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