The Instituto Europeo di Design (IED) is the largest education network in the creative arena, with numerous campuses in Italy, Spain and Brazil. Each year, IED Barcelona selects a stunning location to showcase the work of its graduating fashion students, and this year was no exception. The richly rococo Sala La Paloma ballroom, which reopened in 2023 after a closure of 16 years, provided a glorious runway for the 25 collections.
Guests were even treated to a fragrance created exclusively for the occasion by Jérôme Di Marino, perfumer at leading fragrance and flavour group MANE. Inspired by La Paloma’s bohemian and non-conventional spirit, it was named Bad Reputation as an homage to the venue’s slogan: “Bad reputation since 1903”.
The event was presented in collaboration with Studio1o, a company dedicated to shaping and promoting independent fashion brands, with a focus on inclusion, diversity, sustainability, technology and innovation. These same elements were clearly central to many of the collections on the IED runway, with students exploring themes such as gender, body image, politics and family traditions, or the use of sustainable materials and the latest production methods.
The proceedings closed with the annual Fashioners of the World awards, with the winners selected by an international panel spanning several creative fields. Film director Isabel Coixet awarded Best Fashion Film to Paula Azategui for her short No Land to Call Our Own, which highlighted the risk of a dystopian future brought about by climate change. The garments depicted in the film are ‘transformable’, reflecting the human ability to adapt amidst a chaotic new reality.
Kimberley Felix Matos took the prize for Best Fashion Illustration for her project Commune, which draws parallels between the life of insects and the day-to-day workings of human society. Meanwhile, Ariadna Rohola scored Best Shooting for Lolita, a collection inspired by her grandmother, her hometown Cadaqués and the traditional sports of sailing and rugby.
Perhaps the most coveted prize was the Franca Sozzani Award for Best Collection, which went to menswear designer Claudia Sala for 090623 (named after the date on which she completed her thesis). Sala presented four looks made up of classic garments, such as trench coats, blazers, striped shirts and Argyle knits, but with a contemporary mix of materials, including beadwork, embroidery and steel, as an exploration of the passage of time.
But there were many notable collections on the catwalk, and we look forward to seeing which of their creators become the fashioners of the future.
For more information, visit IED.
words. Huma Humayun
images. IED Barcelona