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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I've long known of Spanish designers' uncanny ability to conjure a dark, rich and gothic grandeur. Surely this has everything to do with the influence of Catholicism and its preoccupation with pageantry, death and black lace. And yet every time I see a fashion show in Spain, I'm surprised all over again. This happened earlier this month on a trip to Santiago de Compostela for the avant-garde fashion festival Noovo—a kind of Iberian Hyères. Santiago is in the far northwest corner of the country, in an autonomous region called Galicia. Its 1000-year-old cathedral is not only a World Heritage Site, but the final destination of the largest pilgrimage in the Catholic church, to this day, attracting swarms of pilgrims each year, some of whom travel on foot (can you imagine?). The cathedral is truly a marvel, even by this devout atheist's standards. In its baroque shadow, Noovo presented some 30 collections by Galician fashion students (competing for the cash and glory of the Loida Prize), Spanish designers and international designers, who included Gareth Pugh, Boudicca, Romain Kremer, Petar Petrov and Threeasfour. I'll post more from Noovo, which is only in its first year, but for now, these are the first- and second-place winners of the award: Paz Villar (top row) and Manuel Bolaño....

Oh, and scroll down a bit to Nov. 13 for a video of Henrik Vibskov's recreation of his musical spring collection.

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