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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Barcelona Hopping

By Cesar Padilla...

I have to admit that, with Spain recently banning skin-and-bones models, I was looking forward to some Lane Bryant big-girl action at Barcelona Fashion Week (aka 080 Barcelona Fashion). But apparently the ban has been lifted. Between the skinny models and an international selection of designers, I felt like I could have been in Paris—for better or worse. And then there's the avant-garde, Gaudi-inspired goth streak that runs through Catalonia, best exemplified by local dark star Txell Miras.

Txell Miras

Australian label materialbyproduct delivered the most classic collection of the week. Based on the House of Chanel, it started off on the drab side, but quickly gained momentum with striking lightweight black dresses with a vertical modernist print in a pale blue pattern. Unfortunately, their concept of a dressing room on the runway made for a tedious and repetitive show that left many yawning.


Another homage—this time to that master of all things tight and sexy, Azzedine Alaïa—came from Canadian label markfast, a come-hither collection of short body-hugging mini-dresses for the woman who probably doesn't keep her clothes on very long. After the show, the designer recoiled when I used the word "slutty." I explained that slutty isn't an insult, just a way of life, and one that I don't judge. I know plenty of women whose pubes might trickle out the bottom of his dresses—as in, not interested in wearing panties. Let's be real.


Representing the Spaniards, local talent Miriam Ponsa sent out modern urban survivalists. She used an interesting military palette to convey her Rei Kawakubo-inspired abstract designs, with a nod to innocence in the form of cute denim clamdiggers for a nice pastoral touch.

Miriam Ponsa

Japanese designer Seiko Taki was another star of the week. The clothes had no real hanger appeal, but once her romantic, sensual vision arrived, it took the room by surprise. Wild applause followed, along with an emotional moment from the designer.

Seiko Taki

MAREUNROL'S started off with an incredible, quick-cut short film reminiscent of Bonnie & Clyde. Then came out gangster-style trenches, patchwork dresses and insane wigs worthy of Cousin It from the Addams Family. Mojitos made it all the better.


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