BARCELONA, September 6, 2008 /FW/ – After three days of intense fashion discoveries here at 080 Barcelona Fashion, which has put on the runway and in the spotlight many regional, national and even international fashion designers, what strikes me is the persistance in the collections of some Gothic elements.
Is it an upcoming trend for Spring and Summer 2009, or just a local obsession in the City which has a very famous “Bario Gotico” (Gothic Quarter)?
The most brilliant expresion on this note was sent on the runway by Manuel Bolaño, a fabulous new designer from Galicia, a region in Northern Spain, who chose widows for the theme of his debut collection.
Black, black and black, with here and there a touch of grey, to express the new unexpected turn in these widows’ lives, far from deprived of sensual appeal, where black can be interpreted in sheer fabrics, lace socks, or the sparkle of black crystal and crucifix-shaped pins over the heart.
Manuel Bolaño is certainly the biggest revelation at 080 Barcelona Fashion.
Gori de Palma
Of course, you can count on fashion designers to give any inspiration a very personal twist and particularly on Catalan Designer Gori de Palma who resolutely declined Gothic on a very elegant note for the collection he has shown here yesterday.
Beige or flesh tones were paired to black or shades of grey, and the Gothic touches were to be seen above all in the chain accessories, necklace, bracelets, or even cuffs attaching both hands in the back.
Not deprived of humour, one shirt displayed a famous double ”C” logo (usually by another brand) with a motto printed below “CHAINED’. Indeed, this designer’s collection was truly chained to elegance, and in a new way, with Gori’s very own vision of sensuality, not deprived of a luxurious and reasonably innovative touch.
Txell Miras presented just before on the same day what can be considered more like an Art happening than a proper runway show…
Only four models and one performer, for this designer who had announced last eason that she was concentrating for the moment on her Fall-Winter collections.
As the models and the artistically bouncing performers were undressing, they revealed a collection of black and white tee-shirts under layers of more intricately built pieces.
The tee-shirts all displayed a printed illustration of a girl with a big head and wide eyes, in a clearly modern Gothic expression. Interesting , simple and full of emotional potential, these tee-shirts could sell well, including outside of the Gothic niche market, as they could be worn also only for their artistic qualities by discerning fashionistas.
Teresa Helbig had the privilege of opening the runway show on September 3. She has entitled her collection ”Punky Dolls” and tried to mix in there various inspirations from the 1980s, combining punk and romantic.
But this designer, usually specialized in more classic cocktail and eveningwear, seems to have missed her point this season and punk was maybe seen only in the shoes or the hairstyles but certainly not in the garments and her dolls were duller than if she had taken the Barbie for a theme.
Most interesting was the exhibition organized in the City centre, at Palau Dalmases, just across the road from the Picasso Museum, around the work of the designer Miriam Ocariz.
Exploring in many ways the inspiration of a fashion designer, from illustrations, to mood boards, to prints, fabrics selection and garment architecture, the exhibition entitled “Miriam Ocariz, from the Concept to the Catwalk” is open to the public until September 21 and is really worth a visit, if you happen to be in Barcelona.
Particularly her illustrations, sometimes rendered on the original paper they were sketched on, sometimes printed on textiles of girls with big head and wide eyes could be called Gothic, but in the way that some female cartoon sketchers see it in the contemporary world.
They looked to me as a new expression of European manga for the 21st century with a specifically “girly” touch about them. Fascinating!
[JEAN PAUL CAUVIN]
Photos Courtesy of 080 Barcelona Fashion