Give Me More Fashion

The Ceaseless Celebration Of Spanish Creativity

07/12/2019 · By Agustín Velasco
MBFWM Duarte
The proposal of Kiko Font, Duarte’s creative director, combines the cocoon silhouette with geometric and slightly oversized shapes reminiscent of Phoebe Philo’s tenure at Céline. © Estrop - IFEMA

The 70th edition of the Madrid fashion week was an exciting showcase of the most relevant proposals for the spring/summer 2020 season. A total of 42 outstanding designers and brands showed their kaleidoscopic range of trends, styles and ideas on the runways at IFEMA’s 14.1 Hall, as well as in several other locations throughout Madrid.

The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid warmed up with Samsung Ego, an offshoot devoted to emerging creators. Highlights in this edition were Domingo Rodríguez Lázaro’s brand Dominnico. At 24, the Alicante-born, Barcelona-based designer can boast about having dressed celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Rosalía or Blanca Miró, and now also about winning the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talent Award for his Harajuku Kids collection, which draws on the most avant-garde Japanese urban tribes, mixing it with a sweet, candied style. Dominnico’s proposal features a wide range of pastel colours, artificial volumes and textures such as sequins, layers and ethereal tulle.

A Sense of Renewal
This edition was marked by a tangible sense of renewal with respect for tradition, epitomised by the emotional tribute paid to the recently deceased former Cibeles director Cuca Solana in one of this year’s main events. It was also announced that Nuria de Miguel, Solana’s press director and right-hand woman, will fill her position, replacing current director Charo Izquierdo. Many are the historical designers who have given way to new generations, some of them still present as fashion brands. This is the case of Angel Schelesser, one of the most established names in Madrid’s fashion week. In February 2018, young Andalusian designer Daniel Rabaneda was appointed artistic director. Rabaneda has perfectly reinterpreted the urban and practical yet elegant style Schlesser founders shaped for the well-known house. As in all his collections, first-rate fabrics play a leading role, with linen, cotton and wool in a palette of natural colours with dashes of rust orange, granite blue and slate green, nuanced, without being muted, by a washing effect. Schelesser’s unmatched elegance is sober, simple and effective.

The Show of Couture
But if there is something indisputably idiosyncratic about the MBFWM, it’s the vocation for couture of the participating designers, who see in traditional and select tailoring a basic tool to showcase the best and most spectacular fashion. One of the most anticipated moments was the return to Madrid of Galician designer Roberto Diz fifteen years after leaving with a reputation as the enfant terrible of Spanish fashion. His collection has been widely praised by specialized critics for retaining all his irreverence, reinforced by the experience he’s gained over the past years, during which he has made a name for himself as high society couturier. In Diz’s spring/summer 2020 collection—inspired by Portugal’s culture and traditions—some of his aesthetic constants, such as ultra-sharp and angular shoulders, have given way to a much less structured, lighter tailoring. With his previous collection, Roberto Diz proved he is a couture genius; now he wants to approach a younger and casual audience by introducing urban and sporty silhouettes.

The New Establishment
The generational change at MBFWM is made evident by names such as Teresa Helbig, Moisés Nieto, Maria Escoté and Juan Vidal shedding their labels of emerging designers and achieving a consolidated status in the programme as the new reality of Spanish fashion. María Ke Fisherman, the brand created by María Lemus and Víctor Alonso, has just turned ten. During this time of excellent and silent work, they have dressed international celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Lindsay Lohan. The collection shown on 8 Monday at Puente de Toledo featured eighteen looks embodying some of the woman archetypes developed in past collections. Faithful to their style, Maria Ke Fisherman’s proposal transcends the boundaries between streetwear and sportwear and introduces nods to a multitude of urban subcultures, combining technological materials and handcrafted finishes. In the dystopias imagined by Lemus and Alonso, it’s common to find references to clubbing, electronic music, yakuza cinema, and the Japanese kawaii culture, among others obsessions.

A Men’s Space
Men’s fashion was represented by firms such as Pedro del Hierro, Carlota Barrera, Brain&Beast and Roberto Verino. One of the surprise brands in recent years is Duarte, founded in 2016 with Kiko Font as creative director. Duarte has twisted the codes of classic tailoring to create a more intelligent and contemporary proposal. On this occasion, the inspiration comes from Native Americans and their relationship to the West, seen in fluid patterns in sand, stone and grey shades coexisting with bright green, orange and yellow tones.