BARCELONA — The talk of the ready-to-wear shows — both here and in Madrid — was the catfight raging between the two cities. The debacle began when the Spanish government announced its global plan for the fashion industry last year. The plan called for one "universal" runway show per season — not one runway show per city per season.

But which city would do the honors? Industry leaders said roughly 75 percent of the domestic apparel sector is produced here, so Barcelona is more deserving. Whatever the reason, the Catalan capital pulled out the stops recently in order to be el numero uno. For instance, the September show, which ran from the 3rd to the 9th at Montjuïc’s Palacio 1, changed its name — and concept — from Moda Barcelona to Semana Internacional de la Moda Barcelona, or Barcelona’s International Fashion Week. More than 40 designers and manufacturers participated in seven days of catwalk presentations side-by-side with a small trade fair — 152 exhibitors stretching more than 61,000 square feet. The week offered fashion-themed films and photo exhibitions and a lively cultural program. Jordi Pujol who is president of the regional government, La Generalitat, a major financial supporter of Barcelona’s fashion week, hosted a high-powered dinner in the presidential palau (palace in Catalan) to help boost Barcelona’s image as the fashion capital of Spain. (According to published reports, the Generalitat contributed three million euros to Barcelona’s fashion sector this year.)The dinner honored local designers Antonio Miro (for his 20-year career) and Josep Font (for his promising international trajectory). Pedro Almodóvar (in Armani) was rewarded for shooting his Oscar-winning film, "Todo Sobre Mi Madre," in Barcelona. The director arrived on the arm of Madrid megaretailer Elena Benarroch, owner of Madrid’s chicest multibrand store, as well as a Walter Steiger store. Madrid’s fashion week, Semana Internacional de la Moda (or SIMM) continues to go it alone, with no government help, said Pola Iglesias, director.

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