Byline: Barbara Barker

MADRID--While fashion powerhouses in Milan are finishing up their shows and Paris is preparing for next week, Spanish designers, virtually ignored by the international press, quietly wrapped up their own fashion week, the Paserela Cibeles (PC) on Sept. 29.
PC, host to new and established Spanish designers, was launched by the government 10 years ago to promote Spanish fashion. But no designers, except Roberto Verino and Adolfo Domiguez, have successfully marketed beyond Spain, and many blame that on the industry's lack of managerial and financial backing.
"Spain hoped it could be the third European fashion power after France and Italy, but designers are missing out because there is no infrastructure," said veteran designer Paco Casado. "No bank here will prefinance orders, for example."
"The promise of [the Eighties] collapsed. The government pushed individuals and designer labels, but ignored the manufacturing side," said a representative of several new designers. "There was a strong image, but no backing, and there still isn't."
Despite these problems, Spanish designers are keeping their heads above water, and PC was host to some ofthe best that Spain has to offer.
Trends included ticklishly short lengths, often revealing color-coordinated panties, or knee-skimming lengths for skirts and dresses.
Proportions were lean and bias-cut, or loose and slouchy. Pants were ever-present, and colors ranged from whites and pastels to coral reds.
Luxury leather goods house Loewe kicked off the week in a collection designed by Italian Cesari Fabbre. The house showed fitted silhouettes in feather-light leather and suede so versatile they looked like fabrics, which Loewe also used. Highlights included roomy duster coats over bra-tops and short girlish Empire-waist dresses.
Roberto Verino based his collection on Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. His casual approach featured mixed lengths and proportions, ethnic inspirations and embroideries with transparent and lingerie-influenced fabrics. Verino is currently scouting franchise options in Belgium and Germany. He already boasts three freestanding stores in Madrid, Santiago de Compostela (Northern Spain) and Paris; seven franchises in Spain and 28 corners in El Corte Inglés.
Also noteworthy were Palacio y Lemoniez, whose winter line was picked up by Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman, who showed short-over-long bias-cut dresses; Antonio Pernas's monastic shaping; Nacho Ruiz's impeccable tailoring, and Madrid newcomer, Manuel Fernandez, with a new take on the "cold-shoulder" dress.
Much of the week's hype centered on Francis Montesinos, the exuberant Spanish fashion star of the Eighties, who resurfaced after a three-year hiatus. On a petal-strewn runway, Montesinos, who described his collection as being "super commercial," was back to his old tricks, which included irreverent pattern mixes, riotous colors and body-hugging lace.
But his enthusiasm couldn't hide his frustration with the Spanish fashion industry. "Spanish fashion deserves a second chance," Montesinos said. "It was killed off almost before it began."

To Read the Full Article

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus