“Being here was always a pending dream,” confesses Aurelia Gil. The Canarian designer has celebrated the first 20 years of her eponymous firm by opening the agenda for this Saturday, September 17, on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid catwalk with what has been her premiere in these coordinates. Her atypical journey is repeated among other brands that have presented her collections for the upcoming spring-summer 2023 on the third day: first, create business and, later, the show on this catwalk.
With only one collection a year, she is an example of a new way of understanding fashion, with firms that advocate their own calendar or another cadence in new items – gone is every six months. All this, added to the consequences of two years of pandemic, has led to significant absences at the Madrid event. These gaps are the ones that in recent editions have been ceding space to other protagonists, firms that for decades have exhibited their novelties in other ways. In the air of the ventilated pavilion 14 of Ifema, however, the question remains – this one is not new, but now it becomes more incisive – of what is the ultimate goal of the parade and of the call itself. An issue that each of the disparate proposals faces from a personal perspective.
Aurelia Gil takes it as a gift: “I think this was the time to come here. We are more comfortable financially, because sometimes these things are almost a whim,” he explained to EL PAÍS. His trajectory emerges in the finishes of his garments. The collection, named 365, is presented as a letter of introduction to a wider audience than the one who knew it in the Canary Islands. “It is a summary of what I consider I do well. There are swimwear, party clothes and basics for women on a daily basis, ”she details. The local confection of her is supplied with the crafts of the islands: crochet fabric with a lycra yarn that he develops in his workshop, canary fretwork in the embroideries or banana fiber with which he makes some of the accessories. She defends that today the stages have been democratized: “It doesn’t matter where the creation comes from. It seems to me that my vision being in the Canary Islands brings something totally different and that is good. Before the world was flatter and now we are realizing that it can be very diverse”.
The staging of the winner of this edition, Ulises Mérida, has been diverse. The designer, who has won the prize awarded by L’Oréal Paris for the best collection, woke up at the fairgrounds with the music band from his town, Gálvez (Toledo). among the hubbub of Paquito the chocolatier and the disco classic I Will Survive They have paraded clothes that have been dyed with the colors of lavender, bluebells, orange trees, lemon trees or bougainvillea. Taking inspiration from the herbs that grew in his childhood playground. But the most notable have been the first three passes, in which she has transformed into dresses and tops Grandma’s house crochet doilies. Her partner when it came to collecting the award was the model Lorena Durán, winner in her category. The Sevillian adds this award to the milestone of being one of the first size mannequins beyond 34 that she posed for the Victoria’s Secret lingerie firm.
Roberto Diz has been in charge of closing the day, glossing an idea that has flown over the day: the dopamine fashion that seeks to manifest itself as a way of evasion. The Galician has delved into the processes of neural activity to design thinking about provoking stimuli for the mind. Thus, the neurons are transformed into patterns and the brain wakes up with the sparkle of crystals, neon colors, exorbitant volumes and great fluidity in fabrics and patterns, “because this time I wanted to relax and have a little fun, since we come from a time very tough,” he concedes. The show is his escape route: “I do a lot of sewing and dress very elegant women, but I am a fashion designer and I don’t want to end up just being the couturier of the aristocracy. I need my moment for creativity and, at least for now, this is the best place in Spain to do it”.
The perspective of fashion as fun has also been very present in the look with which Custo Dalmau has faced the meeting in Madrid, barely a week after having celebrated his 50th fashion show in New York. With his signature, Custo Barcelona, he is a regular at both locations: “The collection there was very well received and I think we surpassed it here because the casting It’s very good,” he defends. Manhattan is his window to the world and to international buyers, Madrid, a way of “supporting a project from our country, because we are from here.” The mix of colors and fabrics, metallics and pink (omnipresent in all shows, the more fuchsia the better) have marked his new bets.
Although they have arrived at this catwalk in the last two years, neither Claro Couture nor Lola Casademunt by Maite lack experience, two businesses with 40 years behind them and already in the hands of second generations. But their approaches are very different: Casademunt is focused on international expansion, with more than 200 points of sale, while Claro advocates selling through its website, even dresses with labels of more than four figures. “We have made a show to make the world fall in love,” says Maite Casademunt. Again pink, glitter and tulle skirts that are inspired by “a princess dream”. Beatriz Claro, daughter of the founder of Claro Couture and creative manager, seeks her inspiration in the sky. She pragmatically combines pinks and blues with deep black because “we do a lot of red carpet dresses and black is always necessary.” After presenting her collections at different world fairs, Fely Campo has also landed on the Madrid catwalk (her for the second edition). The Castilian woman has been creating costumes in Salamanca for 30 years, now made by women’s cooperatives, “at most 120 kilometers from our studio, which allows us to give support to the rural area and at the same time control our production much better”. Once again, different paths that converge in the Madrid fairgrounds, where creativity is shown on different scales.