March 4, 2024


The hare jumped late in the afternoon of this Thursday, September 15, without much room for maneuver: the most relevant event on the first day of the 76th edition of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid was not going to take place in Hall 14 from Ifema, or so the message received via WhatsApp promised. The event to which he was invited, in fact, was not even related to the official catwalk or its programming in off, beyond taking advantage of the current call for their own informational/advertising benefit (the typical guerrilla strategy in these conflicts). Be that as it may, for fashion it was, in effect, the news of the day. Surely, also from everything we have this week. Here goes the headline: Tíscar Espadas returns to Spain.

That of the designer, illustrator and photographer from Jaén (Úbeda, 1993) is a label that has been followed by expectation since it was learned about it in 2019, when it began to walk in London with a discourse without gender barriers or seasonal conditions (only produces one collection a year), using the conceptual language of the Belgians and the poetic approach to the body of the Japanese, according to which it is the garment that defines and even transforms the anatomy. The fashion weeks of Tokyo and Milan, as well as the London one, have witnessed to date the irresistible rise of this creator, trained at the London College of Fashion and hardened together with the cult Danish Henrik Vibskov. The fact is that a few months ago, her eponymous brand enjoyed a new place under the sun in the Madrid neighborhood of Pueblo Nuevo, and it was time to let it be known: “We have started operating in Madrid this spring. It has been a year of transition, but the collection has been made practically here, in the studio, ”she told EL PAÍS. What better setting to launch it, in person in front of a hundred privileged people among friends, the press and, most importantly, buyers.

Three of the proposals by Tíscar Espadas, Thursday, September 15, was the first time that the designer showed her work in Spain in person.
Three of the proposals by Tíscar Espadas, Thursday, September 15, was the first time that the designer showed her work in Spain in person.Ph. Mel Cascabelo

He Chapter IV of the story of Tíscar Espadas picks up the narrative right where it left off a year ago to move it forward with another twist to pattern making. A complex construction that allows the pieces (most with unbuttonable, removable elements) to be dressed depending on the mood or the ambient temperature. Again, the denim is provided by the Japanese artisan spinning mill Kaihara and the waxed cotton by the British Millerain, a trusted textile company of her Gracious Majesty’s army. “The only difference is the small team that sews and embroiders the most delicate garments. Before, we worked with a couple of seamstresses in London and now we do it here, to maintain closeness and personal treatment”, explained the designer. “We like to know who puts an end to each of our pieces.”

A model during the Duarte fashion show, this Friday in Madrid.
A model during the Duarte fashion show, this Friday in Madrid.SUSANA VERA (REUTERS)

The presentation continued this Friday, in an open day at the studio located at number 19 Federico Gutiérrez street. Next week the collection will be seen in Milan, in digital short format, and the following week in Paris, dressed by models who will tour the city in singular tour, to finish in Barcelona at the end of October. Meanwhile, in the Juan Carlos I fairgrounds, the parades of a soulless second day were chained, barely energized by the debut of Álvaro Calafat from Malaga (better with knitting than with 3D printing), Duarte’s tailoring (those jacket suits and phat pants in vibrant tones) and the rock’n’roll mini skirt and ranabesco by Teresa Helbig (complicated to unravel which bands could be the headliner of that music festival that he proposes).

Four of the proposals from the spring-summer 2023 collection by designer Teresa Helbig, during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid catwalk.
Four of the proposals from the spring-summer 2023 collection by designer Teresa Helbig, during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid catwalk.JJ Guillen (EFE)

Conclusion, or moral, that there is some moral lesson in examples such as that of Espadas: there are alternatives to Ifema’s groundhog day. Do not go with a carpet on, give in to comfort or, worse, settle: yes, you can. “It involves a greater effort, at all levels, of course, but it is the only way to express yourself and vindicate what you feel”, concedes to EL PAÍS Victoria Abián, half of the creative tandem that shows its face in Otrura. For times, the firm does not parade this season under the acronym MBFWM, although that has not prevented it from finding another solution, to experiment on October 6. “In Spain we still have a long way to go and learn, but we have to do our bit, however modest it may be”, she concludes.

The one from Otrura is not the only notorious absence in this edition of the catwalk known as Cibeles before the era of sponsorship. Moisés Nieto has also postponed the presentation of his spring/summer 2023 collection to October, while Juanjo Oliva and Juan Vidal have preferred to appear in Madrid es Moda, the platform exclusively supported by the Madrid City Council that precedes the Ifema fashion shows. Knowing not to be in the MBFWM is, indeed, just as important as being aware of who you are and what you represent within its framework. Too bad, yes, for those who are only because they have gotten used to being there.

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