March 4, 2024

What is the purpose of creating fashion in a society saturated with products and proposals? The last day of the official fashion show calendar in Madrid has offered several reflections and responses from the emerging brands, the stars of the Allianz Ego catwalk. After several decaffeinated days at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid, this Sunday, September 18, the youngest designers have used their collections as a tool to talk about the issues that concern them. From identity to sexuality passing, of course, through the idea that has flown over almost the entire day: sustainability. But today this is not a requirement to be met, rather it is part of the way in which these designers understand creation, and the world.

In the stands, much more crowded and excited than the previous three days, more sneakers than high-heeled sandals, more Telfar bags than Loewe. On the catwalk, a lot of irony, animation and various touches of badass. They can afford it. It is not so much a question of budgets (which today are very tight) but of expectations and limits that they do not impose on themselves.

One of the most recurring themes has been nostalgia. But although this can even be reactionary depending on which hands, in the hands of Evangelina Julia, creator of Evade House, it becomes a disturbing instrument for discussing the past, present and future with a critical eye. The winner of the last edition of the Allianz Ego Confidence in Fashion award traces her inspiration back to the Middle Ages: “The idea of ​​the collection was born as a counterpoint to the excess of current consumption. I wanted to show that there are some very laborious old processes that are very good, ”explains the woman from Madrid to EL PAÍS. Like the one he uses to create his own felt, inspired by the one that was already used 600 years before Christ. Julia urges to focus on the traceability of materials and she does it without subtleties, placing a lamb on the catwalk. The animal has come from a flock in Teruel, the same one that has supplied the wool for her collection.

Several models wear creations from the spring-summer 2023 collection by designer David Moss, during the Allianz Ego catwalk, this Sunday in Madrid.
Several models wear creations from the spring-summer 2023 collection by designer David Moss, during the Allianz Ego catwalk, this Sunday in Madrid.Sergio Perez (EFE)

Crack Studio has returned to childhood to review the shortcomings of that time. The result is a collection that rescues, without noticing, the aesthetics of the first decade of this century. Alberto Martín Pozo from Extremadura, who has won the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talent award with his brand Boltad, has highlighted the difficulties of dialogue between generations with hand-knitted garments, sweatshirts with graffiti and lots of inspiration gorpcore (the one that reinvents the aesthetics of the mountaineers). For his part, David Moss, with a speech that revolves around reflection on identity, has recreated the world of dreams with volumes, ruffles and patent leather finishes.

Boltad's sweatshirts, printed with graffiti by Le Polo, an artist who has collaborated with the brand since its first collection.
Boltad’s sweatshirts, printed with graffiti by Le Polo, an artist who has collaborated with the brand since its first collection.Sergio Perez (EFE)

At just 24 years old, Alexs Alonso Balcells has premiered on the catwalk, with the firm Kollapse and an outstanding proposal in execution that took advantage of some looks from her graduation collection. “Currently people are very tired of everything and what they seek is to express themselves,” he pointed out at the end of his show, which has combined the countercultures of the seventies with the most classic tailoring, “what is supposed to be correct and what is It’s fine, with elements of protest.”

A model displays a creation from Kollapse's spring-summer 2023 collection.
A model displays a creation from Kollapse’s spring-summer 2023 collection. Sergio Perez (EFE)

Arturo de la Rosa has also dived in the past, but he limited his search to the field of regional costumes in Spain. That inspiration agitates and overflows her (literally, when dyeing fabrics with natural dyes) until she becomes something new. Necessity fuels ingenuity, they say, and he starts with remnants, donated fabrics, reused fabrics, and even his grandmother’s curtains to make his entire collection. “My personality is very explicit in all the looks and I think that is what helps to make it more understandable”, he defends. He turns embroidery, fundamental in this type of clothing, into aggressive elements that finish off some of his garments. The bags resemble wineskins and the corsets are updated keeping the pattern, but dispensing with the support. “I wanted to look at corsetry, but make it viable today, without the need to have to oppress the body. So I made a game with rubber bands”, says this Kenyan-born man from Madrid.

For his part, Mush wanted to review the feeling of patriotism based on the experience of his designer, Valeria Muckenschnabl, who was born in Venezuela, and today lives in Valencia, but has lived in different parts of the world. “The feeling is born from a personal experience after having emigrated to various places, about how each culture leaves something in the personal identity”, reveals the designer. The stars of the flag of her native country appear turned into body jewelry, passport stamps are stamped “that seems to run over you” and the borders of countries become drawings that are replicated with laser cuts . Elements obtained from upcycling and reused fabrics round off the proposal that, of course, does not forget about sustainability either.

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