Above: Pertegaz spring–summer 2021. Below: A close-up from the Hannibal Laguna spring–summer 2021 collection.
FASHION Madrid wanted audiences to cast off their pandemic-affected winters as it showed vibrant spring 2021 collections. Meg Hamilton makes her picks for the season
We’ve reached the end of the year and what a year it’s been. We’ve seen and withstood an entire cultural revolution, a digital influx and a major revamp on the fashion industry and the way fashion events and showings are held. It’s closed many doors, but opened dozens more, with digital spaces now giving us more accessibility to access high fashion showings and content. We’ve been loving it, and we’ve overjoyed that the designers we love have been able to continue showing their amazing talents and designs with us and the world.
This season, as the year is winding down and drawing its closing note, from the collections for Madrid’s spring–summer 2021 season, we got the impression of awaited rebirth. We saw this in the softness of the pinks and blues, the delicacy of embroidery, the nurturing of fine materials and attention to detailing. The designers this season played with light, with the way it interacted with their garments on the runway, how it bounced and played off the models, how it made the colours down together in perfect harmony, or made them glimmer, sheen and strike out at us. We could feel the intensity in the collections, the call of spring, the nurturing needed, the softness and fine materials to have the creative cycle reborn and pay tribute to the year passing and the new year just beginning to grow, nestled just below the surface.
With a special tribute to motherhood this spring, designer Hannibal Laguna had us gushing over his spring collection. Aptly named Moms, this collection is the first time ever Laguna has presented his atelier line with pieces inspired by the house’s own sewing collections. We were in awe of the delicacy of this collection, the care and masterful eye for detail that Laguna has for the most intricate of pieces. We saw beautiful floral arrangements adorning the models, wrapping around shoulders and bodices, working perfectly alongside the rich red and pink tones, and the cooler shades of blue and purples. We loved the way the silk moved down the catwalk, the sheen and the bespoke dangling earrings that helped to build that sense of luxury and glamour. We had this idea of strong female empowerment in our minds, the very essence of motherhood, and we think Laguna was able to portray this boldness while not compromising the softness and femininity of the collection. It was the perfect balance.
We were wide awake and on the edge of our seats with Custo Barcelona’s Wake up the World collection. This experimental collection was full of optical illusions, translucent colours in vivid stripes and slashes of yellow, red, pink and silver. There was a real sense of movement, and we loved the way the garments interacted with light, creating a sheen and a sense of transparency and animation. The pieces popped out at us, mixed with type and geometric patterning against white backgrounds. We saw long coat dresses with translucent collars, pants in polka-dot cut-out pants, street-style hoodies with sequin patterning, and glittered bee motifs. It was streetwear but with that elevated luxury feel, taking it to the next level with the neon colouring, the boldness and quality of the texturing, and we loved the way Custo pulled it all together into an explosion of light and colour, all the pieces playing on and off each other like an perfect array of sound.
Isabel Sanchis reached for the stars for this season’s collection. What we saw was a celestial garden of starlit flowers, embroidered and glittering under the lights of the catwalk, speaking to us with such sweetness, delicacy, and glamour. We adored the colours, the sensual purple tones, the touches of gold in the earrings, the luxurious reds and silvers, the classical blacks and whites, and the softness of the pinks and oranges. We saw polka-dot gowns with metallic belts that held the designer’s initials, we saw pleated skirts and long-sleeved tops adorned with the large signature flower over the models’ shoulders, and black feathers protruding from statement gloves in purple and yellow tones. Some of the pieces looked like art installations, architectural, complex, and simply breathtaking. We loved the use of dimension and space, the beautiful simplicity of the pieces that couldn’t help but keep all eyes on them as they came down the runway.
Marco Luengo was inspired by the geometric paintings of the Guatemalan painter, Alexander Zuleta, for his spring–summer 2021 collection. These Central American tones and touches were present as we walked the pieces come down the runway, found in the colours, the rich purples, blues, and pinks working together, used in geometric patterning to create a taste of high fashion and luxury styling. Gowns, skirts, and long-sleeved tops were oversized and flowing as they came down the catwalk, the tops often adorned by bowstrings and matched with oversized gold earrings. There were also strong colour-blocking garments, rich shades of blues, pinks, and greens. We also saw off-the-shoulder garments, large handbags in yellows and reds, clutched under the models’ arms or held by the straps. We loved the boldness of Luengo’s collection: it felt fresh and full of interesting colours intermingling to create dimension, not only within the silhouettes themselves but across the entire collection.
For Jorge Vázquez’s second collection as the creative director for Pertegaz, he travelled to Granada and in turn created a collection that captures and reimages the traditions, the ruffles, polka dots, lace, embroidery, fringes, Cordovan hats, and carnations that he found there. These Cordovan hats were interesting and added an extra element or dimension to the silhouettes, always used in black or white, and paired with other black, grey, white, and pink garments. As our eyes travelled down from the hats, we were in awe of the garments themselves, the wonderful and delicate embroidery, the ruffles that moved with a sense of urgency and luxurious purpose. The colours were rich and inviting, classical black and white, but then also browns, pinks, and lavender tones. There were off-the-shoulder gowns with fringe, jumpsuits in polka-dot patterning, ruffled skirts, and long-sleeved shirts with shoulder adornments. The collection was colourful, bold, and stylistically pleasing to the eye, and we thoroughly enjoyed every second.
Winner of the L’Oréal award for the best collection, Ángel Schlesser showed a stellar and beautiful collection of fluid silhouettes that focused on comfort and breathability. Schlesser always has the women on the go in mind when designing his collections, and this season’s showing was again successful in the freedom and lack of restriction when it came to the movement in the garments, the models flowing down the catwalk, bold and beautiful. Schlesser is the master of fabrics, high fashion indulgent in the way it fits the body, sophisticated but with a high level of comfort. The colour tones were spot on as well, the perfect balance between lighter shades of blues and cream whites, the classical uses of pinks and reds, yellows, and greens. Collared shirts were paired with high-waisted pants, flowing gowns and wide-brimmed hats. We also saw cape skirts, shorts and shirt dresses, timeless shapes that Schlesser executes perfectly with his high-level finishing and care for detailing.
Devota & Lomba
Devota & Lomba presented a unique collection which centred on origin, rebirth and a change in direction. Named Eden, this collection was a reboot on fashion that still captured the modern day. We saw models in face masks, reflecting the events of 2020 and how masks have become integrated into the language of fashion this year. All models were also in beige textured hats, hanging low over the eyes and shielding them away from the audience. This gave us a sense of drama, a sense of urgency that was intriguing and attention-grabbing. The garments themselves were softer, in light shades of white, blue, yellows and reds. We saw oversized shirts, striped pants and most of the models had their hair in pigtails. There was a taste of youthfulness, perhaps echoing those origin and rebirth sentiments and inspirations. Overall, the collection had a simplicity to it, but also a dynamic urgency, and the feeling that there were many layers to peel back and discover. •
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