The first edition of Mediterránea Fashion Week Valencia put evening wear at the forefront
The Spanish fashion events MBFW Madrid, 080 Barcelona Fashion, Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week and Gran Canaria Swim Week by Moda Calida - dedicated to swimwear collections - have now been joined by a new event in Valencia with the aim of promoting Spanish and local talent while putting the city on the fashion industry's radar.
With an initial investment of 60,000 euros by the Diputación de Valencia, the event held its first edition at the luxurious Las Arenas hotel from October 29 to 30 and presented a dozen ready-to-wear fashion shows and collections geared towards evening wear and couture.
"We have worked hard and have put a great deal of enthusiasm into this first edition. Our aim is to continue to grow and for Valencia to become a city of reference in the sector," said Rocío Bacharach, head of communications of the event and of the Isabel Sanchis brand, one of the star players of the event's opening day. The organisers of this first edition seem to have the same desire to showcase the local industry, talent and savoir-faire.
"We would like to hold a fashion show where local, national and international designers show their collections exclusively and where students can learn from experts," said the president of the Association for Valencian Culture and Fashion (Acumova), Sergio Puig, during the press conference presenting the event.
"Our goal is to support emerging projects and to highlight the value of Valencian talent, which would be a shame to see disappear," added the president of the Valencia Provincial Council, Toni Gaspar.
"To organise a show in Valencia is like being at home," said Paula Maiques, co-designer of local firm Isabel Sanchís, which has been in business for over three decades.
She recognised that this two-day fashion event served as the perfect opportunity to "bring something new and different to the public", while remaining faithful to her brand's identity and signature style. For Isabel Sanchís, which has already established itself in regions such as the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Central America and Latin America, the event was an opportunity to underline its commitment to the Spanish market, where it has its own shop in the centre of Valencia.
"Despite the brand's long history, we were hardly known in Spain. We were given a bit more visibility after we presented a fashion show at MBFW Madrid," said the designer duo, who are confident that the new Valencian event will help them get the extra impetus they need.
Another of the participating brands to have presented in Madrid, Angel Schlesser, made its debut at the Valencian event with the presentation of its Spring/Summer 2023 collection, the first designed by its new creative director Alfonso Pérez.
"Holding a show here is an excellent opportunity to showcase the brand. It's great that in Spain there are different cities with fashion events, allowing us to reach out to a wider audience", said the Oviedo-born designer, confessing that he sees his experience at the helm of the iconic Spanish brand from the 80s as a "great responsibility."
"This job requires prudence and respect, revisiting the brand's elegant and minimalist roots, while introducing new stylistic elements to differentiate it from competitors. We are in a process of change and we will try to make the brand grow and expand worldwide," he added. Produced 100% in Spain and with five permanent employees, the brand revisited its signature codes in the form of sophisticated patterns and structured cuts.
Volumes and explosion of colours
On the first day of the event, the Sevillian designer Nicolás Montenegro unveiled a summery collection loaded with references to his hometown, characterised by his usual ornate silhouettes with bold volumes and sequinned or beaded details. For its part, the established Devota & Lomba opted for minimalist and timeless creations; while Antonio Faus was inspired by the impressionist movement, presenting his personal interpretation of Valencian tradition in a fashion show that included pieces by the Valencia-based high jewellery maker Vicente Gracia.
Art was once again the source of inspiration for Spanish fashion designer Duarte's collection that opened the second day of fashion shows. Brushstrokes resembling those of Matisse, Gauguin, Picasso or Cézanne and references to the Côte d'Azur pervaded the co-ed collection, with loose silhouettes for men and soft volumes for women. A bright colour palette of blues, oranges and yellows dyed cottons, linens, silks and recycled polyesters to create structured garments with "plays of colour in their movement."
For her part, the bold and daring María Lafuente chose to contrast reconstructed tailoring with modern silhouettes in white, black, fluorescent yellow, pink, orange and green, for a sustainable collection in which she used materials such as tencel from Textil Santanderina and even upcycled tyres.
Haute couture designer Carlos Haro presented a collection inspired by the northern lights, reflecting his more than 30 years of experience. Tailor-made garments with an elegant and ceremonial character, in which an elegant series of emerald green dresses with voluptuous skirts stood out. For his part, Francisco Sáez made his debut with his first capsule collection, in which he combined traditional craftsmanship with street style, creating evocative designs with sartorial influences for which he used "100% natural and environmentally friendly fabrics."
The event was brought to a close by designer Alejandro Resta, who led one of the shows with the largest number of attendees. Inspired by the chrysalis of butterflies as a way of portraying the birth and evolution process of the firm itself, the collection also opted for exaggerated volumes, characterised by glitter and bright colours such as red, yellow, orange and black. Details included the use of crystals, gemstones and silk.
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