You know that it is spring when you begin to see colour in the form of floral prints in all their versions either in the street or on the catwalk. Embroidery, appliqués, petals in 3D … flowers decorate each of the fabrics with their natural beauty, becoming an imperishable trend that is renewed each season with surprising results.
In May, the month of flowers, we want to familiarise people with the outstanding look of this beautiful dress by Santos Costura made with one of our fabrics. It is a long dress with bold transparencies made from tulle embroidered with different flowers meticulously trimmed in pink, yellow, blue and green tones strategically placed in the dress and which together form a lush floral garden.
This feminine model by Santos López is part of the Atelier Couture 2018 collection and is conceived of as a party dress which gracefully accompanies the bridal gowns of this Catalan designer, who perfectly represents the values of exclusivity, personalized service and craftsmanship with entirely local production. This philosophy and know-how that we appreciate also proves seductive for his clients, among them renowned Spanish film actresses who have no hesitation in choosing a model by Santos Costura to step on the red carpet. For example, foremost among the most recent is the actress Nerea Barros, who wore the “spring dress in embroidered tulle” at the 2017 Malaga Festival .
This tulle embroidered with flowers and sequin motifs that so once seduced Santos López is still available in our store awaiting new forms of embellishment. Below we list some details for you, although it would be preferable for you to actually come and see it, touch and feel the fabric and appreciate it as much as we do – or indeed as Santos Costura does.
Finally, if you want to read the interview we did last year with the designer, click here.
In the world of theatre they say that it brings bad luck, but it is not the case with fashion. And less so in summer. Superstitions aside, this season is tinted in vibrant yellow in a wide range of hues and shades. Vanilla, butter, lemon, mustard, sulfur, corn, honey, banana, pineapple … be guided through the colours of these foods to know what kind of yellow to choose to fill your summer wardrobe optimistically – and if you can’t decide, then opt for all of them because this season this vibrant colour is being worn in uni-colour blocks.
Note the most daring looks by Chanel, Max Mara, Chloé, Valentino and Emilio Pucci who go for this flattering color with in pastel shades, in total brilliance, neon finishes, satin effects or even embroidered translucent with creations that serve for both day and evening.
How to combine yellow?
It is well known that yellow is not a colour easy to wear and sometimes it is to be found only in the wardrobes of the most daring. Let’s break down the frontiers ! There are many ways to combine yellow, softening its effect to make it so less strident. How ?With the full range of neutrals like beige, taupe or ivory, the metallic shades or the black and white duo being relegated to small details or specific accessories that enliven the look.
Fabrics with lemonade effect
One of our inspirations this season is the yellow such as that seen in the trend “sunflower” we showed you on the web. In it you will find all kinds of fabrics ranging from more ethereal and smooth silks and outfits to the very brightest with encrusted sequins. Between these two extremes there is a wealth of prints, such as floral Jacquards, exotic mikados with oriental touches and fabrics with metallic shades. Light up the street with this daring colour!
We invite you to discover the whole new collection on the web or in our store!
Manuel Bolaño has a new plan. It is called B and symbolizes the return of the essence of the brand. ’B’ for basic, ‘B’ for black and ‘B’ for Bolaño. A complementary collection that collects the mythical garments of the atelier with the intention of recovering the classics in patterns, fabrics and craftsman procedures, keeping that special Spanish design that makes it characteristic. Very Bolaño. We talk to the designer of this most immediate plan …
What is your plan B?
My plan B is to create a depth of wardrobe for all women with more basic garments that complement the main collection.
What do you mean by basic?
When I say basic I mean that they have to have the same quality in design and fabrics as the main collection garments. It’s a second line, but it has the same value.
“Plan B is a depth of wardrobe for all women”
Was this at the request of your clientele ? Until recently, your motto was ‘A Bolaño a year to complete your gear’ …
Yes. At times I had been told that they wanted some more classic garment, with cleaner lines, but that kept the essence of the brand. We have chosen the most sold items in the history of Manuel Bolaño and we have always reinterpreted them in black. At the moment there are 11 garments and the idea is that they are being expanded little by little with new designs.
The concept of timelessness in your brand …
Well, it’s not that they are completely timeless, but they will be garments which complement the main collection and can also be purchased on request.
Are they always going to be black garments? It shocks me because colour is part of your identity …
Always. The base will be black and maybe they will have some detail in another colour. At Christmas, for example, I had thought about putting in a touch of gold, but the main colour will always be black.
Tell me more details about the collection …
The garments are made by hand and must be fixed at the seams. The ‘Plan B’ breathes a little of the Haute Couture aesthetics of the 50s and 60s when patterns, volumes, moulage technique were the style… There are also handmade tricot garments. The fabrics we use are jacquard cotton with lamé, satin, cashmere wool … It is made to order and can be bought through the web or in the atelier. That is a guarantee that a garment will be made just for you.
“Plan B breathes a little of the aesthetics of haute couture”
And how do you operate things ?
The client sends us her measurements on the web and we work from that or else she can also come to see us physically in the new atelier. I like the customer to come to the atelier to get to know the working-area and it is a much more rewarding shopping experience.
It is a way to encourage customer loyalty …
Yes, and it’s like going back to the past. When I was little I used to go shopping with my grandmother and the shops showed her this personal and exclusive attention . I want to recover this link with the client.
By the way, you have changed the location of the studio. You are now very close to Gratacós, in the heart of Gràcia …
Yes, I am very happy with the change. In spite of the move we maintain the same philosophy, where the atelier resembles a home. I would compare the other part part of our working-area more to a laboratory where my team and I work on the design of the garments. Then the idea of the atelier is that the client feels at home and also sees how we work.
“I want the client to feel at home”
What is your link with Gratacós?
I’ve known you since I started studying and I’ve been in Barcelona for 15 years.
Do you remember how you got to know us?
Well, it was by chance, shortly after coming to Barcelona. I got lost in the city and looking for a shop I came across Gratacós’s shop window in Paseo de Gracia and thought, “Wow! What a fabric-shop !” At first I did not dare to enter out of fear or embarrassment and I think it was during the second year in the city when I was looking for specific fabrics that I was recommended the shop. It was then that I finally decided to go in and I went to look at the whole shop and fell instantly in love.
About Gratacós: “I went in the shop and fell instantly in love”
I did not know we were so impressive …
At first I had a lot of respect, in the sense that I did not know if the store was made for me, but then I met Gloria and the whole team and I totally changed my mind. Now it’s like my family, I feel at home and I like that.
Is there any Gratacós fabric in the new collection?
Yes, most of the collection of ‘Plan B’ are from Gratacós.
What challenges do you face for this year?
For now with the online store, the new studio and the collection ‘Plan B’ I have enough. Now for the moment I want to continue with these projects which certainly give me plenty to do ! He laughs…
The Gratacós questionnaire …
Your essential garment … A shirt
A fetish embroidered tulle fabric … A tulle fabric
A colour that never waivers … pink, but my favorite is the red
The designer you admire … Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and Martin Margiela.
An infallible rule of style … Wear shoes with socks
Your favorite space in Barcelona… Piazza San Felip Neri
Advice for designers who start … You have to be consistent because our work is not child’s play
Your ‘leitmotif’ … Don’t be afraid
We continue to pop up with more imaginative stores sharing good news: our store next week will host the unconventional pop up Sastreria Moderna. This is an initiative inspired by the slow fashion movement that will take place from 18 to 20 May in our store, where customers can interact directly with the designer and squeeze the most out of this relationship. The journalist Laia Beltran, organizer of the event, relies on Gratacós to carry out this ephemeral event. “Gratacós always encourages initiatives by independent designers and we love that. In addition, it is a well located working area, very attractive, with a shop-window that faces the street and an enthusiastic team. What more could you ask for?”.
“Gratacós always encourages initiatives by independent designers and we love that”
Sastreria Moderna advocates a sustainable, personalized and “low-simmering”fashion that is more rewarding, both for the maker and for the wearer. That is the value of the initiative where the clients can try out the clothing of the invited designer and order it on the spot. “Here the client does not try on a garment, pay for it and take it home inside a bag. Here she tries it on and if she likes it she orders it, with the option of making changes in colour and fabrics. That’s why we call it a non-conventional pop up, “says Laia Beltran. Thus, in a couple of weeks, the garment is made and delivered to the customer with the idea of promoting production on demand and avoiding stocks. In this third edition the possibilities of choosing fabric multiply, given that Gratacós will offer a wide range of possibilities to clients.
The designer EvaHumo as special guest
In the third edition, Sastreria Moderna EvaHumo invited the designer to present in public ‘Jazz’, her new collection. It is an elegant and sensual creation inspired by the twenties, by a woman who dances and surrenders herself without thinking that everything can end at any time. Dresses, blouses and light skirts in powdered colours and with an exciting set of textures. The designer’s more radical side will also be revealed with a selection of unique garments intentionally made for the event where intense colours, prints and handmade finishes predominate. In the presentation of the collection, clients will be able to try on the garments and order them with the fabric suggested by the designer or with any other fabric from Gratacós where we will take the opportunity to advise on the most appropriate choice.
Other Companies Confirmed
Sastreria Moderna will again have the support of several design brands that will put on sale their latest collections. These complements and accessories companies share the same spirit of the initiative in that they go for good design and local production. Thus this edition will feature the minimalist jewelry of Sew a Song and the most exuberant creations of Becker & Co, inspired by the most varied flora and fauna. The leather accessories of Encuire by the designer Eva Estévez will also be present, as will duffle bags - the classic cylindrical bags with sailcloth handles by Equipaje BCN. Finally,in footwear Dorotea’s marvellous sandals are a must. They are made by hand in Menorca with quality leather.
“Here the client tries on tests a garment and, if she likes it, she orders it, with the option of making modifications in colour and fabrics”
Apart from design, Sastrería Moderna also offers the possibility of having a good time among friends. “It’s a good excuse to meet up with old friends, with clients or meet new people. We like to chat with them, invite them to a beer and explain the work of each designer, ” Laia declares.
Sastreria Moderna has the support of Gratacós, the architectural studio and showroom Materia Terricola and Moritz beers.
We ‘re waiting for you!
The Rec industrial district is coming alive with a new edition of REC.0 Experimental Stores, the retail genuine experiment where major brands and independent designers sell their stocks at the old tanneries of this picturesque area of Igualada. As you know, Rec.0 is an unprecedented and unique special sales concentration, a festival for the senses that encompasses fashion, culture and gastronomy in an ephemeral format.
For the first time, the summer edition will be held in May, from 10 to 13 and in total 88 fashion brands will be involved, divided into 52 pop up stores that combine the industrial heritage of the city with the creativity of areas of fashion.
In this edition, Rec.015 has managed to attract new brands such as Carhartt, Sebago, Tiny Cottons or Castañer, extending an unprecedented offer. The big international brands like Levi’s, Adidas, Pepe Jeans, Mango, Camper retain their faith in the event, as do local firms like Sita Murt, Punto Blanco, Javier Simorra or Pretty Ballerinas. Sport and urban fashion are also featured in the Rec with Adidas, Fox Head, Santa Cruz, Wesc or Buff.
A design area for 080 Barcelona Fashion
Rec.0 continues to opt for independent design and aims to position itself as a great platform of sales and promotion of Catalan fashion. For the first time, the parade 080 Barcelona Fashion and REC.0 join forces to create a large area devoted to Catalan emerging fashion: the pop up store that will house 080 new designers and brands like Carlota Oms, SSIC and Paul, Les Chausseurs, Pau Esteve or Rita Row, besides the designers Dorotea, IKA Editions, Loa, Maria Roch or Kinetik Supply. As in each edition, the event features the trident of Catalan design formed by Txell Miras, Miriam Ponsa and Josep Abril, who are joined by other leading companies such as Who, Ingrid Munt, Gorni Kramer, David Valls, Poison in the Skin, Cuirum, Susi Sweet Dress or Jordi Rafart, among others. They will be joined by the winner of the Time Out fashion award, which is awarded to an original and dynamic proposal to promote young talent.
More gastronomy and culture
In culinary terms, the Rec Street Food Festival has widened its range with new pop up bars by local chefs and food trucks featuring different international cuisine. Furthermore, there will also be pop and rock concerts and book presentations for all ages with different themes such as illustration or gastronomy. For the little ones there are also some activities planned so that the whole family can enjoy an evening of shopping, leisure and entertainment.
Gratacós leaves Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week 2017 with a summary of the winning projects of the contest ‘Gratacós Barcelona Scholarship for Talent’ with design school IED Barcelona. It is a prize for of preparing a wedding gown by moulage technique that is being awarded, once again, to support young students of the Postgraduate Diploma in Design of Bridal and Ceremonial Dress. For this latest award the entries of Catalina Olmedo and Valeria Antonova are already on display in the window of Gratacós and also in the lobby of the Hotel Majestic. The winners have also received a cash prize to the value of € 500 to purchase fabrics from our store. Below we reveal more details of each showcase as well as of the designer behind it.
Argentina’s Catalina Olmedo is inspired by the French film “La Belle Personne” to recreate her dress’ Inside Me’. It is a passionate drama that serves as a starting point for a design full of ambiguities: the fragile with the strong. “I wanted to express this duality via a soft fabric that is fighting to emerge from a rigid structure,” she says. For this, the designer has used simple organza and mikado. “The organza represents delicacy with respect to the mikado, which expresses hardness”, explains Catalina.
Catalina Olmedo began her career in Buenos Aires studying garment design and after working in the Argentinian company House of Matching Colors of Paula Selby Avellaneda she moved to Barcelona to specialize in bridal fashion. Now that she has completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Brical and Ceremonial Design at the school IED Barcelona, Olmedo is continuing her training at Rosa Clará although she has her own aspirations. “My idea is to continue my training in these large bridal companies to be able to create my own workshop in Argentina where I can make my designs,” she explains. These creations make use of the technique of moulage to create unique products in accord with the style and personality of each bride. “I would like to be able to reflect an individual’s soul in each design,” adds Catalina.
She continues to enjoy her period of apprenticeship and Catalina thanks us for this award with sincere words. “I am grateful to the school and to Gratacos for giving me this opportunity. It has been a great challenge, ” she concludes.
HOTEL MAJESTIC SHOP-WINDOW
When they called her cell phone to announce the award, Valeria Antonova could hardly believe what she was hearing. “I had not done anything in moulage before, although I put all my effort, energy and time into doing this design,” she explains, visibly excited.
The Russian designer residing in Barcelona has been inspired by one of her favorite styles: Art Deco of the early 20th century. “My design is inspired by an era which was very rich on an artistic level,” she adds. Architectural patterns, ornamental details and fabrics which interplay to create strategic volumes are the main reasons behind her winning design. “I used organza to mark the body of the silhouette and satin crepe for the bottom of the dress,” she explains excitedly.
“My goal right now is to make my own bridal fashion brand,” Valeria declares . ” And she goes straight to the point. “I already have the website, the cards and I am looking for premises and making contacts with suppliers. In this respect, of course I have Gratacós, “adds the young designer. Meanwhile, Valeria Antonova continues on her learning curve in the workshop of Jordi Anguera, learning the techniques of pattern-making deepening her knowledge of moulage. ” I don’t have a lot more to learn,” she concludes.
Sorry, this entry is only available in Español.
Sorry, this entry is only available in Español.
Olga Menchén has been at the head of the company Menchén Tomàs since 1995 designing, producing and putting together her own fashion collections “which dress women 24 hours a day”.The company is facing a year full of innovations with the launch of her online shop which will allow her to reach out to the international market, also by presenting her collections on the Madrid cat-walk, a fashion-date which according to the designer constitutes “the best shop-window for promotion of Spanish design”. We talked of challenges and opportunities in a year which promises to be full of hope…
How was your experience of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid ? You had some initial nerves, but in the end everything turned out very well…
You always have nerves before a fashion-show, but in this case there was the added pressure of being a debutante on a new cat-walk. The result of the experience was revealing and I can sum it up for you with this sentence …Why didn’t you do it before ?
Why did you decide to go for the Madrid fashion-show ?
Particularly because of the repercussions which the shows have in the media. In Madrid they treated us very well. That is not to say that I’m unhappy with the way Esma Proyectos and all her team treat us in Barcelona, but I noticed a big difference in the coverage of the show in the press and the importance attached to the work of the designer.
“In Madrid there is more media coverage of the catwalk shows”
What didn’t you like about 080 Barcelona Fashion ? Why ?
The decision was an easy one and I was sad not to have done the Barcelona catwalk show, but here there is no real follow-up to the shows and the creative work of the designers is of secondary importance. Personally I don’t agree with the policy of promoting famous people who happen to be currently in favour and the celebrities who attend the shows getting an excessive coverage which eclipses everything else. It doesn’t seem logical to me that they should be more prominent than the designers themselves.
This circus that is organised around the catwalk shows results in fashion becoming perceived as something frivolous… What do you think ?
And fashion is certainly not frivolous ! Fashion is the mechanism that there is “back-stage”: people who work in it in order to get a collection onto the road, those who show passion for their job; it is that creativity and talent which is the life-blood of a company. No way is it frivolous !
“Fashion is the creativity and talent which is the life-blood of a company “
You have been in the job since 1995. What value do you give to this experience ?
I value it as providing an absolute passion towards my work, a passion for the job. If I could go back in time I have no doubt that I would wish to devote myself to it once again. I’m absolutely certain of
How has Menchén Tomàs developed ?
In these last 22 years Menchén Tomàs has experienced many changes. Those I’ve noticed most have been in connection with the way in which the industry creates short-term needs and the manner in which they affect consumers. Previously people bought a designer-suit and they gave it a value. Currently the out-and-out consumer policies of low cost have killed off this concept and it seems that clothes have stopped being valuable.
“Previously people bought a designer-suit and gave it a value”
What is the key to organising every season your own prêt-à-porter, party and bridal collections ? How do you avoid getting lost with so many different productions ?
Menchén Tomàs began by specialising in bridal-wear and gradually we broadened the concept towards dressing women from morning until night. In this way we developed collections for the everyday and also for party clothes. Every area has a different type of clientèle and we can organise and manage it without losing the essence of the company.
How many people are currently working on the company’s team and what are your roles now ?
Everyone is professional and each of them has a specific job. The pattern-makers, the sales and design teams, the external cutting-workers… and I also have a daily feedback with the sales team, with those in charge of the shops throughout Spain in order to know what sells best or worst and to know the needs of the consumers.
What obstacles do you meet in the sector that maybe you didn’t meet previously ? Every day must be a survival experience…
Yes… we have survived everything: economic cycles, sector crises, ups-and- downs… It’s not easy, nor do we have any support, we are still here.
“We don't have any support, but we are still here “
What is your link with Gratacós ?
We’ve worked in parallel since we started. We’ve always worked very closely and every season they have surprises for me.
Why do they deserve your confidence ?
They’ve never let me down.
“Gratacós has never let me down”
What fabrics do you usually ask for ?
We’ve established a kind of game. Every season they tell me they have a surprise for me and after they’ve shown me some fabrics I ask : “ Where is my surprise ?” It’s then that they show me all the samples that I adore and I tell them to keep them for me – she smiles.
What other challenges are you giving yourself for 2017 ?
At the moment we’ve just finished setting up our shop online and it is our shop for everybody. We were able to see a demand for fabrics from other countries and now we will be able to supply them. Then I’ve got two projects in mind, but I’m not going to tell you about them until they take place. I prefer to keep it a secret !
Your essential garment…Jeans and a white shirt
A fetiche fabric… Cotton
A colour you could never give up… Red
A designer you admire… Azzedine Alaïa
An infallible style rule… That you wear the clothes, the clothes don’t wear you
Your favourite place in Barcelona… El Jardín del Taxi, near cerca Riera de San Miquel
A Word of advice for designers starting out… Follow your dreams
VYour ‘leit motiv’… Walk with me
The season of celebrations is coming, a time for big events with family, friends or with your partner. The classic time for: weddings, baptisms and communions. Now is the time to look for the most sophisticated fabrics or experiment with tailored suits to obtain that result that will rise to the occasion.
In spring, the catwalks decline towards tulle, that light and fragile fabric with open structure, in form of a net, so evocative. This lightweight semitransparent fabric is present in the most sophisticated dresses, voluminous skirts, pleated garments and romantic spirit blouses wrapping the body with impact results that enhance the feminine appeal. We analyze some day and night proposals from the large design firms.
White, the palette of raw and ‘nudes’, pastels like dusty pink, baby blue, pearl grey, green ‘mint’ or violet … take centre stage with bare shoulder midi dresses and floaty skirts. Several layers of tulle create sensual transparencies where the skin can be seen without showing it, covering the strategic areas of the female silhouette. We especially like Christian Dior Couture, Del Pozo or Hermès.
Black, navy blue and metallic shades – gold, silver and copper can be seen in evening looks with tighter and more transparent full length tulle dresses. These tulle creations are often accompanied by several inlaid rhinestones and sequins to give them a shiny look or floral embroidery that cover the garments with their beautiful leaves, petals and corollas. Valentino, Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera have opted for tulle made garments that ooze sensuality, ideal for evening events.
Find some our tulle fabrics here or stop by the store and we ‘ll show you all the novelties. You will be surprised!