Imagination is the blank canvas of every designer and it is through the fabrics that the garments start to assume shape, volume and colour until they are transformed into the final works that the creator had in mind from the beginning. Throughout our history we have seen how our fabrics became transformed, as if by magic, into delicate jewels of garments eminently suited to stand out on special occasions: exuberant dresses, delicate semi-transparent blouses, full skirts… Clothes that can only make us marvel. Even then, when we find a designer capable of adding a nuance to our fabrics to transform them into more informal and casual garments, conceived for day-to-day wear, it never fails to surprise us, because above all our passion is for creativity and experimentation. This is the case with Moisés Nieto ( born in Jaén in 1984 ) and his latest collection Spring-Summer 2017 presented in the September edition of the fashion-parade Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid.
The Olympic Games continue to inspire fashion and the frenzy for sport continues to excite the interest of designers. So with his watchwords”Ready, Set, Go ! “ the designer from Jaén presented a Summer collection inspired by the uniforms of elite sports-people in an atmosphere where the sounds of the legendary “Chariots of Fire “ gave ambience to setting the scene on this sporty theme. The models bore the looks of this hyper-feminine exhibition by virtue of bodys inspired by the dress of gymnasts, belts which found their reference in the martial arts or uniforms inspired by the tennis- players of the seventies. All laid-out on a 28 metre-long athletics- track displaying the designer´s signature. What stands out is the use that Moisés Nieto makes of Gratacós fabrics to express this sporting essence, where the classical and the most innovative fabrics merge: little metallic grills which are super-imposed on one-another or circular motifs beautifully embroidered in cotton, creating a stunning optical effect.
Once again we applaud the talent of Moisés Nieto who by dint of hard work and tenacity has been able to overcome those dips in career needed to survive in the fashion industry. One of the goals achieved was to be pronounced the winner of the latest edition of the competition for young talents Who’s On Next ? organised by the magazine Vogue España. His innovative spirit, his great capacity for organisation and his tenacity in attaining objectives were decisive in his walking away with the prize in a brief professional career – started in 2011-which foresees many more triumphs. There is no doubt whatsoever that we shall soon be seeing Moisés ‘s next goal…
Its majesty, arrogance and glamour have crowned it king of the season’s fabrics and at this stage of the year nobody is disputing its supremacy. Velvet has emerged from luxury wardrobes to conquer the cat-walks and the street with a irresistible soft touch which rivals its innate attractiveness. The fabric associated with the aristocracy and the Hollywood of old has become more popular than ever and now clothes “nobles and plebeians” in equal measure. It no longer matters whether it is an Haute Couture garment or one which comes from a low-cost fashion house. This fabric no longer distinguishes between classes or prices.
This Autumn-Winter season 2016/2017 velvet is re-inventing itself yet again and is revealing its most elegant side in order to adapt to any garment and any occasion, irrespective of the special events where we are accustomed to seeing this fabric. So in sunlight its powerful satin effect is there on trousers, jackets and skirts. For daily wear there is nothing better than combining this fabric with more informal garments such as jeans and sports-shoes in order to create a magnificent textural contrast. On the catwalk too designers like Stella McCartney, Etro and Loewe incorporate it in day-to- day outfits. In the evening velvet gleams on draped tops, lapelled jackets and romantically- inspired dresses by Lanvin, Valentino or Alberta Ferreti. Velvet is indeed turning into the accompanying fabric for Victorian-inspired looks that we have so often seen accompanied by subtle brocades and metallic details in the parades of Ralph Lauren or Roberto Cavalli. The palette of colours is also widened beyond classic black to extend to more vibrant shades of blue, bottle-green, burgundy and gold. The frenzy for velvet extends beyond seasonal garments and is also conquering the world of complements and footwear, creating exclusive models enveloped in its sensuous feel.
Velvet is also one of the fabrics preferred by Gratacós and in our new collection you will find a multitude of fabric options which enable you to put together your garment of the season. Remember that the seductive power of this fabric is unlimited.
The classics never die: with the passage of time they remain unchangeable, preserving their purity and their visual strength in spite of all constant renewal. This is the case of the binomial black and white, the most versatile and chic combination of all.
Although they always work well on their own, their union truly adds a plus in terms of style. This season sees the infallible duo being worn from head to toes, in clothes, complements and accessories. On the cat-walk this is the choice of Dior, with an (almost) total absence of colour in their most contemporary volumes of the “New Look”, pure, feminine cuts and the occasional over-positioning which breaks the minimalism of the Autumn-Winter collection 2016/2017. Stella McCartney and Chloé go for a similar choice with “looks” which are a fusion of masculine and feminine codes. The Victorian touch is added by Ralph Lauren or Lanvin, with fabrics such as lace and silk in billowing or bowed shirts, straight trousers and woven coats. The house which par excellence never abandons the elegance of black and white is Chanel, which in spite of having gone for colour in recent seasons always returns to its origins with more modern re-visiting of its classics, always with this sober and elegant style.
Apart from blocks of colour and contrasting details the choice is also for prints which combine the famous binomial, creating attractive visual play. Such is the case with striped prints, houndstooths, tartans or graphic jacquards. Our fabrics this season take their inspiration from this last line. Below you will find our moodboard, so that you can find your ideal combination. In black and white, as ever.
We believe in the new generations who face the big challenge of maintaining the future fashion industry. At the same time at Gratacós we are pleased to be able to contribute our own small grain of sand in order to promote young talents. For this reason, together with the prestigious school of design IED Barcelona we have once again promoted the competition ‘Gratacós Barcelona Scolarship for the Talent’ in order to give our support to the future creations of Postgraduate students in Design of Bridal and Ceremonial Dresses.
This third edition saw the entry of a total of 13 students and the offerings “When the Sun rises! “ by Valeria Antonova and “Inside Me”by Catalina Olmedo were the competition winning designs for their creativity, development and conceptualisation, according to the judgement of a panel of experts. Valeria and Catalina have been awarded a cash prize to the value of 500 € which they will be able to spend on materials from our boutique in order to put together the new bridal designs.
Moreover, Valeria Antonova’s moulage will be on display in the entrance foyer of the Hotel Majestic during Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week 2017 and that of Catalina Olmedo will take pride of place in our shop-window throughout this coming April.
All within the framework of the Barcelona fashion-parade.
Our most sincere congratulations to the winners!
We applaud initiatives which bring the fashion industry together in its broadest vision: large fashion-houses are coming together with independent design and young talents in one and the same space, where each one has his or her plot of terrain – and his or her public. And if it is an ephemeral format, then so much the better, because it creates a much more memorable phenomenon in time without exhausting the formula which gives it balance.
This is one of the reasons why we value the initiative Rec.0 Experimental Stores, a retail experiment dating back to 2009 which takes place in the industrial district of the Rec in Igualada. For two months in the year the old tanning factories in the area are home to distinctive pop-up stores of brands and designers in a unique concentration of special sales and concurrent too for just four days with other cultural and gastronomic activities.
The new edition, which runs from the 9th until the 12th of November, sees the participation of more than 80 brands of clothing for men, women and children distributed among four large areas within the district. There the consumer can go about discovering at his own pace what the temporary shops have to offer by following an unusual route through all the tanneries. Apart from the high quality brands such as Adidas, Levis, Mango or Lacoste which raise high expectations in the general public one can also find designers linked to 080 Barcelona Fashion such as Miriam Ponsa, JosepAbril, Txell Miras or Sita Murt. These designers share the same space with others of smaller format who likewise parade on the Catalan cat-walk, such as Carlota Oms, Rita Row, Chausseurs, SSIC and Paul or Paul Esteve. Those are some of the names to be found in this edition on the new space 080. Also present are small brands by young designers outstanding in their originality, yet without abandoning the commerciality of their designs. To name just a few examples : Colmillo de Morsa, Costalamel or Dutch Delight. Rec.0 thus aims to create a platform of brands and emerging designers which is swelled by each new edition.
In addition to their own sales from previous seasons and the opportunity offered to the public to get to know at first hand the designers who are directly involved in the buying process, the initiative also seeks to offer the visitor other gastronomic experiences -food-trucks, cooking competitions – and cultural experiences – concerts, workshops, activities for kids. All of these make of Eec.0 an authentic leisure experience to be shared with family or friends. In the last edition, held in June, more than 100,000 people passed through the district. They must have had a reason…
There are transformations that take you by surprise and in the new reconversion there appear spaces with a high cultural and artistic content which until now were unimaginable. This has been the case of the Wer-Haus project situated right in the centre of the Eixample in Barcelona-number 287 Calle Arago, between Pau Claris and Roger de Flor- where previously there was a busy parking-lot.
This loft-type concept store with reminiscences of the multi-functional spaces in New York, London, Berlin or Amsterdam is the work of three founding partners, the Frenchman Jean-Antoine Palagos and Nicola Rossi and the Catalan Marc Miró. They joined together in 2015 to give the impulse to a cultural project where male fashion, contemporary photography, the visual arts and gastronomy which is most typical to Barcelona are all fused together in the most exquisite fashion.
This design atmosphere is immediately evident upon entering. A wide corridor with high ceilings that serve as an art gallery, diaphanous spaces with elements of Nordic design such as the choice of wood and an abundant vegetation, plus details of industrial aesthetic such as iron beams, metallic lamps and a clear pre-eminence of white. All of this whilst preserving original elements such as wide doors and glass structures. The remodelling of the space is a design by the architect Richard Gran and Marta Peinado.
Wer-Haus is divided into two floors. The top floor houses a men’s fashion store with a sporty inspiration, such as Lamaire, Raf Simons, Sunspel, MISBHV and Études Studio. On the ground floor there is a multifunctional space furnished for meetings together with a small bar-restaurant run by Chema Martín Cabeza with a menu based on healthy and fresh local produce. On specific occasions, this exclusive concept store had also hosted occasional presentations and events linked to creativity and the editorial world, all in consonance with the desired target: an audience young in spirit with a love of culture and the arts.
Wer-Haus is without a doubt a space where one can relax and enjoy art, fashion and good food. All that right in the centre of Barcelona.
Teresa Helbig is having a year full of celebrations and it’s no less than she deserves. She has been in the job for 20 years, in a world she has felt part of since childhood, amongst the fashions and fabrics of the haute couture studio where her mother Teresa worked. Her main mentor and together with her the rock base of the company. After an initial period in window display where she displayed with elegance the Gratacós shop windows in the legendary shop in Paseo de Gracia, the call to creativity crept up on the designer almost imperceptibly. It was at a party and all down to a spectacular dress with hand sewn feathers that she herself created. From there the first orders came and the made to measure outfits that she herself produced with her own personal style: feminine and rebellious at once. The phenomenon spread rapidly by word of mouth into the top spheres. It was then in 1966 that Teresa Helbig opened the doors of her studio in Barcelona Eixample, where it still is today. With a mixture of happiness, vertigo, a degree of fear, but really with a huge amount of happiness.
In these two decades in the job, Teresa Helbig has continued to enjoy her many successes and to learn from her disappointments, always remaining true to her coquettish “battle” style – for her warrier princesses – and her philosophy, which combines workmanship and passion for detail, seeking perfection via accessories and fabrics of the very top quality. And here we are proud that the designer is a Gratacós regular when it comes to selecting fabrics to later convert them into stunning dresses, draper shorts or 70s style blouses. Her famous “jewel garments” inspired in the muses of the sixties and seventies such as Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin, amongst other specific cultural references. Nowadays the “Helbig Gang” –the Helbig girls – are no other than the actresses Macarena Gómez or Úrsula Corberó, fans of her designs. Together with the Barcelona firm the latter have filmed a new short fashion film –which will soon see the light of the day.
Standing out amongst all the new elements of this year, and after a stunning commemorative parade in September on the Madrid catwalk which paid tribute to dance, is the launch of her first line of perfume. These are three fragrances inspired by the designer’s universe: “Teresa”, “Bullfog” and “Tanger” created jointly with the firm Carner Barcelona. Teresa Helbig also makes use of her online shop to further promote national and international sales. The icing on the cake of the celebrations of this memorable year, was a touching party and exhibition in the Sants Hivernacle of her most iconic dresses, accompanied by 20 thoughts that sum up the essential Helbig. Elegant and seductive models with that hint of rebelliousness such as the Medusa dress or the Little Black Dress which never fails. It’s not for nothing that this woman Teresa Helbig never goes unnoticed.
*Photography: Nuria Cienfuegos
The colour of blood, passion, life and temptation is in fashion once again and adds some life to more neutral or dull shades. This season, fabrics are being tinged by the Aurora Red tone –one of the 2016 colours according to Pantone. This powerful shade is here to outdo the rest of the colours creating a genuine visual shock. A sensual, daring and warm colour that looks good on all skin types and that immediately gets pulses racing.
The catwalks have spoken and the Autumn-Winter 2016/2017 proposals reflect an array of red tones that go from crimson to scarlet. Brands such as Haider Ackermann, Akris and Derek Lam have gone for its most dazzling version. Louis Vuitton, Alberta Ferreti and DKNY reformulate garments for everyday wear using this Aurora Red tone as the main theme. Even the most eccentric Moschino designs contain this colour in its most trash models. The most sensual option of this colour can be seen in brands such as Blumarine, Gucci and Saint Laurent with textures that go from sophisticated velvet to romantic lace.
And, how to you match it up?
Vibrant and dynamic, the Aurora red stands out as it is and it is always recommendable to use it with neutral tones that do not steal its limelight. For example, greys soften the red out and add a sophisticated touch. Beige tones add a touch of warmth and elegance. Nevertheless there is always an attention grabbing combination that never goes out of fashion: the powerful pair black and white. If you do decide on this, better in small doses.
Gratacós falls for the passion of maroon and offers various fabrics ranging from floral jacquards to graphic prints. You can choose the option that most excites you!
Dry, transgressor and visceral. Since 2010, Ángel Vilda channels his irony in Brain & Beast, his alter ego in design. An original band that is full of attitude, impossible combinations and high dosis of boldness. Garments that create visual games, structured lines, loud colours and iconography that feeds from contemporary culture with high dosis of humour. If it is kitsch, all the better. This Barcelona born designer came to visit us to buy fabrics for his new collection that he will be presenting in January in the 080 Barcelona Fashion catwalk. We took the chance to pick his brains…
What have you got prepared for the new Winter 2017 collection? What fabrics have you chosen?
This time, I have chosen the newest and oldest fabrics that Gratacós has on offer. The majority of the fabrics have been selected based on colours and prints because the collection is inspired in the ‘Play Back’ concept and fashion at the end of the 70’s. I want to do a representation of what it should be, but isn’t. A sort of virtual reality.
“I have chose the newest and oldest fabrics Gratacós has on offer”
What patterns do you have in mind?
An absolute mix. From traditional Japanese patterns, patterns for traditional clothes, pyjama type garments with dressing gowns you would wear at home, sport clothes….All together and with no direction. One of the basic premises of my new collection is it will be like that just because.
It’s very Brain & Beast…
Always! This proposal is also inspired in icons of the time such as the singer Nico in ‘The Velvet Underground’, films such as `The Invisible Man`, the beginnings of David Lynch…There will be dreamlike references where you will not know if it is a dream or a nightmare. The novelty of this collection is that it will not be produced on an industrial level.
Because as from now I have decided to work only on demand and I will not sell to shops or retails points any longer.
Why this change in direction?
I want to dedicate more time to each garment so that it is unique and special. Everything will be handmade: prints, embroidery….all because I want the client to notice the handicraft work gone into their custom made garment.
“I want to dedicate more time in looking after each garment so that it is unique”
Exclusivity, customization….the marketing trends are going in this direction
But in this case I have taken this decision because I feel like doing it, I’m looking forward to it.
How do you evaluate this stage being on your own as the only designer of the brand?
Very well. Brain & Beast is selling more than ever. The brand started out as a get together with friends where we had fun designing, but with time we each have developed our own interests and now it is different.
¿How do you define yourself as a designer?
As a designer and that’s it. I don’t like it when designers consider themselves to be something important like a doctor or scientist. We make clothes and that’s it, if someone does not like it, then they don’t have to buy it. Easy as that.
“We make clothes and that’s it. If someone does not like it then they don’t have to buy it”
It is a question of not glorifying the creative work….
Exactly. I also find it funny when people call themselves creative director instead of designer. Lately there are new words for everything. It’s not even a big deal because if you analyse the scenario in Spain I don’t think there are designer brands powerful enough on an international level. We are a collage of mini brands. Brain & Beast is aware of its limitations and to be honest, I don’t care.
Are you sure?
I am pleased that Brain & Beast is a tiny part of the sector. My inspiration is to wake up in the morning and do what I like and make a living out of it. I crack up when I see brands that boast about selling in Japan when it is very easy to sell there. If you can’t sell in that country it means you are not very good. In any case, what I mean is that in the industry of fashion there is a lot of facades. I also find it funny these reports about promising young design talents. No-one will ever get anywhere.
“I am pleased that Brain & Beast is a tiny part of the sector”
A very pessimistic point of view….
Not at all. In Spain there isn’t a market for design, there are no retail points to commercialize, the multibrand shops are closing and being replaced by cheap chain stores… Either you spring into action or go to another country.
A few years ago, the guru Diane Pernet visited Barcelona and was fascinated by your designs. How did you do it?
I think the key is to be a pest- he laughs- and it is also true that I have been in the design world for a long time. Independently of whether there is talent or not, I think perseverance is the key. Another key aspect of Brain & Beast is that it is a 100% independent brand. No-one has never paid us anything, no help, no sponsors, no capitalist shareholders…When we have been successful in a collection we have bought the fabrics in Gratacós and when not, we have been to the Encants market and no quarms.
The Gratacós questionnaire…
An essential garment… Something that you can take off easily
A fetiche fabric… A multicolour brocade
A colour you could not live without… Red
A designer you admire… Brain & Beast
Your preferred space in Barcelona… My house
A word of advice for those starting out… Get a grip
Your ‘leitmotiv’…Everything is shit but once you have accepted it, that’s it.
What colours will be in Fashion in summer 2018? Who decides the trends? How will they be applied?
All these questions, aswell as many others, will be resolved in the The Color Community, a project we have supported since the beginning. This informative initiative is organized twice a year by three creative professionals that share interests and sensations towards the world of colour and design and seek to be a guide for inspiration for those engaged in this sector. The organizers are Eva Muñoz, designer and specialist in Color & Trim; Pere Ortega, architect in Saeta Estudi and Rosa Pujol, fabric and colour stylist in Gratacós. In this seventh edition, organized in the old Damm factory in Barcelona, around five hundred people attended to hear about the latest chromatic trends for 2018. The context of colour, material and its applications were some of the topics discussed at the conference.
The concept of colours for the Spring-Summer 2018 season goes by the name “Mirages”. This word describes the optical illusion created by the complete reflection of light and which connects to several current concepts that can be seen in the fashion industry.
The concept is structured around 4 colour ranges:
1. Please Touch!
It groups together a tactile and sensitive range that invites us to experiment, touch and use.
This range is about geometric simplicity. By working the bicolour and tricolor combinations in a cheerful, clean and flat proposal with reminiscences of sport.
3. Fluid Signs
A defined and clear range with influence of liquids that dilute. Included in this range is a touch of folk, denim and floral prints. Nature and food are the motor of its inspiration.
This is the range that is closest to the concept of mirages and refers to the harmony of colours to be developed in monochrome or mixed with any shade of other ranges. Metallic colours gain importance.