After the valuable teaching imparted by Alejandro Resta and Núria Sarda, this month one of the big needles has come by the Gratacós space : Francis Montesinos. The popular Valencian designer took over the show in the third presentation organized by the initiative Designers Fashion Experiences for the second year running during the autumn months . With a casual language, some humour and a rich portfolio of anecdotes that review his extensive career in the sector, Montesinos knew how to win the love of the public (students and lovers of fashion in general) who did not hesitate to write down the advice and learn from the ins and outs of his professional career.
We review some of the questions from the interview as well as their answers. For even more detail you can read the information on the website Designers Fashion Experiences.
How does Francis Montesinos understand fashion?
Fashion is my way of life. I started when I was very young, when I was about 14 years old, I began to know it existed and I was already browsing to find out more about it. At 15, I started creating clothes. At that time I had a girlfriend and I made her clothes: I went to the fabric stores, I looked at the magazines … I discovered how things were done like a collar or sleeves. Without realizing it, I learned the first part of fashion, a part that is not real but wonderful.
Remind us of those beginnings after that first phase and, how was the sector in the 70s?
At that time there was nothing in Valencia and in 1974 I came to Barcelona. I have to add that everything I had learned did not help me at all. I remember that I started in the industrial area of Barcelona and that’s where I set up my first workshop. I was very lucky because I lived a moment of change, of transition between haute couture and prêt porter -A- and I could count on the expertise of the pattern makers . In 1984, I went to Madrid, where the Madrid movement started, but in fact it was also made up of designers from all over Spain. Also to mention that I lived the hippie movement in Spain that also influenced my collections. That’s why I tell you that I’ve had the good fortune to experience two great changes in fashion and learn from them.
“The Madrid movement and hippie movement have influenced my designs”
What is the value and importance of the fabrics?
At that time I liked fabrics a lot, like I do today. I remember going to markets to touch the fabrics, to feel their shape and to imagine what I would do with them. It was as if the fabric was telling me what to do with it, not the other way around. That is why I always say the same thing: it is very important to touch a fabric, appreciate it and know what you will do with it. Personally, I like natural and organic fabrics like cottons, silks, wool … I think they are more authentic.
What values would you like to transmit to the new generations?
Perseverance. I think you do not have to get tired of yourself, you have to learn to turn things around, to do new things without losing the signs of identity that is the most important thing in your career. In my case, prints with unique colors identify my work. In this profession you also have to be fast and patient at the same time and it is very difficult to achieve both simultaneously.
Francis Montesinos will have experienced some failure …
Yes. In the whole of my career I only decided to close once because of a mistake in the past in the registration of the brand that got me into debt financially and damaged my creativity, but then fortunately I saw that it was nonsense and I decided to fight. I promised myself that I would get back up, and I did.
“It is very important to touch a fabric, appreciate it and know what you will do with it”
What are the keys to success in each parade? It is the work of a team that is exposed in just a few minutes…
I am one of the few who do everything. I want to say that I do not let anyone put the music on, the lights, the outfits … Now I do not get as nervous as before because I have a team of young people who know how to do everything.
What is the importance of interpreting a design? The work of the designers and seamstresses …
I remember Mrs. Concha, who was the head of the workshop, she had the upmost patience to make me see how important her profession was because I gave more importance to design than to the production. From this I learned a valuable lesson: the day you find a pattern maker, treat her with love because they are worth gold.
How do you deal with the ego?
I have never thought about being famous. Never in my life. I have always thought that I like this profession and that I want to learn from it every day. I enjoy my profession and thats it.
What is your best design?
The best design I’ve done is the one I have not done yet because once I’ve made a design I do not like it anymore. I mean, once I created it, it has lost the mystery. I’m passionate about doing something new.
“I have never thought about being famous”
Who would you like to dress up?
I ‘ve already said it on previous occasions that I like to undress more than dress -he laughs-. I believe that there must be a communion between the brand and the client . If you do not like it, you will not wear the dress, that is obvious.
And finally, tell us about the business. How to survive?
The textile business has always been very problematic and the “rag” is what gives you the least money. There are other aspects that are more profitable, such as designing a pair of glasses, a mobile phone … You have to try to work your way up bit by bit.
The agenda of fashion events linked to culture or heritage takes off in autumn. Now in November we recommend to you two plans where you will find the best design locally at more affordable prices. Don’ t miss them!
REC.0, new edition of the festival of pop up larger stores in Europe
All the arrangements are now ready for the district of Igualada Rec hosting a new edition the REC.0, retail experiment that has revolutionized this so emblematic city suburb through the radical sale of clothing and accessories from fashion brands and emerging designers at a local level within the old tanning factories. Not surprisingly, it has become the biggest festival of pop up stores in Europe with up to 100 brands installed in 50 temporary comercial áreas for only four days: from 8 to 11 November.
In this edition new brands are included that increase what this commercial and cultural event has to offer, such as Reebok, Quiksilver, DC, Boboli, Little Creative Factory, Sessùn or Furest. Also they confirm the presence of other small firms with local production as Bless the Mess, Nou Moscada,Maria Roch, Woody’s Barcelona or Colmillo de Morsa.
Indeed, one of the singularities that makes the REC.0 event unique is the convergence of large international firms with consolidated designers and local design. So in the same street of this industrial neighborhood the visitor can find the factories of the companies Levis, Adidas and Mango firms, with pop up stores from Catalan designers like Txell Miras, Miriam Ponsa or Josep Abril, companies with international presence here such as Antonio Miró, Punto Blanco or Castañer and small local firms that have an interesting story to tell. In this regard, the REC.0 is establishing six specific áreas for firms like Costalamel, Carlota Oms, SSIC and Paul, Pau Esteve, IKA Editions, Les Chausseurs, Dorotea, Loa, Rita Row or Kinetik Supply among others,who will provide what is a unique and differentiated offer.
We highlight the 080 Barcelona Fashion Award and REC.0 which the Catalan catwalk and the organization are encouraging to promote the presence of designers and emerging brands. This time the winning company Killing Weekend will provide the siting of a pop up store in the designers’ area during the four days of REC.0.
Finally it should be noted that apart from the fashion offer that continues to be the main axis of the REC.0, this temporary event is complemented by an extensive free cultural programme and offers a wide range of food for all audiences (and tastes).
Palo Alto Market brings together more than 100 emerging creative designers
The most emblematic market in the Poble Nou district of Barcelona is preparing a special edition focused on local design. On this occasion, Palo Alto Market will get together on 18 and 19 November some of the brands and designers with more than 100 emerging and independent creative talents, with which they share the same essence : crazy production, high quality fabrics, artisan spirit, traditional manufacturing techniques, sustainable processes and limited editions. The edition ‘High Design, Nice Price ‘opts for the philosophy # shopsmall, rediscovering and promoting local talent through an ethical, aesthetic and current consumption with exclusive designs from small producers, all designed and made in Barcelona.
Among participating fashion firms are companies such as Camper, Med Winds, Ika Editions, Miriam Ponsa, Josep Abril, Txell Miras or for contemporary jewelry Berta Sumpsi.
In addition, market– goers will also enjoy concerts by Paula Grande, the New Yorker Jonah Smith, the electronic pop duo North State or songs penned by Genís Pena.
Often, it may seem that prints that belong to a particular season do not mix well with others. Maybe because “it’s not the right time” or because they are out of tune. This is not true. This is the case with the floral print, one of the most popular and ubiquitous in the history of fashion.
On this occasion we focus on floral jacquards. These richly ornamental fabrics made in specialized looms that exhibit suggestive patterns and prints and are usually rich in colours, outlines and textures. Jacquards are usually reflected in tapestries, brocades, damasks, false plains and they are commonly seen in the textile world with multiple applications in fashion and interior design providing that vintage touch that makes them distinguished.
This season, several designers use upholstery fabrics to decorate autumn styles. Josep Font in DelPozo decorates coats and dresses with floral jacquards with soft reliefs and metallic threads. The firm Etro, whose prints are easily recognizable, present vibrant prints where flowers with other motifs in very bold colors prevail. Erdem garments also surprise, with romantic floral motifs with a very British touch. In fact, this firm has collaborated with the Swedish giant low cost, H & M to launch a capsule collection that is already the rage in stores. Finally, the most rococo version of this pattern has been seen on the catwalk for Dolce & Gabbana in golden tones that give a more flamboyant look.
These are some examples seen on the catwalk. We invite you to come to the Gratacós store to see all the floral Jacquards we have at your disposal.
In yet another edition the old Damm factory in Barcelona brought together the sensitive project The Color Community to publicize new trends in materials, textures and colours for the Spring / Summer season 2019. The initiative was organized by three multidisciplinary professionals, Eva Muñoz, designer and specialist in Colour & Trim, Pere Ortega, architect in Saeta Estudi and Rosa Pujol stylist in fabrics and colours at Gratacós, to inspire creative professionals from various fields such as art, fashion, design or architecture. “We do not want to instruct, but to suggest through a palette rich in colours and textures which is very upbeat and energetic , ” explained Rosa Pujol at the beginning of the presentation.
Rosa Pujol: “We do not want to instruct, but to suggest”
In fact, apart from the presentation of the four trends via a video with inspirational images ( parades, campaigns, front pages and still-lifes), other senses also played a role, such as that of hearing, with mood music and that of taste with the tasting of different ice creams, one for each trend. “We want to create a sensory path where all inputs generate different connections and help create a global vision”, declares Rosa Pujol.
This edition of The Color Community focuses on the concept of ‘Synchro’: the constant connection between people and disciplines and how they interrelate with each other . The proposal is articulated through four colour ranges and textures.
It makes reference to multicultural connections with colours and materials that refer to the exoticism of other distant cultures. It aims for a reinterpretation of the ethnic style. There are tribal motifs,tones that mimic spices, cultural graphism, irregular geometry, elements of pop culture and a range of vivid and intense colours with shades like fuchsia, purple, blue or leaf-green.
An emotional trend that connects technology and virtual reality with a touch of nostalgia for the past. Innovation inspired by retro. In this trend synthetic materials abound, with industrial references, iridescent fabrics or luminous fibres. The chromatic palette focuses on technical green, pale blue and greys that act as a bridge between palettes.
A calm, quiet and evocative style that aims to promote a pause for reflection and exalt silence. Soft textures without too many reliefs, watercolours, fine lines, multilayers and soft shades like pale pink, sky blue or white with beige tints add colour to this contemplative trend.
It refers to eccentricity, delirium and surrealism. It connects these fantastic worlds with a naïve aesthetic through vivid and bold colours. It is a free and spontaneous style influenced by the plastic arts where there are abundant shades of fuchsia, yellow, turquoise or bright orange.
Finally, this edition of The Color Community was dedicated to Juan Gratacós Ortiz, president of Gratacós in a tribute after his recent death. “My father has always been a lover of colour and textures and in some way he is still present among us , “explained his son Juan Gratacós, full of emotion.