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!
THE WINDOW DISPLAY…
Sweet verses caught in volatile clouds that complement a declaration of intentions, a fragile atmosphere of romantic airs and … metres and metres of white tulle that gently cover the floor – and the “sky” – of the inviting window for April, the month of culture and also of love. A window display which, in honour of the upcoming San Jordi celebration, is inspired by the Barcelona writer and journalist, María Leach author of the poetry book ‘Do not ever finish’ together with the distinguished traits of Paula Bonet, responsible for their artwork.
“Love, an adventure without comprehensive insurance, where, for sure, you have to risk everything , ” reads the poem in white letters on black background written in fine calligraphy. “It’s a very special verse because it was the one that accompanied our wedding invitations,” says Maria Leach as she reviews the last details of the shop window. The ultimate expression of love, according to the author, other verses that are part of her imaginary exposed on her blog and visually shared on Instagram.“I wanted to extract some of my micro poems to make a dedication to love in its most evocative vision,” explains the author.
ABOUT MARÍA LEACH …
María Leach is completely devoted to writing. In fact, her job is dedicated to the world of words and she helps companies find the speech to represent themselves or create the ideal storytelling to have a genuine story to tell. “Everything is yet to be written” she says bluntly. Thanks to the art of letters, Maria has also been able to overcome a huge obstacle in her personal life: the premature death of her husband and the father of her only son. As a result of this misfortune, the Barcelona author began to describe her situation with personal poems that transmitted the feelings that surrounded her head and could not express: pain, loss, loneliness, helplessness … as a literary therapy. She then channeled all this in his first book “Do not ever end” published by Editorial Espasa. “It has been a hard process, but it has taught me to face the things that we do not like but that are also part of life and in the end a promising project has come out of,” she says. An artistic experiment that the journalist proposed to Paula Bonet after working together on several occasions: one writing and the other illustrating. “Paula has interpreted my feelings very well and has shaped them perfectly,” adds the author.
Beyond the bittersweet situations she describes in short verses – with certain doses of irony and a pinch of resignation – Maria conceives this poem as a kind of self-help manual for those who go through a similar situation: “It is positive because there are people who can feel identified with the process of mourning through the various phases that appear such as rage, guilt or acceptance, “she adds. After all, it is a guide for understanding and empathy from personal experience. A collection of poems that value the very meaning of life.
The fashion industry is paying homage to the most sensual and delicate colour within the chromatic palette. It is a declaration of love for the pink which is predominating this season in two distinct shades: from the most powdered versions to the most vibrant shades with a clear pre-dominance of fuchsia. There are no halves on the cat-walk.
The range of nudes and pales give a glimpse of the most romantic side of this colour, presented with subtlety, soft and brilliant at the same time. The luxury fashion-houses have gone for these shades in striking dresses inspired by ballet, draped tops, palazzo trousers or even tweed outfits such as that by Chanel in a further re-invention of its classics.
Existing in parallel to the gentlest of shades are the most strident ones such as fuchsia, which is becoming the winning colour among monochromatic looks. In evening-gowns, in Spring coats, in jump-suits with sequins, on top of see-through or lace, in all manner of prints… designers such as Valentino, John Galliano, Chloé, Oscar de la Renta, Hermès… have fallen in love with this enchanting shade which brings a jovial and feminine touch to different styles.
How do you combine pink ?
Apart from the infinite combinations between differing shades pink can be conjoined with the vitamin shades ( yellows and oranges) to create classy outfits with pop nuances. One colour which is definitely impossible is red. The cat-walks bear out the truth of the popular saying “pink and red, not in the same bed “ with attractive blocks which also prove seductive for the queens of street style. Finally there are combinations which never fail such as the alliance of pink with neutral colours or with black or purple for the evening looks.
Get your inspiration here with our pink fabrics !
Barcelona is once again preparing to welcome a new edition of Moritz Feed Dog, the festival of documentaries linked to fashion which offers programming where the cinematic quality and the up-to-date content accompany a discourse which is aesthetically superb. This initiative which began 3 years ago as the creation of In-Edit Productions and Moritz Beers will take place from 30th March to 2nd April in the lounges of the cinema Aribau Club.
Here we reveal some of the titles for the new edition.
Franca: Chaos & Creation
The documentary which kicks off the festival is about Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italy, who for three decades was responsible for its content. Famous for its front covers, the documentary revisits her most committed creations, some rebellious, some controversial, as well as giving an intimate glimpse into her creative processes. The documentary, directed by her son Francesco Carrozinni, pays homage to the rebel spirit of one of the most influential voices in Italian fashion who died a few months ago.
An intimate portrait of Dries Van Noten, one of the fashion designers who least follows the rules of the system. This Belgian “enfant terrible” permits a camera to accompany him and report on the creative process as well as on the cat-walk presentation of his parade number 100 for Paris Fashion Week.
The First Monday In May
On the first Monday in May Anna Wintour organises the Met ceremony, the mother of all parties. This film by the American Andrew Rossi focuses on the huge event with which the Metropolitan in New York opens its fashion-dedicated exhibition every year. It is a fabulous exercise in branding, promotion and the love of art in a get-together which is unmissable for celebrities, designers and muses and which puts the Oscar ceremony in the shade.
To Be A Miss
A documentary which shows the crudeness of beauty contests in Venezuela and a way of life which marks out the women of this country from birth. It is a brilliant and unprejudiced analysis of the cult of the Misses. After the film there will be a reflective discussion forum entitled “ Beauty Queens or Political Bodies ? ” led by Patricia Soley-Beltran, Doctor in Gender Sociology at the University of Edinburgh.
Out of Fashion
A documentary which reveals the least transparent face of fashion and which seeks to stir consciences. The film follows the journey made by its director, Reet Aves, throughout the entire process of producing a garment of clothing: from the cotton plantations in South America, passing through Bangladesh and Tallinn until it reaches the most exclusive fashion-parades in Europe.
The 501® Jean: Stories of an Original
This year the festival is devoting a section to the company Levi’s, presenting celebrated garments from fashion history and culture. Here the viewer will be made aware of the social, cultural and historical impact of the brand’s most iconic garment: the 501.
Apart from the documentaries described Moritz Feed Dog will also exhibit other works such as Peter Lindburgh: the eye; The incomparable Rose Hartman or Bangaologia: the science of style.
Consult all the programming here
Local design with its own production and workmanship is once again taking hold in the popular district of Gràcia in Barcelona. The new tenants are two companies very closely associated with Barcelona: Carlotaoms – twice a winner of the National Prize for Emerging Design in the 080 Barcelona Fashion competition .- and the footwear of Les Chausseurs by Lambert Perera, which is joining the designers Elisabet Carlota and Elisenda Oms to share in the same shop-space a professional project which is similar in essence and in its affinities.
Situated in no.11 Calle Planeta the new premises seek to reinforce the claims of Catalan design. “ We really wanted to have a sales-point and this will help us to get to know the tastes and needs of consumers directly by creating an enriching shopping experience”, says the designer Elisabet Carlota. This studio-shop houses the collections from all of Carlotaoms’s seasons, which are characterised by being of limited series, with numbered garments. Comfortable and conceptual designs, pure lines, light-weight fabrics, urban style and discreet prints are some of the keys to the identity of the brand. Hitherto clothes by Carlotaoms has been unisex, although the intention now is to opt exclusively for female clientele: “We are taking our inspiration from the current of Womenomics which emphasises the active rôle of women in the economy as a source of wealth, efficiency and equity”, Elisenda Oms explains.
What will not change is their creative and production strategy, Km 0, in which companies and work-shops in the vicinity of Barcelona participate, thus promoting the local textile industry. Currently the company distribute in Spain and it is present in Paris, Berlin and Seoul. Among its more immediate plans are the expansion to Japan and Canada and the opening of its online shop.
The looks of Carlotaoms are complemented by mens’ and womens’ shoes by Les Chausseurs, which share the same philosophy, based on design, quality and workmanship. Finally the new shop is also conceived of as a cultural area which periodically will serve to link other creative Barcelona talents from various artistic disciplines.
How do trends arise ? What will be the trends of the next few years ? What influence do they have on the big consumer brands ? How will we be able to understand them ? If you are curious about design in all its variants (fashion, furnishings, jewelry, interiors …) and you are a professional with links to the creative sector, then don’t miss the new day-session being organised by the Barcelona Design Museum for 23rd March.
The Second Day-Session on Creativity and Trends will focus on the identification of the main up-and-coming trends influencing the present day and on the acquisition of useful tools to get to know the market. So with the title ”Inspiration, reaction and activation” work-shops, discussions and round-tables have been organised which centre on a common link: creativity.
The starting-pistol will be fired by the conference led by Vincent Grégoire, Creative Director of the agency Nelly Rodi, presenting the trendbook “Life & Style 2019/2019” and analysing the main trends of the season, a conversation which could prove to be an inspiration for many creative people.
Afterwards there will be a forum on creativity led by four key agents from the city of Barcelona who are active in different sectors, such as audiovisual ( Luis Cervero, from Estudio O ), spatial conception ( Inés Sans-Miró, from Casa Bonay), gastronomy ( Daniel Córdoba-Mendiola, fromThe Hunter ) and music (David Carabén , from Mishima) in a discussion chaired by Francesca Tur, Director of Tendencias.tv.
At this event there will also be a dialogue between Marta Martín, Director of the Masters Programme in Fashion Communication from Ramón Llull University and Daniel Pérez, Consultant in Strategic Communication for life-style brands. The topic for discussion will be “ The Revaluation of What is Human”, a theme which focuses on individuality, workmanship and emotion.
Finally the day will close with six work-shops focusing on a specific creative experience: jewelry (Teresa Estapé), artist ( Imena Pérez Grobet ), furnishing (Otter ), editorial projects (Folch Studio ), fashion ( Andrea Ayala) and ceramics ( Xavier Mañosa d’Apparatu ).
ImmaClé is the design alter ego of Imma Rodríguez Clemento, the seal of an author who has spent 25 years at the helm of the heterogeneous bridal sector. The company tells a love story via fashion expressed in delicate fabrics, a vintage feel and shades of romanticism, without becoming dull; an expression of the Mediterranean Sea for feminine, spontaneous and eclectic brides who are in tune with the dream-like universe offered by ImmaClé.
Why did you decide to focus your professional career on the wedding sector ?
When I was studying design and in the second year of career my sister was getting married. She did not want a classic wedding dress and asked me to design her according to her taste because she could not find anything she liked. The dress was a success. My friends began to ask for new designs and I was struck because I wasn’t selling dresses so much as dreams. It was at this time that I decided to focus on the bridal sector.
"I wasn't selling dresses so much as dreams"
So your passion was due to circumstances…
I suppose that I also inherited something. My mother worked in fashion and I had a lot of relatives who were active in the world of couture as they sewed dresses for people in high society.
Why did you decide to put your name to the brand ?
When I left college I started with the brand Imma Rodríguez Clemente and I already had a fixed number of customers. It was due to a comment made by one of them that she hadn’t seen the name of the brand that I decided to adjust it, but without losing the essence; from that came the name ImmaClé, because that was what I wanted to put across.
You’ve now had your own silver wedding at the head of the company. What does this mean for you ?
I have the satisfaction of working in something that I enjoy.
So it’s pretty clear that if you had your time again you would still study design …
Definitely. Over all these years the work dynamic has changed. Before I myself was responsible for the creative process and the production: I designed, cut the patterns, put together the garments… Now I have the support of a team and split the work in such a way that I can concentrate on the design, on trends and can look after distribution and attendance at trade-fairs…Little by little the brand is opening up to new markets so that every bride can have an “ImmaClé”.
How does one establish identity within the bridal sector ? What is the ImmaClé bride like ?
The bride of today wants to feel identified with the dress she is wearing and demands versatility in the design. She doesn’t like garments which are too stiff or classical, preferring natural fabrics which allow ease of movement. My style is more Boho-chic with vintage touches and I put a lot of emphasis on details on the back.
What will we see in the current bridal collection ?
Very many varied fabrics, such as tulle, crepe, embroidery, colourful flowers in different textures, chantilly, plenty of crochet, which I adore. In general I design timeless dresses defined by style rather than trends. That doesn’t mean that I’m turning my back on these. For example, in the collection “Tanger” there are sleeves with frills which are a current trend, but we adapt it to the brand identity so that they are still elegant. With regard to colour I still go for off-white and for all the nude shades.
“I design dresses defined by style rather than trends”
Has the “Boudoir” collection of intimate garments gone down well ?
I started it some years ago to do something different and to complement our bridal range by designing underwear for brides. It was a success at the time, but now I have decided to go back to concentrating only on dress design. For the moment I keep it as a complement in case a customer asks for it.
What is your link with Gratacós ?
I’ve always adored the shop, their team, their choice; in terms of quality of fabrics they are the best.
What type of fabrics do you select from the shop to make your collections ?
Many of those that I have mentioned previously, because I regularly use them in every collection.
“In terms of quality of fabrics Gratacós is the best “
What challenges are you giving yourself for this year ?
I don’t enjoy attending big trade-fairs to exhibit my company because I think I relate to people in more intimate surroundings. Now I am planning to look for new sales-points in places where I have direct contact with my customers. One action I like is that of fashion trucks, taking collections and garments in a caravan to destinations I have targeted, whether it be Milan, Madrid, Asturias, Burgos or Zaragoza… There are potential customers in many places.
Your indispensable garment… dress
A fetish fabric…crochet
The colour you wouldn’t give up… off-white or nude shades
A designer you admire…Josep Font
An infallible style rule… Your dress needs to represent you. You don’t have to feel you are in disguise
A favourite place in Barcelona… The Born district
Advice for people starting out… It’s not an easy path to tread and you have to be persistent
Your “leitmotif”…Thank you for choosing ImmaClé, bridal-wear with love