Fashion is art. And as such, it serves as an inspirational canvas to other artistic disciplines such as painting. And especially that of the maestro Joaquín Sorolla, a painter who served as a graphic chronicler of his time, portraying modernity and haute couture at the same time through his works, which were full of aesthetic content linked to fashion.
To do homage to his artistic career, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum has organized an exhibition, in collaboration with the Sorolla Museum, which analyzes specifically the influence of fashion on the work of Joaquín Sorolla and which can be seen simultaneously at both venues, from February 13 to May 27.
The exhibition, curated by Eloy Martínez de la Pera, gathers together more than seventy paintings, from national and international museums and private collections -some of them never publicly exhibited-, together with a selection of period dresses and accessories, with valuable items which were also borrowed from important institutions and private collections, many of them unpublished.
A chronicler of modernity
Sorolla was a great lover of fashion and became the perfect chronicler of changes in the trends and style of clothing that occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His works in fact bring together an evocative catalogue of dresses, jewelry and accessories, created in his relaxed and vigorous style. Accuracy in the details of the dresses, emphasis on the fabrics and a pictorial catalogue of complements present in the portraits -most of them female- painted by the artist between 1890 and 1920, which go hand in hand with the fashion items located in the different rooms of the museum. Sorolla portrays women, extolling their condition and femininity with looks that inspire confidence and positions that mark a certain empowerment. The Valencian artist conceived of women as independent beings who were not governed by conventions in a style of painting that broke frontally with the classics.
The exhibition is divided into four sections: ‘ Sorolla in private’, ‘ Portrayal of society’, ‘Elegant summer’ and ‘Modern country’, retaining in each block different elements that shape the environment of each theme. It is a unique opportunity to discover in Madrid the work of the artist and his special taste for immortalizing the fashion of the time through his paintings.
THE SHOP-WINDOW …
An opera singer in a futuristic key plays impassive, vibrant melodies to the stars facing a wall in mauve tones with the golden letters of Gratacós, which recreates that fantastic and radiant universe created by Ibone Sologaistoa. It is accompanied by a blanket of cotton clouds that surround it floating in this musical dream where aesthetics coexist with art. “Fantasy universes inspire me and I always try to convey them in everything I do”, explains the young designer from Bilbao. This “Queen of the Stars”, which stars in the February showcase, impresses by its ostentatious presence. A voluminous dress in vibrant colours occupies much of the space. Violets, reds and roses in contrasting tones and textures. A long layer of mint green gauze with the zodiacal constellations embroidered in gold envelops the cosmic diva’s attire. “I was looking for this contrast between colours, fabrics and brightness. One thing I was clear about was that I wanted to work with materials that radiate a lot of light, “explains Ibone. She adds: “I conceive of the cosmos as something bright, colourful and magical.”
“I conceive of the cosmos as something brilliant and magical”
Finally, a diadem of stars decorates the short hair of the fictitious singer, with a hairstyle that irrevocably reminds one of Ziggy Stardust, the alter ego of the multifaceted and multidisciplinary, David Bowie. “He was always an important figure for me in terms of an icon, not so much for his music that I discovered later,” says Ibone. For this we must go back to the film ‘Inside the Labyrinth’ where the British composer played Jareth, the mysterious King of the Goblins. “I am fascinated by that mystical and extravagant aesthetic that the character has, that despite his being bad, he manages to hook us with his power of persuasion,” she concludes.
ABOUT IBONE SOLOGAISTOA …
Ibone Sologaistoa is a dreamer by nature and quickly spoken. Born in Bilbao, she moved to Barcelona 7 years ago to continue experimenting in the world of illustration and then in fashion design. Another of her passions that she is now perfecting in the Guerrero School. It was precisely in the activities promoted by the centre where she came across the inspiring talks by the Designers Fashion Experiences team in which Gratacós participates. And from there, she got to know the design contest organized by their information initiative. “I had never won anything, but my philosophy is ‘make plenty of noise’ so that they get to know you,” explains the artist who conceives of fashion as an extension of her own essence: “My drawings and my designs always connect with this bizarre and ostentatious universe that I so adore. “
“My designs connect with a bizarre universe that I adore”
The design ‘Queen of the Stars’ was chosen for its originality and colour by the members of the jury formed by the designers Alejandro Resta, Celia Vela and Oscar Léon, participants in some of the presentations of Designers Fashion Experiences. After appearing at Autobeltran, Ibone Sologaistoa’s creation will be located throughout the month at Gratacós. “It is written in the stars”, says the message embroidered on the cosmic diva’s cloak. So be it!
The catwalks of Madrid and Barcelona are leaving in their wake a hundred creations from the designers of the moment. From Gratacós we have seen some of our fabrics on the catwalk in the collections of Autumn-Winter 2017/2018. We highlight the most relevant looks:
Moisés Nieto’s New York party
Moisés Nieto broke away from the oficial calender of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid to turn to the Matador Club of Madrid into the Manhatten Area Club of the late 80’s in a nightlife full of glamour that pays homage to art. Here what the designer from Ubeda presents is inspired by the clubbing culture and the excess of endless nights with velvet and sequins in midi Dresses combined with Reeboks so as to keep on dancing. A further highlight were the black patchwork garments where devore, silk and guipure are mixed to stand out brilliantly from the crowd. A final stunning look was provided by some glamorous details such as feathers and garments with fringed silks.
The eighties luxury of The 2nd Skin Co.
Juan Carlos Fernández and Antonio Burillo are inspired by the 80’s for women’s everyday wear. The 2nd Skin Co. One innovation is that knitted garments are incorporated into the most sophisticated looks via high neck jumpers with geometric print and embossed shoulders that are combined with dresses and tops with embroidered sequins and velvet, which in this case understates any excessive glare. Standing out from the old collection is also a blazer-dress of black tweed, which is sleeveless and versioned with strapless neckline. This creation coexists with mini-dresses with asymmetrical neckline and large flowers on one shoulder, mini-skirts and shirt-dresses.
Hunting for Palomo Spain
Palomo Spain was tasked with closing the 67th edition of the Madrid catwalk with a collection exhibited a few weeks ago in Paris. His creation “The Hunting” was performed in the salons of the Teatro Real with male models representing the characteristic ambiguity of Alejandro Palomo’s designs. It was a Fashion show of Baroque aesthetics offering a melodramatic route through the history of the monarchy: iridescent frock coats, chain-mail tunics and medieval reminiscences, tweed jackets and richly ornamented fabrics in what was a majestically exquisite presentation.
The emotional collection by Escorpion
Escorpion presented at 080 Barcelona Fashion one of the few see now, buy now schemes (on-the-spot purchasing) in this edition. Thus the “Feel” collection corresponding to the next spring-sumnmer season by Sybille Horaist is inspired by the impulse to feel, to experiment and to touch. Their experimental presentation is divided into three lines: the first one of harder aesthetics with green camouflage, beige and black tones. The second plays geometric contrasts with zigzags, stripes and borders in various colours. Finally, in the latest looks, the flowers take over the garments with printed sweaters and flowing skirts with ruffles.
The glamorous safari of Mietis
Maria Fontanellas offers plenty of surprises with her collection “Safari in Wonderland”, a winter presentation which we already covered in our interview with her in January (catch it again here). She takes us on a trip to an imaginary jungle full of wonders, where the woman Mietis reflects through clothing her most eccentric and independent side. The presentation of adventurous and sophisicated aesthetics at the same time combines exterior pieces like jackets and long coats of military inspiration with glitter and metallic looks that accentuate the more glam-rock spirit of the collection. Also present are volumes, rounded shapes and the application of feathers that add a point of theatricality.
Palomo Spain has hit the heights and is heading for success. In two years the company of the Cordoba Designer Alejandro Gómez Palomo (Posadas, 1992) has passed from anonymity to be on everyone’s lipse. And the critics predict him a good future in the fickle fashion industry. He is not lacking in merit. The key to his success has been to revolutionize the masculine wardrobe with clothes that boast transgression, creativity and colour without limits: provocation as a flag. Palomo Spain dresses men in traditionally feminine articles of clothing creating a peculiar eighties universe with an Almodovan aesthetic. His creations are fresh and innovative, with garments that are equipped with all luxury of details and silhouettes that blur gender barriers.
The firm not only designs for men in its more feminine offerings. Palomo Spain takes a step further. Artists such as Miley Cyrus and Rossy de Palma have exhibited his creations on the red carpet. In fact, the fame of this designer grew exponentially when Beyonce chose a gown by the Spanish company for the public presentation of her twins last July. In November Rita Ora appeared in a bathrobe by Palomo Spain at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
After having gone through several fashion weeks, such as that of New York, Alejandro Palomo’s company was chosen to open Paris Male Fashion Week, one of the most important events in the sector, held in mid-January in the French capital.
The collection which he presented for next autumn-winter 2018 / 2019, is entitled ‘The Hunting’ and is inspired by the aesthetics of hunting, combining the more masculine English essence with the spirit of the South, much more folky and ornate, full of colour and prints that are distinctive features of the Cordoba brand. In the designs there is no shortage of furs, tweed, tartan, velvet or wool in classic cuts of the Montería, such as full skirts, corsets, capes and coats. It is an offering of green, persimmon, red and orange tones full of details, as are the line of accessories by Tolentino of Seville that accompanied the winter collection: traditional hats, felt forras… that give the finishing touch to the glamorous hunting looks.
In February, Alejandro Palomo will also have his spot on public television, participating in the new talent show by Spanish Television, Master Seamsters, a fashion programme that displays the art of the designer, emphasizing everything that is behind the fashion media spotlights. It is a contest in which the young designer will act as jury and mentor along with veteran designer Lorenzo Caprile and the Valencian María Escoté.
Gratacós support the talent of Palomo Spain and wish him many more successes.
Maria Fontanellas is part of this new generation of designers who have managed to form their own brand and struggle every day to find their place in an industry that is avid for novelties, but also fierce. From a family of tanners from Igualada, one of the textile cribs of Catalonia, the young creator tries to promote Mietis abroad with a young team that helps her in the design, positioning and business tasks. In her debut at the 080 Barcelona Fashion show last year, Maria Fontanellas won the Emerging Talent Award. We discuss her upcoming projects…
Tell us what we are going to see in the new collection that you present at the 080 Barcelona Fashion…
The collection ‘Safari to Wonderland ‘ is inspired by the world of the jungle in which exotic animals with well-defined colours and textures will appear and I pay special attention to details. I was also inspired by the glam rock style of the 70s and these two ideas will be mixed together. This collection will be an evolution of the previous proposal.
And how do we visualize this safari glam on the catwalk?
To recreate the animals there will be feathers and specific patterns. You can also see patent materials, bright fabrics and a lot of colour because this proposal is about blocks of colour. I will also use the skin a lot because it is something that defines me and there will be elements from the world of the motor with biker jackets and jackets with military airs.
“The skin is the material that defines Mietis”
The skin as a material is also a symbol of Igualada, specifically the industrial district of Rec…
Yes, the skin connects with my brand and with my family. As a matter of fact the workshop of Mietis is located inside the tannery where my father has the factory.
How has the family business influenced you?
It has completely influenced me because my father beyond being a tanner and businessman also likes fashion. He encouraged me to pursue my dreams by launching a skin line and helped me create my own brand. On my part, I studied in Milan and just two years ago I graduated and I passed a pattern making and sewing course which was very useful for design.
Family support, visibility on the Catalan catwalk … It’s not a bad start!
Yes, in this case winning the prize of 080 has allowed me to launch my second collection and in my house I have part of the infrastructure of the tannery where I have the clothing and design workshop. The rest you have to do yourself and it consists of hours and hours of work.
“They have helped me, but the rest you have to do it yourself”
Even so, the beginnings must not have been easy…
They are difficult and you constantly need support from other external elements. Always look out and make contacts to avoid losing business opportunities. For example, the brand right now has a showroom in Paris wher the collections are on show to promote them in the different international markets.
What is the next challenge for Mietis?
The most immediate has been the launch of the website with a capsule collection of leather jackets and bags. Gradually, I will also be introducing the spring collection to see how it is responding amongst consumers. In parallel and with my team we are looking for new multi-brand distribution channels to make the brand bigger.
“In Gratacós there is always something new and interesting”
What role does Gratacós play in all this set up?
I have been coming to your shop since I was 17 years old and I made my first research work with your fabrics. I’ve also designed dresses and I’ve always come here since I’ve been in fashion. In Gratacós, I feel at home and I love the fabrics that you offer, especially the fancy ones. I rely a lot on the fabrics and then design the collections. I love your lace, brocade, Jacquards … There is always something new and interesting!
And how do you see the future of Mietis? Do you rule out working for others? I do not rule out collaborating or nurturing other brands, but today I am focused on what is mine and I am very excited to move forward.
The Gratacós questionnaire…
Your indispensable garment … A leather jacket
A fetish fabric … Organza
A colour you never give up … Bright colors
A designer you admire… Raf Simons
An infallible style rule… Always put some colour in your life
A space that inspires you… The Marchesi cafeteria in Milán
A word of advice for the designers starting out… Learn also how to sew
Your ‘leit motiv’… Put passion into your work
As usual since 2000, Pantone has unveiled the colour that will prevail next year and will directly influence areas such as fashion, design or decoration. Thus, 2018 will be dyed Ultra Violet. An intense, genuine and revolutionary purple tone that, we have seen for instance in one of the most iconic costumes worn by the deceased Prince or the colour that flooded his house after the news of his death.
According to the authority of colour, this tone “evokes a style of counterculture, the grip of originality, ingenuity, visionary thinking that leads us into the future,” according to Laurie Pressman, Pantone’s vice president. A choice that corresponds to a longing that the world needs: “We live in complex times. We see the fear of going forward and how people are reacting to that fear. “ The colour, Pressman adds, “is one of the most complex because it takes two shadows that seem diametrically opposed, like blue and red, and joins them together to create something new.” The ultra violet leans more to blue than to violet, “which speaks of the spiritual quality of the conscience”.
How will it be worn?
Ultra Violet is a cold and vibrant color that adds a certain mysticism. This unique combination of red and blue is easier to match than you might think initially. In fashion, for example, it can be combined with gold and silver among other metallic tones to give it that luxurious and dazzling look. In contrast, mixed with greens or greys, it “evokes natural elegance,” according to Pantone.
Brands such as Raf Simons, Ralph Lauren or Hugo Boss have already uploaded it on the catwalk in Autumn looks. The purple fever continues also in Spring. This has been portayed in the Moschino designs presented at the Milan Fashion Week last September.
As we pointed out at the beginning, this colour is closely linked to creativity and is related in areas such as music. Artists like David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Prince or Katy Perry have worn it on more than one occasion. Even Richard Wagner surrounded himself with Ultra Violet when he composed. This tone was also used by the British suffrage movement of the early twentieth century and in turn, was one of the colours most used by Andy Warhol. Finally, this deep violet is also linked to the cosmos and the tonalities of the universe, a trend that we have seen as in recent years that also influences the fashion industry.
Find some more inspirations with our Ultra Violet fabrics and unleash your imagination with this ingenious and mystical tonality.
The Christmas holidays are just around the corner and from Gratacós we are launching the last showcase of 2017, precisely in homage to these festive days of calm, peace and family meditation. Did you imagine that it would be something classical? If so, you were wrong because the last showcase of the year is romantic, but unconventional, like the creator who signs it: the designer Juan Pedro López.
“I wanted to do something a touch naughty that disengaged people from the traditional Christmas image,” says the creator of Barcelona. Thus under the concept, ‘Think Pink’, which is also the message written as graffiti on the wall of the shop window, “life is painted pink to make it more beautiful and pleasant,” explains Juan Pedro López. The mannequin is also pink, as are the different fabrics that wrap and decorate it, and the painting utensils that accompany it. Neither is the traditional Nativity scene as a religious representation of Christmas missing in the shop window.
Juan Pedro López: “You have to paint life in pink to make it more pleasant”
The colour of romanticism is accompanied by some shades of gold expressed with several strategically placed garlands and purpurins that give it that sophisticated air which is associated with the end-of-year celebrations and which perfectly express the designer’s meticulous spirit. It is a chromatic expression of love in a time of tensions that invites us to tease out the most fraternal side of people. “We are going to reduce that climate with a touch of pink,” he concludes.
Currently Juan Pedro López combines his work as a designer for other brands and as a teacher with that of a stylist. It is a task that he is also passionate about and where he can show other facets that connect fashion with art. Soon we will be introducing his new projects to you in a more complete interview.
The showcase will be in Gratacós during the Christmas holidays. Come and visit us to discover all the details!