Barcelona Fashion Week huddled designers and industry figures once again outside of the typical schedule to showcase the talent coming out of the Catalan region. From high-class tailoring to subcultural acclamation, the collections were as varied as the crowds that followed. In case you missed it, we’ve rounded up five designers who mustered up highlight shows and should definitely be on your radar.
Proto-punk makes a comeback with Paolo Leduc
The Barcelona-native designer Paolo Leduc has always favoured fashion on the fringes. His past collections have always been rooted in subcultures, specifically those typically associated with punk attributes. This season, his subject of choices was cholos, the members of Mexican gangs, with a collection titled “Couture 2 Paolo Leduc Contraband Goods.”
The nature of this collection was instantly spotted through the temporary tattoos models were repping, and elevated through the ripped clothing and exposed seams, something that has become a signature for this brand. Peaky Blinders style suiting was matched with provocative graphic tees, while boxer shorts implied models were ready to fight any threat that came their way.
The channelling of a certain gangster energy switched between street shenanigan attire, such as a hoodie that zipped all the way up the model’s face, and businessperson power held by figures such as cholos through waistcoats and berets. While gangs are nothing short of a heavy subject, Paolo Ludec softened the blow of its fashion show with light and humorous touches, best represented by the “nice cock” graphic tee.
Carlota Barrera defines a new genre of menswear
Since the 19th century, formal menswear has been extremely stagnant in comparison to its womenswear counterpart. Apart from breast, cufflink and tie options, little can be changed to the classic suit. That was, at least, until Carlota Barrera arrived at Barcelona Fashion Week.
For SS24, the designer presented her “Core collection,” which redefined what is considered a “core” menswear suit. Asymmetrical tops, revealed cut-out backs and scrunched up trousers feminised menswear to create a softer, more vulnerable silhouette.
Over on the women’s side, flower white button-ups and skinny scarves created an androgynous look reminiscent of the likes of Patti Smith. Carlota Barrera not only blurred the lines between each gender, but did so all the while creating a timeless look that exists beyond the realm of trends, focusing on the body’s needs and how clothing must adapt to those very needs.
Sexed up for Dominnico
Every season, Dominnico brings the already-heated Barcelona ambiance all the way up with its BDSM-inspired, PVC and leather-clad get-ups. The SS24 “SWEETDOM” collection did just that, but also added a touch of, well, sweetness.
This Barcelona Fashion Week, the show opened with Sita wearing a co-ord orange cropped jacket and skirt matched with white thigh-high boots, giving The Fifth Element’s Leeloo an extra sexy makeover. There were obvious inspirations taken from Japanese Gyaru and Sweet Lolita subcultures, as seen through the scattering of girl-coded bows and subtle use of lace.
While seemingly opposites, a girly, innocent, and sweet look juxtaposed with the deviously teasing and overtly sexual nature of the brand created a good-girl-gone-bad look. It also allows the Dominnico brand to live outside of the bedroom and underground nightclubs, and into the everyday world.
Outsider Division brought camp to the function
Walking into a show space and being greeted by floppy and flowy inflatable tube guys sets the tone for a collection filled with humour and campy designs, which Outsider Division absolutely nailed at Barcelona Fashion Week.
From the full-on furry bunny and dog suits you would likely see at a child’s birthday party, juvenile and comical touches were more than just touches – they were the foundations of this collection. Creative Director David Méndez concocted skirts made out of pool floats, trousers adorned with graffiti-style art, jumpers that would guarantee winning the annual ugly Christmas sweater contest, and mushroom hats that had you convinced you did indeed ingest mushrooms before this show.
Collars were exaggeratedly extended to resemble the look of a fairy-tale’s character while skirts and tutus were princess-ified by volume. Outsider Division came to entertain us but also to make us dream. It positioned itself outside of the serious buble fashion often finds itself in, offering a much needed dose of laughter through fantastical and whimsical storytelling.
Aliens, snakes and pillow-throwing at Syndical Chamber
This season at Barcelona Fashion Week, Syndical Chamber showcased a collection titled “Who the fuck gives a shit” which perfectly sums up the spectacle it put on. The show started with cut-out black pieces adorned with wads of cash attached on the clothing and model’s arms as a way to subtly introduce the tongue-and-cheek, almost satirical nature of the collection.
Body-fitted dresses with strips of neon colours gave off an outer space corporate core while trompe l’oeil pieces added a familiar weirdness to the overall wacky collection. Other pieces such as the numerous head-hiding balaclavas and spikey sunglasses added an edge that felt reminiscent of Demna’s work at Balenciaga.
Unbeknownst to the public, Sergio Castaño Peña, the Creative Director, walked the show wearing straight-fitting black trousers matched with a canary yellow top-turned-headpiece and red light-up sunglasses. He threw small pillows made out of the same yellow fabric as his top, engaging his audience in a music concert-like performance, before being dragged off by security guards during his final bow. Syndical Chamber showed off its humorous and shock-inducing take on fashion without compromising its dark aesthetic.
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