Barcelona: Long Hair White Jackets

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Published September 7, 2009


Jan iÚ Mé; Andrea Ayala

It looks like long hair and bangs have finally had their day. The biggest noise on the runway at Barcelona 080 fashion week for  Spring was model Irina Lazareanu sporting a perfect Vidal Sassoon five-point bob from the 1960s, reprising with each of her appearances on the runway a reborn Mary Quant. Apparently the helmet hair was Karl Lagerfeld‘s idea. Dree Hemingway (22 year old great grand-daughter of Ernest Hemingway) also walked in Barcelona, which marks her first runway appearance after last season’s Givenchy exclusive.

The three-day event featured 18 shows mixing Catalan designers and up-and-coming international stars. Catalan duo Victor Cardona Marqués and Israel Frutos Bonache of Cardona Bonache established their women’s brand last year and they bagged this season’s 20,000€ prize. The minimalist pair studied together in Antwerp and dedicated their spring collection to a play of box and inverted pleats. Our personal favorite was Catalan menswear duo Jan Zamora Royo and Alfonso Peña Carrera, for their mix of threadbare patterned sweaters, double layer shorts and trench coats with the occasional pair of cut-off pantyhose thrown in for the kink factor. Their line, Jan iÚ Més was launched in 2005 and so far it’s available at Barcelona stores Suspect, Bingo and Blow, but nowhere outside of Spain yet. The pair describes their style as “mathematical” and their favorite designers are Rick Owens and Raf Simons. Although she didn’t win a prize,  my favorite was Andrea Ayala, a Catalan alum from Belgium’s celebrated Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp who has worked with Dublin’s John Rocha. Ayala’s spring collection is inspired by a visit she made in 2006 to the Port Lligat house where painter Salvador Dali lived since 1930. Ayala used symbolic tarot card imagery for appliqué and embroidery on her mostly black collection. And she placed the jackets and shirts on the models’ heads to make them look like a group of overdressed extraterrestrials. For those in search of design instruction, the place to be this fall is Austria where Bernhard Willhelm,  on the jury this season at Barcelona 080, has been appointed guest professor  for five years at Vienna’s University of Applied Arts where he will take over the Fashion Master Class from  Belgium’s Veronique Branquinho and Raf Simons.