Madrid Fashion Week: A Summary of Contrasts

At the most recent edition of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid, which wrapped this week, the collections Spain-based designers produced for spring 2013 fall into two categories: the haves and the have-nots, a juxtaposition between collections brimming with details and those that opted for a more refined approach.

The week’s opening show at the beautiful El Capricho Park, from Delpozo by Josep Font, was decidedly a champion of the haves. Font’s super-romantic offerings were anchored with his masterful and eye-catching tailoring (think uber-sculptured peplums, dramatic pleats, and voluminous high-waisted pants). The combination, interesting on its own, occasionally competed with over-the-top accoutrements, especially when frothy dresses featured not only high-design peplum waists but also lace, chiffon, fringe and crystals.

Day two at Feria de Madrid (the home of Madrid Fashion Week) offered much of the same: Robert Verino’s use of flowers (from printed suits to 3-D florets on red halter tops) dominated his catwalk; Francis Montesinos used a lot of ruffles, frayed hems, and florals; and at Victorio & Lucchino, a single dress had sequined panels, an eyelet bodice, flower-print trimmings and ruffles. At the day’s halfway point, one attendee could be heard saying that this is what people in Spain like in their fashion. It wasn’t until Angel Schlesser’s pared-down presentation that we got a glimpse of the have-nots. His fresh-faced models donned easy-to-wear, sexy silhouettes given minimal yet no less enticing details like colorblocking, abstract prints and cold shoulders.

The rest of the week vacillated between the two aesthetics. Sita Murt gave us soft pastels and comfortable knits, while Maya Hansen’s Day of the Dead collection boasted bright, colorful prints on flirty cocktail dresses and miniskirts. Lemoniez’s Paris-inspired trench-coat-style dresses and body-skimming jersey dresses were eventually balanced out with more bombastic mixed-media pieces from Martin Lamothe.

And then there were those collections that dared to bridge the two styles. Inspired by the look and feel of Lisbon, Ion Fiz’s collection featured mixed patterns, sheer items, sequined gowns and floral motifs, but overall silhouettes were simple and provided a wearable foundation for fancier details. At Duyos, the designer’s high-glamour vision included shapely brocade trousers and swing dresses with floral necklines in quiet colorways of grays, whites, and pinks.

Davidelfin’s 10-year anniversary collection was perhaps the week’s most highly anticipated, and he didn’t disappoint fans with his sleek and modern spring offerings that included everything from skin-tight motorcycle jumpsuits to painterly shift dresses adorned with Swarovski crystals.