Without a doubt, the best catwalk show so far during this 6th edition of 080 Barcelona Fashion Week has been Manuel Bolaño’s collection. Not only were each of creations absolutely divine, but the strategic use of the runway heightened the viewing experience.
Titled “Algo de Mí, (A Little About Me), Bolaño delved into his memories and came up with an armful of inspiration. Summers spent with his grandmother, a house in a country village, the white walls of said house that would dazzle his eyes, blended with the shimmering blue of the swimming pool in the yard. Sunday mornings were spent going to mass and the young Manuel remembers the gold leaf of the icons and statues, the cloying smell of the wax candles and wafting away to an imaginary world. An almost tangible earning for days gone by, the designer infused his garments with bits and pieces of his memory and large doses of imagination.
Each of the models looked like princess warriors, superhuman beings from another planet or time frame. The blend of baroque detailing, fabrics and textures mixed with sci-fi elements and space-age futurisms was positively intoxicating. A subtle religious undercurrent, a wink to those Sundays spent at church, a golden veil here, headgear reminiscent of virgins.
The contrast of proportions was devastatingly lovely. Here a wool bodysuit accompanied by almost childish, cream tights. Then a dress with octopus-like tentacles, swarming over the shoulders or hips, circling the body and entrapping. Drapings and ruffles, layers and ruching. Bolaño works his fabric like a dream.
The colours, the fabrics, the models, the music, the details and accessories. I am a lost cause when it comes to Bolaño’s designs. I would wear every single one of his pieces with pride. I very much wish and hope and cross my fingers that Manuel will take home the grand prize of this S/S 2011 edition of 080 Barcelona Fashion Week.
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