David Valls told audiences that baroque minimalism was the effect
of his collection, but that the Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi
lay as the basic inspiration.
Wabi sabi finds beauty in imperfection
and incompleteness. At its simplest, it meant using simple garments
as bases with the addition of heavier-fabric accessories. Colour-wise,
that meant beiges with browns.
But Valls was just getting started. Deconstruction
and contrasting pockets appeared regularly; and one of our favourites,
a sand-coloured knitted wrap with yellow crescent moon details took
the concept further.
This was one of the most sculpted and original
collections of Barcelona Fashion Week and while his colours were
more subdued than his fellow designers’, the cuts fulfilled the
deconstructed simplicity that he aimed for with his inspiration.
Valls stayed on message and, like those items blessed with wabi
sabi, produced a collection that will last beyond its autumn–winter
Clones and cubism might not be immediately related, but Ailanto
managed to combine them. There is a link: the idea of cloning conjures
up images of a perfectly geometric helix, which was hinted at in
some of the designers’ offerings for autumn–winter 2004. Meanwhile,
cubism also borrows from geometry. Rather than the asymmetry of
Valls, Ailanto went with symmetry: perfectly placed double white
buttons on a pink coat, a brown-and-white striped dress, and tops,
leggings and pants that repeated these contrasting colours. The
idea of collage also appeared, but never detracting from cloning
Ailanto’s mushroom printed dress provided relief
from the geometry. Wool, silk and waterproof nylon were amongst
Ailanto’s fabric choices, while the stripes featured cotton stitching.
We saw details including metal fasteners, buckles, sequins and embroidered
The designs and inspiration are probably given
greater context when one considers the label’s origins: owners Inaki
and Aitor Munoz are twin brothers from Algorta. The split catwalk,
with models coming down both sides, hinted at the twin
idea as well as cloning.
Today, the Ailanto label is one of Spain’s best
known: it is sold in Lane Crawford and Barneys New York.
The split catwalk, with models
coming down both sides, hinted at the twin idea as well
TOP ROW AND SECOND
ROW, LEFT: David Valls. SECOND ROW,
RIGHT, THIRD ROW AND BOTTOM LEFT: Ailanto. BOTTOM
RIGHT: Lydia Delgado.