âI remember a little bear. A little teddy bear in camel colour. A cold, gray winter morning in a trip to the âCastros Gallegosâ. My mother, dressed in wool and silk in pink, was holding my hand, and I wonderedâŠwhy does everything have to be pink?â
These are not my words. These are the musings of Barcelona-born designer Manuel BolaĂ±o. And if you think theyâre odd, you should see his clothes. From head to toe, BolaĂ±o had envisioned a look that was part nursery rhyme playful, part Tim Burton twisted fairytale. The unnerving tinkle of the jewellery-box music was the first allusion that all was not right. A first glance would take layers of pastel shades forming cupcake silhouettes, Little Miss Muffet puffed shoulders, adorable geeky candy-stripe glasses, oversized bows and cute Purdy cuts. Closer inspection would reveal Quasimodo leather humps sprouting from wool cocoon coats, McQueen-inspired wooden hoof wedges, and mutant pig and mice heads mushrooming from modelsâ bodies. BolaĂ±o created a collection of theatre, that was as grotesque as it was surreally beautiful.
If ever there were a collection that epitomised the words âsmartâ and âcasualâ, then this would be it, as the almost-eponymous label of Karlota Laspalas served up an unusual mix of references which encapsulated both. First came the public schoolboy in the Serengeti; belted bush jackets, collarless shirts and deftly turned up tailored shorts were layered in cream, beige, khaki and camel, naturally topped off with safari hats. The mood was than altered with a simple substitution to black â the schoolboy had grown up into a moody teenager, rebelling with a 70s wide brim fedora atop long hair, slouchy trousers and a slouchier attitude. A full range of Karlotalaspalas accessories would be a lucrative sideline; her canvas and leather holdalls and parcel-like wallets were the perfect finishing touches.
Tim Hamilton takes menswear very seriously. His sombre-coloured minimalist designs were in complete contrast to Juan Antonio Ăvalosâ cheeky multicoloured offerings yesterday. With a thick layer of deathly white pan makeup coating their faces, Hamiltonâs models were sculpted into living mannequins, intensely pounding the floor of the catwalk with weighty biker boots. The collection concentrated on clean lines and heavy layering - a black double-breasted blazer over a cobalt raincoat, for instance, was paired with navy tracksuit trousers and a balaclava. The standout looks were those featuring Hamiltonâs leather pieces, such as his soft black leather motorcycle trousers. But it was his fitted hooded leather jackets that were the real highlight - Rick Owens better watch his back.
All images courtesy of 080 Barcelona Fashion.