Folklore and dance. Flamenco flavours and bullfighting tones. Spanish designers Leandro Cano and Arturo Obegero closed Paris Fashion Week with a tribute to Spain and its artistic traditions. Two different styles that illustrated the new wave of Spanish design at Cervantes Institute in Paris.
“I wanted to pay tribute to Spanish folk icons,” said Leandro Cano backstage of his latest fashion show, referencing Rocío Jurado, Lola Flores and Imperio Argentina. “It was about playing with 60s and 70s elements, returning to the brand’s roots. We have created a world of floral prints, with coins bearing a message that reads ‘A tu vera’, a drawing of a hand doing a flamenco pose, and a manila shawl,” said the designer. The collection was inspired by María José Llergo, a flamenco artist from Pozoblanco who provided the voiceover. According to Leandro Cano, Llergo is “the new face of flamenco”.
Six designs were presented, all in white except for the show’s opening look. “We have used fabrics from previous collections and other discarded materials,” said the designer, highlighting the gold accents and use of golden brass across the accessories. “I wanted to encapsulate the ostentatious part of folklore,” he said about the flamenco-themed artistic collection, which will be sold alongside his latest ready-to-wear collection, Imperio.
“I am very much into folklore. And folklore has always been linked to Easter and religion. I tried to get away from that because I had already done a religious-themed collection, but I realised that I always ended up going back to this theme. And I decided to stop fighting it,” smiled the designer, born in Ventas del Carrizal, in Jaén. When asked about how well his Andalusian references will be received abroad, Leandro Cano is open to feedback. “I have no idea how they will receive it! Probably as something quite exotic!” he said nervously as the show ended.
“I am from a small town in Asturias, called Tapia de Casariego. We were just five people in my class. And I’ve just presented my first collection in Paris. I’m absolutely ecstatic,” said Spanish designer Arturo Obegero with a big smile on 3 March. He graduated from the Goymar School of Fashion and Design in La Coruña before getting a degree in pattern making from Central Saint Martins in London. And then he received a call from Paris. “I worked at Lanvin for a year as part of the new creative team,” he said. Obegero worked under the leadership of Bruno Sialelli, who joined the French fashion house as creative director in early 2019.
Like Leandro Cano’s, Obegero’s fashion show was held at the Cervantes Institute in Paris. He drew inspiration from the world of performing arts. “I am a dance lover, and the idea was to create my own dance company. I wanted to take elements from surrealism, from aristocratic cuts to a bullfighter inspiration…” said the designer, showing a mood board that featured images of Antonio Gades, Georgia O’Keeffe, Rudolf Nureyev and David Bowie. “Each couple of models represent a classic play, such as ‘El Amor Brujo’, ‘Orfeo ed Euridice’, ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’.”
The Academia collection encompassed 14 looks, each an expression of his sartorial skills. The silhouettes appeared to be flying, with wide leg trousers, crisp white shirts, asymmetric dresses, backless forms and bold volumes. Each outfit pushed forward a colour story that ranged from classic black and white to deep red and pale blue. There were both men’s and women’s looks, a co-ed formula the Asturian designer wanted to pursue. “I don’t consider myself a unisex designer, and I don’t want to give my brand a gender fluid label. I just make clothes. For me, it comes naturally. It’s the way I dress and how I see other men and women,” he said.
Among other initiatives, the designer wants to continue showing at Paris Fashion Week and launch an e-commerce site that will stock the most commercial pieces, including high waist trousers and silk shirts, which will be priced at €480 and €400, respectively. “All production occurs in Paris with natural materials I source from the big brands. I want to be as environmentally responsible as possible and grow in an organic way without resorting to the need to overproduce,” he said. His designs are released in limited numbers, with just 10 pieces of each style going on sale. And the materials used are surplus fabrics bought from the likes of Fendi and Givenchy. “I want my collections to have soul and poetry. I don’t want to design just another product, there are already enough on Instagram. I want to make people feel special,” said the designer. And he is open to talking with investors: “For now, the investment behind the brand are my savings and my mother’s support,” he said with a hint of gratitude.
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