Arturo Obegero, Oteyza, Alled-Martinez and Mans: Spanish menswear in Paris
The Spanish accent was heard loud and clear in Paris. Spanish menswear collections claimed their own space within the busy agenda of Paris fashion week, which concluded with the Celine fashion show on Sunday, June 26. The Spanish designers presented pieces that contemporarized classic tailoring or that challenged traditional ideas of gender.
Arturo Obegero: a love letter to Asturias
Youth, talent and dedication are words that describe the Paris-based Asturian designer Arturo Obegero. The designer graduated from the prestigious Central Saint Martins school in 2018 and now boasts a brilliant career that has led him to join the ranks of Lanvin or present the first fashion show of his eponymous brand in March 2020, just before the outbreak of the pandemic. However, his big leap into the media spotlight would not come until April this year, when singer Harry Styles wore one of his red sequined jumpsuits in the music video for his long-awaited single "As it was".
His theatrical and thought-provoking designs returned to Paris Fashion Week with an interactive presentation at the Neoramart gallery on Thursday, June 23. As a love letter to Tapia de Casariego, his hometown, Obegero paid tribute to the landscapes of his land, a natural enviornment endangered by the opening of a gold mine. Entitled "Song to the Siren", in reference to the song by the English band This Mortal Coil, the collection was tinted with colors ranging from lilac to yellow, as well as various shades of blue. The color palette was a far cry from the brand's usual chromatic intensity.
The soft colors also brought more relaxed and ethereal silhouettes, creating a romantic wardrobe inspired by the work of surrealist artists Man Ray and René Magritte, featuring long white silk shirts, the brand's signature high-waisted pants, asymmetrical draped tops, an electric blue skirt that fell seductively, double-breasted suits or a white set of feathers surrounding the chest, sleeves or trouser bottoms, which was undoubtedly one of the most striking looks of the collection, for which Obegero was inspired by a mythological being from his region known as the Espumeru, a goblin who hides in caves by the sea.
Among the attendees at the presentation was Harry Lambert, the stylist behind the former One Direction singer's media-worthy looks. Two eye-catching jumpsuits that Harry Styles will surely covet awaited him: a strapless scarlet jumpsuit and a black high-necked jumpsuit embroidered with sparkly details resembling a starry sky.
Oteyza: from classic tailoring to "street à couture"
After his last four digital editions, Oteyza returned to a physical format at Paris Fashion Week with an interactive presentation organized at the Spanish Embassy in the French capital, in which the designer himself guided and positioned the mannequins. The brand's "return to the stage" celebrated its sixth participation in the fashion week by presenting its Spring/Summer "Aire" collection with a video shot in the Trocadero Gardens, just at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Inspired by shapes in movement and Raoul Dufy's colorful paintings, the garments were rendered in bright blue, pearl gray, fuchsia, beige or the brand's signature deep black.
The 25 looks stayed true to the fabrics the brand usually uses, from merino wool to linen, including cotton and silk, which were adapted to more contemporary pieces such as deconstructed jackets featuring architectural cuts and flowing drapes, capes with ribbons, pleated pants fastened to legs with ties, elegant Bermuda shorts, skirts, Cordovan hats or overlapping elements creating different volumes and asymmetries.
"We wanted to present functional yet very elegant garments, without sacrificing our sartorial essence and elaborate tailoring. There is a place in streetwear for sophisticated designs that can coexist with more casual ones," explained Caterina Pañeda, co-founder of the company, which was founded in 2012. The latest collection once again included several pairs of minimalist sneakers and introduced, for the first time, accessible pieces such as polo shirts and T-shirts. "We started as a more niche brand but we are gradually moving closer to the more mainstream market," added Paul García de Oteyza, who is also a driving force behind the firm, stressing the importance of maintaining a "touch of craftsmanship" and the brand's "sartorial heritage".
The brand, which sold a minority stake in its capital to the Perfumes y Diseño group in 2021, has several projects lined up ahead. In addition to planning to develop its own fragrance together with the Perfumes y Diseño group led by Pedro Trólez, the firm is planning to internationalize its business through its new showroom in Paris, No Season. "We are a family business and are taking a step-by-step approach to expansion," explained the creative duo, who are setting their sights on the Asian market.
The Madrid-based firm has a trick up its sleeve to accompany this project: a contemporary conceptual musical with the National Ballet inspired by the fashion show staged in 2018 which will reflect the cultural and economic importance of merino sheep. "Fashion is all about ephemerality and we want to rely on the value of culture," said the duo. The show will travel to several cities, but will not premiere until next year.
Alled-Martinez's Metrosexual plea
Archie, or in other words Alled-Martinez, is on everyone's lips. The Barcelona-born Central Saint Martins graduate was not content with having just presented his first capsule collection for Karl Lagerfeld, and has become a main character in "First Class," Netflix's latest reality TV show that follows a group of friends who are passionate about luxury and fashion. In addition, the former winner of the 2018 LVMH Fashion Student Prize presented his latest collection, "Reclaiming The Fields," on the closing day of Paris fashion week, with an event organized at the Palais de Tokyo.
Under the idea of "reclaiming the term metrosexual", a terwhich often veils a homophobic tone, the designer who previously worked at Givenchy reinterpreted the iconic silhouettes of the 00's with a modern twist and with a great deal of "camp". The collection featured homoerotic imagery with soccer locker rooms as a backdrop for models wearing pink vichy sleeveless shirts, double denim and unbuttoned knickerbockers, short fitted tops, double layered long sleeve tees, wide peach leather polyester cargo pants and nylon taffeta zippered shirts. The brand's classic knitwear returned with a new take on its iconic stretch knit pants, but this time with a low rise.
The accessories deserve a special mention, which included XXL bags in denim, black canvas or raw silk macramé, as well as belts made by the artisan Alicia Medina. Swimwear was also included in the collection, with retro pieces made in viscose or stretch denim.
Mans: an explosion of colors and patterns
In the days prior to its fashion show in Madrid, to be held next Wednesday, June 29, "Roots", the latest collection of the men's firm Mans traveled to Paris for the first time. Presented at the Boon showroom, a few steps from Bastille, the lineup designed by Sevillian designer Jaime Alvarez excelled for its unique prints and its strong mix of colors, ranging from orange to fuchsia and electric blue.
Known for its classic tailoring with loose and relaxed fits and its "Made in Spain" designs, the firm founded in 2017 experimented with new silhouettes and cuts, which included structured boleros, double-breasted jackets and exaggerated lapels, flowing long-sleeved shirts loaded with flowers or tailoring-inspired shorts. Minimalist sandals or the introduction of oversized leather bags with horse silhouette prints stood out among the novelties. The company, already established in Spain as one of the tailoring brands with the greatest potential, is ready to boost its international expansion and broaden its retail network. Austin Butler, the actor starring in the Elvis biopic, is already among the brand's most high-profile clients.
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