Spain's Alled-Martínez and Arturo Obegero spotlight knitwear and velvet in Paris
The dream of travelling to Paris to show your collections to the world has changed for designers. The desire to win over the fashion capital is still a goal for Spanish designers, but the journey there is now virtual and the long dreamt-of runway shows have been converted into bite-sized videos, with which brands must catch the attention of journalists, buyers and fashionistas. Saved by their talent and creativity, Spanish designers Arturo Obegero and Alled-Martínez managed the difficult task of standing out from the crowd during Paris' latest online menswear fashion week, which wrapped up on Sunday, 24 January.
Palomo Spain, which opted out of fashion week this season, tends to be the first Spanish brand that comes to mind when Parisians are asked to cite menswear designers. Experts on the matter – regulars at Florentine men's fashion trade fair Pitti Uomo, for example – might also recall the capes and Cordovan hats produced by Oteyza, which presented its latest collection in the French capital a few days ago.
However, they are not the only brands from the country that are hungry for international acclaim. Setting themselves up as independent designers, Arturo Obegero and Alled-Martínez round out the Spanish contingent in Paris, presenting highly contemporary collections, which point the way towards an avant-garde vision of masculinity.
A native of Tapia de Casariego, in the region of Asturias, who trained at Lanvin, Obegero is a breath of fresh air in the Parisian runway calendar, and only nine months after founding his own eponymous brand. "I want there to be soul and poetry behind it. I don't want to create a product, there are already lots of those on Instagram," said the designer in an interview with FashionNetwork.com when he launched his label.
As he continues on the path to maturity, the emerging designer has presented "Puro Teatro," his Fall/Winter 2021 collection. The series of velvet looks incorporates structured bows, enormous scarves and strapless necklines, evoking the red roses that were once thrown onto stages at the end of each show. Obegero reclaimed old stage curtains from theatres in cities including London and Sidney, in shades of crimson, blue and black, using them to dress a single model, who poses as though for a lookbook photo shoot, while Ravel's "Bolero" sets the pace. Finally, the camera zooms out to reveal the whole picture, as the model removes his makeup behind the scenes of his own little theatre.
Barcelona's Alled-Martínez, on the other hand, chose to take his presentation down a more narrative path, creating a kind of fictional trailer, which was directed by Bárbara Barberà and stars influencer Marc Forné. This season, the London-trained, Paris-based designer, who received the LVMH Graduate Prize in 2018 and was nominated for the French group's main award in 2020, opted for a vision "of desire, darkness and speed" based on "a true story."
An intense journey featuring driving, hitchhiking and drag, the video depicts furtive moonlit encounters in cars, by the roadside and in motels. This trip through liberated sexuality presents a collection made up of tailored pieces, strapless jumpsuits, trousers and fitted turtleneck sweaters. The offering therefore goes beyond knitwear, the specialty of the designer, who cut his teeth at Givenchy and who has, for the first time, designed a line of womenswear, which will be unveiled in full in February.
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