Barcelona - If you are an industry professional who has not yet had the opportunity to attend the Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week (VBBFW), consider saving the date for next year. Not only because of the appeal of the multifaceted city of Barcelona, a city associated with culture and art, but also in order to experience this unique trade event dedicated to bridal fashion. The high standards set by this impeccably organized event and the high level of international brands participating in it, allow visitors to enter into a dream world, a world of luxury and style.
The 2019 edition of VBBFW was held at Fira de Barcelona's Montjuïc venue, located in Plaza de España and featured 429 participating brands, 74 percent of which were international ones. A total of 35 leading brands exhibited their wedding dresses, groom wear, cocktail dresses and eveningwear on the catwalk. The main strength of the event lies in its ‘twin offer’, which combines catwalk shows with a professional trade fair, thus attracting both sector professionals and also end customers.
This year, the Swiss cosmetic firm Valmont, which signed a three-year contract with the event, reinforced the image of beauty, quality and exclusivity projected by the Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week 2019. Julien Michoud, CEO of Valmont for South & Middle Europe, told journalists: "This alliance represents a milestone for us. It reinforces our commitment to be renowned for innovation in the beauty sector worldwide. The whole Valmont Group family is proud to be part of an important event such as the Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week in which women play a central role."
Marchesa, The Atelier by Jimmy Choo and Zac Posen notable among the innovations presented during this edition of Barcelona Bridal Week
Marchesa, the U.S. brand by designer duo Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, played the starring role during the opening night of the event with a fashion show in the Pedralbes Gardens, surrounded by hundred-year-old trees and accompanied by an open-air cocktail party. It was their first visit to the city of Barcelona, where they presented their 2020 bridal collection, consisting of 32 wedding dresses.
Other brands were also first-timers to the event this year, such as The Atelier Couture, from Malaysia, which presented its new collection signed by its creative director, Jimmy Choo, and American brands Maggie Sottero and Mori Lee, the Israelian brand Flora, the Spanish companies Aire Barcelona, Fely Campo, Beba's Closet, and Sedomir Rodriguez de la Sierra, as well as María Salas, Jacques Beauhamais, and the Bulgarian firm Julia Kontogruni.
Also hailing from Spain, old-timers Jesús Peiró, Pronovias and Rosa Clará, Cristina Tamborero; Sophie et Voilà; Carlo Pignatelli; Isabel Sanchís; Marylise & Rembo Styling; Inmaculada García; Isabel Zapardiez; Ana Torres; Esther Noriega, Cymbeline; Marco & María; Yolancris; Ramón Sanjurjo, Carla Ruiz; Sonia Peña and Demetrios returned to the bridal trade fair with great enthusiasm.
This edition of the VBBFW, organized by Fira de Barcelona, surpassed its own records, attracting an audience that numbered over 22,000 visitors from 88 countries, almost 2,000 visitors more than in 2018. More than 1,300 key buyers, directly contacted by the event organization, attended the trade show. Of these, 86 percent were international buyers, mainly from Italy, Germany, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, and Brazil – all of them countries that have been 'targeted' by the trade show in its internationalisation process.
According to Estermaria Laruccia, director of the Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, "after its 29th edition – the 5th organized by Fira de Barcelona – we can affirm that the VBBFW is already the leading international event for bridal wear and eveningwear, providing a stage for brands to present new trends in the sector, and the place for national and global stakeholders from the bridal industry to come together. In the future, we want to continue inspiring people and sharing the passion we feel for this project with the firms, the buyers, the industry and the fashion world in general."
The VBBFW 2019 catwalk also staged the "New Talent Show" featuring the creations of young designers such as Olga Maciá from Spain, Chiffon Atelier, Mireia Balaguer and Lorena Panea, and the Italian brands Simone Marulli and Poesie Sposa.
The ELLE International Bridal Awards 2019, organized in collaboration with VBBFW, were presented in the Paraninfo room of the University of Barcelona. The bridal designer and star of the television program "Say yes to the dress", Randy Fenoli, was the one tasked with hosting the awards, which was attended by over 500 guests. The directors of the 10 international editions of ELLE magazine and the director of the VBBFW, Estermaria Laruccia, made up the jury that selected the winners among the firms nominated by the ELLE editions from around the world: Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Middle East, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.
This year the awards, which recognise talent and excellence in various areas of the bridal industry, honoured the Spanish firms Rosa Clará with the Lifetime Achievement award, and Yolancris with the award for Best Bridal Fashion Show. The Italian designer Peter Langner received the award for Best Wedding Dress, for his Janet Dress, while the award for Best Bridal Gown Collection was jointly awarded to Antonio Riva, for his Petals Collection, and Elie Saab, for his Bridal Springs 2019. For his part, Tom Ford was awarded Best Groom Collection for his Spring/Summer 2019 creations, and the English designer Stella McCartney won two awards: one for Best Ad Campaign, and the second for Best Bridal New Talent. Finally, Tiffany & Co. was recognized as the Best Wedding Jewelry Collection for its Tiffany True ring collection; Il Pellicano Hotel in Porto Ercole (Italy) as the Best Honeymoon Resort, and the Italian Anna Frascisco as the Best Wedding Planner.
The week dedicated to bridal gowns and grooms' attire, evening wear and accessories already has a date set for next year. It will return from April 20 to April 26, 2020 at the Fira de Barcelona to present the 2021 collections of the leading bridal fashion brands worldwide.
This article was previously published on FashionUnited.ES
Fotos: VBBFW- Isabel Zapardiez-Yolancris-Carlo Pignatelli-Marchesa-Elle Bridal fashion Awards