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Madrid Fashion Week FW24: cheerful celebrations until the gloom

By Ole Spötter


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Agatha Ruiz de la Pradas FW24-Show Photo: MBFW Madrid

Sequins, ruffles, shimmer, and fluid fabrics dominated the most recent edition of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid (MBFW Madrid), essentials for a society that loves celebrations like Spain's. The event took place from February 14 to February 18 in the Spanish capital.

When it comes to the collections presented on the Madrid runway, craftsmanship and attention to detail were evident in evening and bridal gowns, but also in prêt-à-porter proposals like those from Pablo Erroz and Acromatyx.

The collections, which often opted for a palette of bright and eye-catching colours, as seen at Custo Barcelona and Ágatha Ruíz de la Prada, as well as light and airy fabrics, didn't seem like they were presentations for fall/winter 2024, probably due to the local climate. After all, temperatures in the Spanish capital during the last four days have hovered around 20 degrees.

Acromatyx FW24 Photo: MBFW Madrid

But there were also some concepts designed for colder climates. Acromatyx presented a collection inspired by electronic music, like techno and house, which with its airy fabrics, clean cuts, and preference for black would also be appropriate for colder climates such as those of the UK and Northern Europe.

Part of this collection included some oversized glossy black coats, as well as skirts, shirts, and trench coat style coats. But what really stood out were the garments whose material resembled crumpled paper. This was seen in several long jackets and accessories like a hand bag that resembled a paper bag.

Wild print pairings

Custo Barcelona, which presented the first part of its collection during New York Fashion Week and then moved from Madrid to Milan, showed, despite the summer colour palette, voluminous padded jackets that were also adorned with a mix of neoprene and sequins materials.

Gleaming appliqués, padded space suits, retro tracksuits with triangle prints, and Japanese motifs with koi fish and cranes also made up part of the maximalist collection.

Custo Barcelona, Odette Álvarez, and Ágatha Ruíz de la Prada (from left to right) Photo: MBFW Madrid

Acromatyx and Custo Barcelona weren’t the only brands that combined various prints and materials. Odette Álvarez presented pieces like skirts, trousers, and dresses, whose cut and adornments recall the airy Indian Sari dress, along with more sturdy materials like leather. But the collection also included a coat whose pattern resembled a Moroccan carpet and was decorated with bright sequins, as well as hoodies that looked like salsa dresses with colourful fringes.

In general, cultural references seemed to play an important role, and some collections, with elegant dresses with long wide sleeves and ruffles, recalled flamenco fashion. Hannibal Laguna and Encinar, in particular, made use of these distinctive features of the most Spanish style. The result were extreme representations, like extra-long sleeves and the use of abundant pleats.

Hannibal Laguna FW24 Collection Photo: MBFW Madrid

Designer Duyos also drew inspiration from his homeland, incorporating the flora and fauna of the Canary Islands, and transferring the sandy and rocky landscape of Tenerife to the Madrid runway. The colour palette of the collection, which included soft coral and pearl tones, along with bright golds and bronzes, as well as touches of blue, together with the selection of light and transparent fabrics, colour gradients, and fluid silhouettes, also transported the audience to the island.

Duyos brings Tenerife to the runway Photo: Ole Spötter / FashionUnited

Stone upon stone

Simorra also found inspiration in a rocky landscape. With the collection ‘The Memory of Time’,the brand, which for nearly 50 years has stood out for its craftsmanship in details and materials, embarked on a journey to the evolution of the Earth. It focused on fossils, which were presented in the form of applications on dresses and accessories like belts, brooches, and necklaces, fish scale patterns, and the earth itself, whose layers were represented in denim pieces, among other materials. Real stones, which were modelled, among other things, for a ring, were also included as part of the collection. In terms of colour, the collection was based on earthy tones, but also on red hues like burgundy and some radiant touches.

Fossil details from the Simorra FW24 collection Photo: Ole Spötter for FashionUnited

On the other hand, Marcos Luengo, who collaborated with Iván Pañal, was completely different. The work of the audiovisual artist, a mix of tools like sound and artificial intelligence, served as the basis for the prints of the collection, which resembled a look through a kaleidoscope. But the avant-garde cuts were also convincing. Square necklines and angular balloon sleeves, whose armhole was placed higher, along with leather hoods, shaped the collection.

Marcos Luengo FW24 Photo: MBFW Madrid

In the spotlight: Elio Berhanyer

The absolute highlight of the more than 20 collections was the collection by Sergio de Lazaro for Elio Berhanyer, who revived the brand after the death of the namesake founder. The new creative director, who has held this position since last year, pays homage to the "master," as De Lazaro calls the creator, with an ode that draws on pieces inspired by the firm's archives.

His first collection for the fashion house presented more than 70 looks that evoke the different phases of a time that Berhanyer said marked him especially: the death of his father, who fell in the Spanish Civil War.

The collection begins with the mourning phase, accompanied by sombre music and a candle in the background. Black looks started off the show and were then complemented with the first touches of colour like red, orange, brown tones, and olive green.

These represent the return of the soldiers from the war, De Lazaro explained to FashionUnited before the show. With sets made of curtain fabrics, which are used along with materials like alpaca and double-faced in the collection, it is intended to represent the post-war period, when emergency materials became garments.

Elio Berhanyer FW24 Photo: MBFW Madrid

The collection also featured some denim looks, which overall did not have much prominence at this Fashion Week. As we move to the next phase, the narrative takes a turn: time begins to slowly improve, bringing a more cheerful atmosphere. People start to rebuild their lives, reflected in the transition to more formal attire, including suits and knitwear. This progression leads to the final stage, marked by a return to celebration with a touch of glamour, showcasing silky and fluid silhouettes, along with some shimmer. However, this last phase carries the fear of a new war potentially erupting, which is represented by a sailor's uniform as the final look. Thus, the circle closes, encapsulating a journey through time and emotion within the collection.

De Lazaro presented a coherent concept that is reinforced with fluid and gender-fluid silhouettes, a selection of refined materials, and technical elements like reversible jackets and modifiable elements, such as a zippered scarf incorporated into a jacket. In recognition of this achievement, MBFW Madrid co-sponsor L'Oréal awarded the designer the prize for ‘best collection’.

Elio Berhanyer FW24 Photo: MBFW Madrid

This article was originally published on FashionUnited.DE. Translation and edit by Veerle Versteeg.

MBFW Madrid