Viktor&Rolf and Marchesa bring cosmopolitan flair to Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week
Not even the rain was able to stop the bright and awaited return of Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week (BBFW). Forced to change plans at the last moment, relocating its inaugural day’s star show in face of forecasted rain showers and wind, the bridal fashion event demonstrated the flexibility and adaptability acquired during the pandemic to hold a haute couture reunion.
The day's agenda included fashion shows of renowned Spanish brands Isabel Sanchís, Yolancris and Jesús Peiró; the presentation of the second collaboration between the American brand Marchesa and the bridalwear giant Pronovias and a show from the 2022 edition's special guest and protagonist of Barcelona Bridal Night, the Dutch haute couture label, Viktor&Rolf.
Initially organized at the Xavier Corberó Center for Research and Artistic Activities, Viktor&Rolf's bridal collection was forced to change venue just 24 hours before its first show. On Wednesday night, it was staged instead at the Fira de Barcelona's Montjuïc venue that will host BBFW shows until April 23, with the participation of renowned brands such as Pronovias and Rosa Clará.
"We are thrilled to be able to parade in Barcelona, a city that for us is the Paris of bridal fashion," designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, founders of the Amsterdam-based firm in 1993, explained to FashionNetwork.com, revealing that this first show was meant to take place in 2020, but the pandemic forced them to postpone the date.
"In Spain they say that rain brings luck at weddings, so we are confident that the same thing will happen to us," joked the creators, who selected a total of 37 pristine white ensembles for this one-off partnership with BBFW.
"We started in 2017 with our Mariage line and this show gave us the great opportunity to present a retrospective anthology of our best designs, those that combine romance and femininity with rigor and purity. A mix of naughty and nice," detailed the haute couture week regulars about their runway looks, which featured no shortage of couture dresses and the debut of the Mariage 2023 collection, characterized by fitted bodices, short veils and an abundance of handmade organza flowers.
In addition, the brand, which produces its designs in China, took the opportunity to work with a new responsible material derived from plants. And despite having dressed Princess Mabel van Orange-Nassau of the Netherlands at her wedding, the designers stressed that fashion has no limits and that they are open to all types of customers, maintaining an inclusive perspective. "We are allergic to the word target," they joked.
Marchesa's bridal collections landed in Barcelona with what was its first bridal show in Europe in 2019. At the time, the event led by Estermaria Laruccia was still sponsored by Swiss luxury cosmetics brand Valmont, and the American fashion brand created in 2004 kept its two founders: Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig. The latter left the company shortly before the pandemic to "devote herself to new professional projects."
During this visit to Barcelona, Marchesa presented its second collection together with the Spanish company Pronovias. "After Covid-19, our goal was to celebrate love. There are many weddings to be celebrated and we wanted to allow different brides to express their personal style, making room for all women," said Chapman, co-founder of Marchesa, about her collaboration with the company founded by Alberto Palatchi in 1922. Chapman enlisted the support of Pronovias' creative director, Alessandra Rinaudo, in creating these 25 light and romantic dresses, which recreated some of Marchesa's iconic designs.
"Working with Pronovias has been a dream. They know I would like to make many dresses, as many as possible. And they opened up the possibility for me to go further than if I did it just with my own brand. We share the same values, the construction is incredible, and we value craftsmanship immensely," detailed the creative about her long-term alliance with the Barcelona-based company, which needed numerous Zoom meetings to develop during the pandemic period.
The looks from the collection will be available in a wide range of sizes (from 32 to 62) and at an affordable premium price, starting at $2320 (about 2130 euros), available in Pronovias’ stores.
Three-decades-old company, Jesús Peiró, was entrusted to inaugurate the event with a show at noon. The collection made 100% in Spain designed by Merche Segarra was inspired by a floral spring to dress its models as nymphs. In the afternoon, Isabel Sanchís, the Valencian company born in 1990, showed her artisanal couture savoir-faire through volumes and silhouettes featuring bows and lace. Modern brides wore from elegant blazers with flared pants, at times paired with shimmering tops; to lace blouses with puffed sleeves or sensual silhouettes such as a tight skirt and black crop top set. Metallic appliqués and feathers completed the bridal collection, which stayed true to the DNA of the brand which usually presents its collections during Paris haute couture week.
"Throughout these difficult months, we wanted to show the best facet of our brand, the workmanship and attention to detail, made possible by the company's professional team. A team that loves their job, thereby creating a human connection with our garments," said the Valencian company, which during the pandemic, used its workshops to make solidarity face masks.
Yolancris, the Spanish firm founded in 2005 by sisters Yolanda and Cristina Pérez, also took center stage with its 'She' collection. A lineup faithful to the brand's bohemian and rock aesthetic, which merges musical references with a retro style to dress the "anti-brides".
The rebellious models paraded to the beat of anthems such as 'Creep' or 'Sweet Child o'Mine', clad in dresses handmade in the company’s Barcelona workshop, combining delicate rhinestone embroidery, lace, transparencies and side cut-outs.
The bridal event will continue over the coming days, hosting a total of 34 fashion shows, including brands and designers such as Nicole Milano, Sophie et Voilà, Cymbelline and Carlo Pignatelli. On the other hand, the trade fair will bring together 300 brands, 74% of which are international hailing from 25 different countries between April 22 and 24.
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