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Catwalks: Spanish fashion at its most elegant

  • © Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid. IFEMA. Feria de Madrid

    © Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid. IFEMA. Feria de Madrid

  • © Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid. IFEMA. Feria de Madrid

    © Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid. IFEMA. Feria de Madrid


"Cristóbal Balenciaga, Manuel Pertegaz, Paco Rabanne, Elio Berhanyer, Manolo Blahnik, Adolfo Domínguez, Roberto Verino, Francis Montesinos, Jesús del Pozo… All winners of the National Fashion Prize, the ..."

Cristóbal Balenciaga, Manuel Pertegaz, Paco Rabanne, Elio Berhanyer, Manolo Blahnik, Adolfo Domínguez, Roberto Verino, Francis Montesinos, Jesús del Pozo… All winners of the National Fashion Prize, the Golden Needle... The history of Spanish fashion is strewn with great names, all of whom have contributed to Spain's role as a venue for international fashion shows featuring quality creations of the highest quality and attracting top models, stylists, communications companies, and specialist media… A genuine cultural phenomenon. Would you like to find out more about the key events?

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid
This is the quintessential event in Spanish fashion, and attracts over 50,000 visitors. For several years it has been a landmark on the map of the world's most important catwalk shows, and takes place in the IFEMA exhibition centre. In each edition (it is now in the run-up to its 60th), top Spanish designers highlight all their creative diversity and quality to dazzling effect. Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada, Amaya Arzuaga, Ana Locking, Ángel Schlesser, Davidelfín, Devota & Lomba, Duyos, Francis Montesinos, Hannibal Laguna, Maya Hansen, Roberto Torretta, Roberto Verino, Sita Murt, Victorio & Lucchino… are just a few of designers who have taken part in this event in recent years. Spectacularly impressive.

There is also a space –EGO– for young creators, in which the talented up-and-coming generations aim to make their mark.

The autumn-winter edition is held in January-February, and the spring-summer edition takes place in August-September.

080 Barcelona Fashion
Distinctive spaces in the city of Barcelona such as the Pedralbes Palace serve as the venue for this fashion show, which is also a landmark event for creativity and innovation. In fact, the whole of Barcelona has a long tradition of involvement in the world of textiles. There are numerous interesting parallel activities arranged around the catwalk events, including exhibitions, a design competition, lectures, accessory shows… There are two editions a year: spring-summer (around July) and autumn-winter (around January).

Valencia Fashion Week
The Agora building in the City of the Arts in Valencia, designed by Santiago Calatrava, is one of the landmark venues which transform Valencia into a fashion hub during these catwalk shows. In addition to the fantastic settings where the events place, there are numerous activities including encounters, roundtables, exhibitions, awards… which make fashion a genuine cultural phenomenon. The spring-summer edition takes place in September, and the autumn-winter edition in February.

Other important dates
In addition to these three key events, there are several others such as the Barcelona Bridal Week (Spain's number-one trade show for bridal fashion, comprising the Gaudí Novias catwalk and the NoviaEspaña international salon), the Gran Canaria Moda Cálida international swimwear show, and various other prestigious fairs such as the Eurobijoux Collection (an essential date for the Costume Jewellery and Accessories sector), the FIMI International and Young People's Fashionwear Fair, Iberjoya, Modacalzado + Iberpiel, SIMM – Madrid's International Fashion Fair (the most important fair for the fashion design and manufacturing industry in Spain)–, and The Brandery (Barcelona design and urban fashion fair).

Beyond the catwalks
Fashion also represents Spain's identity, and this can be seen in the numerous exhibitions that have been designed with fashion as the central motif. There are two specialist museums in particular: the Costume Museum and Ethnological Heritage Research Centre (in Madrid), and the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum (in Gipuzkoa), where you can see the wedding dress of Queen Fabiola of Belgium or the outfits designed by Balenciaga for Princess Grace of Monaco, among many others.

And what about film? The fact that figures such as the costume designer Yvonne Blake has won the National Film Award or that the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York has organised an event on fashion in Almodóvar's films are just a couple more examples of the high levels Spanish fashion design has reached in the Seventh Art.

What's more, the streets and fashion workshops are a living example of everything we see on the runways. The major labels can all be found jostling for space on the “Golden Mile” in Madrid, the Paseo de Gràcia in Barcelona, and the Calle Sierpes in Seville… And here's an interesting fact: did you know that the workshop of the Japanese dancer who designed the spectacular maillots worn by Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” is in Spain?

But it is the fashion show itself that is the culminating moment when the designers showcase their creations against a backdrop of elaborate stage effects. Evocative colours, volumes, daring bodices... It's all on display on Spain's catwalks, which today, thanks to their dynamic image and to the hard work of various generations of fashion designers, have indisputably earned themselves a prestigious reputation all over the world.

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