LET PARIS OGLE

CommunityEmbassy Row
Consecrated names in Spanish couture exhibit their exquisite wares in Paris, the world’s hardest-to-please fashion capital.
By Rose Maramba

 

 

We haven’t heard the last of the fashion fever that the Semana de Moda stirred up in Madrid last February. Not that anybody’s complaining.

After showcasing the best of Spanish couture for Autumn-Winter 2014-15 during the Week (see “Divine Designers Made Madrid Fashion Week Marvellous,” http://www.guidepostdev.startseven.com/2014/02/divine-designers-made-the-madrid-fashion-week-marvelous/ ), consecrated names in fashion design and some of the so-called “emerging talents” now exhibit their exquisite wares in the hardest-to-please fashion capital of the world, namely Paris (where else?). The exhibition opened last 3 April.

 

Made in Spain

Where exactly? The Embassy of Spain, 15 Avenue George V, 75008 Paris, in that most prestigious arrondissement without whose landmarks Paris won’t be Paris: Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe, the Place de la Concorde and the Élysée Palace, the official residence of the President of France.

 

MADE IN SPAIN: LA MODE AU-DELÀ DE FRONTIÈRES

The exhibition, what’s it called? Made in Spain: La Mode Au-Delà de Frontières.

Made in Spain posterYou might ask what do the Spanish designers think they’re doing, exhibiting in Paris. But the more appropriate question would be, why ever not? Spain has a long tradition of alta costura worth displaying on the most exacting catwalks in the world. The venerable Basque, Cristobal Balenciaga, a fashion demi-god, founded the Balenciaga fashion house (now a French house) a hundred years ago. And never mind Manolo Blahnik of the Canary Islands without whose sexy stilettos your shoe rack won’t be worth a spit.

The “Made in Spain” dresses are in good company: prints and tapestries by Goya, paintings by Federico Madrazo, José Llaneces, Pantoja de la Cruz among others, and outstanding pieces of decorative art from the 16th to the 20th century. The mix is a visual masterpiece that shows off the vitality of Spanish fashion creation to the utmost. Plus Spanish jewelry by de Helena Rohner. Plus a collection of Loewe bags and suitcases you can’t help lusting after.

Let the French ogle at the towering talent south of the Pyrenees, that seems to be the unspoken motto of the exhibition. Oh là là.

 

HOW’S THE VENUE?

The elegant nineteenth century mansion that houses the Spanish Embassy in Paris — a.k.a. Hôtel Wagram when not Hôtel Berthier — is owned by Spain since 1920. A sample par ecellence of French architectural classicism of the priod, it was bought previously (1891) by the Prince of Wagram, Louis Philippe Berthier, and his wife Berthe Claire de Rothschild, from the original owners: Nathaniel Johnston,  a rich Bordeaux wine merchant of Scottish-Irish origins , and wife Lucie Caroline Dassier.Paris - drawing of embassy

Charge the fact that the Spanish embassy is decked out with fabulous décor to King Alfonso XIII whose express desire was that priceless pieces from the Royal Patrimony should form part of the chancellery. Gracing the floor are magnificent carpets from the Real Fabrica de Tapices (Royal Tapestry Factory) of Madrid.

 

WHO ARE EXHIBITING?
Made in Spain

Gowns by Teresa Helbig

Adolfo Dominguez
Amaya Arzuaga
Ana Locking
Angel Schlesser
Custo Barcelona
Hannibal Laguna
Ion Fiz
Loewe
Manolo Blahnik
Maya Hansen
Roberto Verino
Teresa Helbig
Victorio & Lucchino, etc.

 

 

 

 

THE AMBASSADOR, THE EXHIBITS, DESIGNERS, GUESTS . . .
(Click on photos to enlarge)

 

TheAmbassador of Spain in France Carlos Bastarreche receives guests to the opening of the exhibition

The Ambassador of Spain in France Carlos Bastarreche receives guests at the opening of “Made in Spain”

Flamenco garb. You can't get away from it! (Juana Martin)

Flamenco inspiration. It’s got to be there ! (Juana Martin)

Miguel Marinero's way of warding off the cold

Miguel Marinero’s way of warding off the cold

Some Loewe bags and suitcases to lust after

Some Loewe bags and suitcases to lust after

Footwear by Manolo Blahnik

Footwear by Manolo Blahnik. They speak for themselves.

Hanibal Laguna creations

Hannibal Laguna ‘s

Ion Fiz and Roberto Torretta creations

Ion Fiz and Roberto Torretta creations

Jewelty by Helena Rohner

Jewelry by Helena Rohner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cosima Ramirez and Olivier Saillard, Director of the Galliera Museum

Guests Cosima Ramirez and Olivier Saillard, Director of the Galliera Museum

Some of the "Made in Spain" designers: Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Nuria Sarda, Roberto Etxeberria, Teresa Helbig, Ion Fiz, Modesto Lomba, Ines Merinero

Some of the “Made in Spain” designers: Nuria Sarda, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Roberto Etxeberria, Teresa Helbig, Ion Fiz, Modesto Lomba and Ines Merinero

Pepa Bueno, Director of ACME (Asociación de Creadores de Moda en España), with designer Nuria Sarda and jpurnalists covering the exhibition

Pepa Bueno, Director of ACME (Asociación de Creadores de Moda en España), left, with designer Nuria Sarda and journalists covering the exhibition. ACME is the organizer of the fashion event.