Whenever I write about fashion I always feel like an imposter; any variance on my part from business suit or shirt and jeans is likely to result in some sort of faux pas. That’s not to say that I’m not appreciative. It is after all another visual art form that can embody colour, structure and texture just like any other. I suppose in its reliance upon the wearer to bring it to life it could almost be seen as performance art.
But I digress from the story I wanted to share.
I’ve never associated Spain with high fashion. If really pushed I might have been able to come up with Balenciaga as a Spanish fashion house, but more often than not the juxtaposition of “Spain” and “fashion” brought to mind an image of men wearing orange trousers. (I’m sure they would have been marketed as ochre!).
Fashion, I thought, was the preserve of the French and Italians. I perhaps even assumed that we Brits had more credibility in the field.
How wrong could I be? A walk down Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona’s most prestigious thoroughfare, will feature the usual suspects like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci and more, and some very well dressed shoppers to boot, but then you realise that Espana stands proud here too. There are chains like Desigual, Mango, Zara, Bershka and the Italian sounding Massimo Dutti. Paco Rabanne. Manolo Blahnik. Sfera, Blanco, Stradivarius… the list goes on. For men it seems the navy jacket is now the wardrobe essential.
The image of the orange trousers was finally banished from my mind,