At So Catchy! Where Fashion Begins, we love to discover new talent, creative types who are taking their first steps into the difficult and controversial world of fashion and design. Thanks to our friend Álvaro Dols, working in the communications department at Vejer Fashion Weekend, we found out about Paula del Río Arteaga, an inquisitive mind who recently finished here studies at the IED in Madrid and is presenting her label, NOOK. Paula’s designs are clearly aligned with new urban trends while her own personal touch sets them apart. We talked to her about the presentation of NOOK in the festival that celebrates emerging fashion and takes place in Vejer, Spain from the 10th to the 12th of July. That weekend will be a great opportunity to discover promising new talents in fashion.
So Catchy!: When did you first realize that fashion was your calling?
Paula del Río Arteaga: I’ve always loved art in general. I knew that the world of fashion was a risky bet, but it was what I wanted to do. It takes a continuous effort and you’re always plagued by doubt but when you are able to express yourself through design, that satisfaction you get from when others like your work, it’s the best. I guess I’d say that I never really realized it, yet I’ve always know that fashion was for me. I’m always questioning my work but, as I’ve moved forward in the field, it’s become clearer to me that this is my calling.
SC!: Tell us a bit about the creative process behind your first collection.
PRA: Before I began this project, I did some research into geometry and the cosmos in Mayan and Egyptian culture. I looked for a relationship between ancient civilizations and our own in order to bring this out in the designs. I made patterns that evoked the past but that were expressed with contemporary and modern language. Geometry was fundamental to the designs, as was the use of distinct colors, the metallic tones and the almost psychedelic shapes. I researched different techniques before realizing that the best techniques were digital printing, vinyl and machine embroidery, as well as using other technical material to create oversized, unisex garments.
SC!: How did you get interested in ancient cultures?
PRA: When I was a child, I had the opportunity to travel to different countries with my family and to immerse myself in their histories in museums and I became an authentic fan of ancient culture. When I went to Egypt, I was only 14 years old, the architectural beauty, the history and the mysteries of the civilization left a mark on me.
SC!: How do you think graphic design and illustration fit into the world of fashion design?
PRA: I find them very important; they’re the best way to visually transmit ideas with impact using and combining colors, shapes, images and more. I use them to express my creativity and to define my label within the market.
SC!: We know you’re taking part in Vejer Fashion Weekend, what does it mean for you?
PRA: Any opportunity to showcase my work is a great honor for me. Vejer Fashion Weekend, is a big boost for my label, which I recently presented in South Cádiz 36.32N. Although I studied in Madrid, it’s important for me that the first steps for my label are taken here in Andalusia, my home.
SC!: Are there any other young designers you admire?
SC!: What blogs, Tumblrs or Instagrams do you follow?
SC!: How do you think the next few years will unfold?
PRA: Everything is up in the air a little, but I hope to get some experience, live in the sector a bit more professionally and, in time, launch my label. But, above all, I want to enjoy my work and the freedom to get my proposals and ideas off the ground.
Photos: Inmaculada Arteaga Romero
Models: María Castillo Armas, Divine Maloney, Joaquín Izquierdo
Translation and Layout by Michael Padilla