Attending the latest edition of MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK MADRID is always an exciting and electric experience.
Dozens of young designers come to IFEMA, some to show their work on the catwalk and others to present their collections in the SAMSUNG EGO showroom. Being around so many eager and talented people, in such a small space, can be overwhelming.
Samsung EGO is one of the few opportunities that young designers have to show the world what they’re capable of doing, despite their age, and more often than not, their lack of resources and support.
EGO was born in 2006 and up until now, has continuously received more and more recognition. Since 2008, it has taken place at the same time as the MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK MADRID. As of last year, SAMSUNG is the technological partner for the show, which recently became known as SAMSUNG EGO. There’s no doubt that this has become the most important meeting point for young Spanish fashion designers nowadays.
SAMSUNG EGO 2014 began with the winner of the SAMSUNG INNOVATION PROJECT, Leandro Cano. We can only describe his work with one word: sublime. At 11 in the morning, we were presented with “0,83º”, the collection that won him the award. Clothes with volume, made with materials as diverse as leather, feathers and plastic, full of colors and a mix of haute couture and technological innovation. The crowd enthusiastically applauded when the feather decorations whirled around amidst the fabric itself. The career path of this young Andaluz designer could well be described as meteoric, since winning the international Designers for Tomorrow award in 2012. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with for his upcoming prêt-à-porter line, “Luque”, (his second surname) which is due to come out in the middle of this year.
With remnants of Leandro’s garments still lying on the carpet of the catwalk (feathers from some of his pieces), we were next presented with HOWL by María Glück, and Herida de Gato, two brands that tend towards simplicity, neutral and smooth colors, and clean, straight lines and shapes.
At 1:00 PM it was Ernesto Naranjo’s turn. We here at So Catchy! had the pleasure of interviewing him a few months ago, right around the time he found out that he’d be participating in EGO. Ernesto Naranjo knew exactly what he wanted before he even set foot in EGO, and that was his key to success. Born in Pilas, near Seville, Andalusia, at 23, he’s in no hurry to make a name for himself yet his collection clearly states his desire to unleash his creativity without any holding back.
Ernesto Naranjo’s main goal was to offer a real show on the catwalk and in the end it was hard not to be moved by his work. The catwalk filled with cardboard boxes and the models sashayed with the colorful garments and artificial fabrics that he likes so much like plastic and neoprene. We saw pure whites, greys and intense reds, finished off with vibrant blacks, super maxi coats, extreme sleeves, and infinite folds. He was inspired by the homeless as well as the concept of city ‘limits’, the contrast between the upper reaches of cities, the tops of buildings with their quiet and calm and lower down, the noise and chaos of urban life. Another highlight was the footwear, platform rain boots, designed by Ernesto himself, which completed the different ‘looks’. If he set out to impress, he certainly did. Ernesto, we wish you all the best at Prague Fashion Week in April.
Ernesto Naranjo was followed by another Andaluz, Miguel Álex. The collection that we saw was feminine and sensual, with smooth fabrics and tones that went from white to raw to grey and then black. Discrete and elegant are the adjectives that best describe his work.
Next we were greeted by designs from María Clé Leal and Beatriz Blázquez from Alava for the firm “María Clé Leal”. The designs rely heavily on knitting and were both elegant and functional. Their collection “Siete” was laced with references and nods to the places, gastronomy and culture of their land. Their garments reflected the color of red, Rioja wine, the color and light of Txakoli, the iconography of the Romanesque churches (in the menswear designs). They also played with a mixture of fabrics such as silk, wool, twine and chintz.
The facilities that housed SAMSUNG EGO slowly filled as the day went on and by the time Leyre Valiente came onto the stage, there was barely enough room to breath.
Once the exhibitions had ended, Ernesto Naranjo was awarded the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talent award. Smiling and good-humored, he shared the award with his parents, who came with him to celebrate the emotional moment. You certainly earned it!
We couldn’t finish our chronicle without mentioning all of those who presented their designs in the Showroom, such as Beatriz Peñalver who gave us a sneak-peak at an upcoming collection. Once again, Beatriz worked with Raúl Rosillo for all of the photography. We hope to see her work on the catwalk at SAMSUNG EGO soon.
We’d also like to thank Sofía Clarí and all the help she gave us here at So Catchy! and to congratulate her on all of her hard work at SAMSUNG EGO.
Translated by Michael Padilla
Photos courtesy of Ana Cuervas from So Catchy!