When speaking to friends about going to Madrid Fashion Week, a puzzled face was often accompanied with “Don’t you mean Milan Fashion Week?” No, my geography knowledge isn’t that awful and no, I didn’t mean the historic fashion capital of Italy, but the burgeoning, Spanish hotspot, where local designers proudly showed their talent over five days worth of shows.

Granted, and not to the knowledge of those who asked the aforementioned question, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Much like Josephine’s experience of Kiev Fashion Week, I hadn’t had much interaction with the country's fashion scene (other than being an embarrassingly avid Loewe fan) and was excited to embrace the experience with a completely open mind. 

In partnership with Mercedes-Benz, the shows mainly took place at the IFEMA on the outskirts of Madrid, which boasted views of mountain ranges as far as the eye could see. On the catwalk, sights were drawn to the use of sequins that seemed to continuously pop up in nearly every show, and a ‘brash and bold’ aesthetic developed across the breadth of designers showing.

For AW20 collections, the designer’s weren’t afraid to bare all. Dominnico, who is famously known in the country for designing Spanish popstar Rosalía’s EMQ Tour outfits, paraded models in tiny hotpants and v-shaped bodysuits, whereas the brand Teresa Helbig featured a mini checked mini skort, which reignited memories of hiking up school skirts to questionable heights.

Teresa Helbig

For me (and the rest of the Spain, it seems) a highlight was heritage brand Pertegaz, whose return to the MBFWMadrid schedule prompted a frenzied celebrity front row. His green, tinsel-like double breasted blazer caused a stir with the ladies, the brand ultimately defined by its old school elegance, as its only accompaniment was a roll neck jumper, pair of sunglasses and heels.


The daring nature continued throughout multiple colour palettes. Metallic brights were key to the AW20 shows in Madrid, and the more 80s references, the better. Ana Locking, whose artistic background has heavily influenced her work, displayed many metallic dresses in shades of satsuma, lime and coral blue. An introverted approach came from Angel Schlesser, whose space-age maxi dress in silver sent the sparks of editors flying. 

Ana Locking

As a minimalist who likes to push the genre to its most extroverted side, what really excited me was the louder-than-life accessories, that stood on the fine line of wearable and completely mad. Since returning back to London, recurring visions of Dominnico’s platform boot have also accompanied me. The shoe, which came in a variety of white, green and red leather embroidered styles, used the classic cowboy boot as the body for the designer's imagination. One wrong step will result in a broken ankle (be warned) but paired with a tailored shirt from the likes of Nina Ricci, the end result would create an outfit so unique it’s worth taking the risk.


Other commendable mentions were the deconstructed teacups as bangles that Ulises Mérida presented, along with the Donnie Darko rabbit mask that covered the face of one of Brain & Beast models. These accessories are not for the faint hearted.

Ulises Mérida

The quality of fabrics and technique was instantly noticeable at the shows. Marcos Leungo’s prints on silks and velvet and Duarte’s eye for tailoring would run in competition with the most prestigious fashion houses. Despite being the lesser known of the fashion week cities starting with ‘M’, an exciting expression of creativity was displayed, reflecting its homeland’s techniques but still appealing to an international market. Madrid or Milan? Why choose, when we thankfully can have both?

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