Tag Archives: fashion

A ROCK ALIEN IN FASHIONLAND

I arrived to Madrid yesterday  afternoon…again. Yeah, I know, I should move here and start saving the money I’m investing in flights for another worthy enterprise. Believe me, I’m trying, in fact, this trip has to do with my plans for moving to the big city. Let’s see how it goes.

My sis wanted to invite someone to visit Madrid Fashion Week #MBMFW, as she had a spare invitation. As weird as it might sounds and having in mind I’m not into fashion trends, I have to admit there are several aspect I’m interested in, thus the possibility of nosing what’s hot in one of these fashion summits for free, was quite attractive.

It’s funny this point Agnès and I have reached of understanding and experimenting activities we wouldn’t carry out for ourselves. She wouldn’t go to rock shows, and I wouldn’t go shopping, but we love approaching the other’s side, and at the end of the day, we enjoy any kind of events together. She didn’t have to insist nor ask me. It took me 30 seconds to tell her I was IN.

The plan was set, she was to pick me up at the airport, we’d eat something quick and go to the fair to see if we could catch any runway show. We accomplish the target.

The week consists, not only of the fashion shows featuring collections by established and young designers, but also promo and marketing. Thus you can find lots of stands of the different brands of makeup, magazines, and other sponsors, and of course, in order to catch your attention there are scheduled activities for amusement.

When we arrived L’Oréal stand was helding a course of make-up, promoting a line of cosmetics.

There were photo calls in search for new talents where you could pose for a pic and then participate in contests and…who knows? Perhaps become a model.

Magazines stands were giving issues for free. We got this month’s Bazaar and girls were crazy looking after it, because the only one available was summer’s edition. I was flipping.

There was a double runway show scheduled while we were there, and we tried to sneak in, queuing waiting for the organization staff to confirm there were seats available who those not having the invitation or admission ticket. They stopped allowing people entering right behind us, so at least it was worth the wait.

I felt like attending one of these shows, whose cuts you’ve seen many times on TV and live the experience, but also wanted to observe the people who attend these events, professionals aside.

I was surprised to notice a remarkable presence of ladies in their 50-60’s, not pretending to prove anything, just having fun at the runways and nosing at anything, basically same as me.

I already knew fashion world was superficial and cold, but yesterday my suspicions were confirmed. With this I’m not saying all people involved are like that, but a great deal of them are close to the stupidity borders.

Sex and the City and Carrie Bradshaw have affected at least a couple of generations. There were girls with such outfits, Agnès, who is into fashion as you know, and I were shocked wondering whether they were dressed up for the occasion, as if in a costumes party, or they were for real. Impossible high heels some couldn’t wear without seeming dumb like ducks, perfect make up, nails and hair which at least took them 2 hours to get ready, and this forced attempt to be the coolest and most trending girl in the place. A bit ridiculous. You can be stylish and be influenced by fashion, but at the end of the day, if you’re such a slave to fashion, you’re just a copycat.

It was really funny to hear some conversations around and realize the level of intelligence and smart talk of people too. Sure not many had read something as simple as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Thinking this generation is the future, gives m the creeps. not only that, looking great implied being super rude to other people, and also being allowed to look over your shoulder. Terrific people!

Once I’ve criticized everything I saw, I will tell you the best of the whole thing was the beer, which was cheap. Guess not many skinny girls nor models drink much of it, so the price was ridiculous, and we were very glad.

Finally after queuing for 20 minutes we were IN the lounge ready for the shows.

Some Spanish celebrities and other relevant characters I wasn’t aware of, were occupying the firsts rows. All kind of cameras and flashes were allowed, which was very interesting, and the press photographers were at the end of the catwalk, right in front of the models, for better captures.

Agnès was giving me feedback, explaining about the lighting of the shows, focused on remark the outfits for this press, thus, even I wasn’t in the best place, nor with a great equipment, lighting and other circumstances considered, I can’t complain about the pictures I took.

First collection by Leyre Valiente, was very sci-fi inspired, with sheer fabrics sometimes, and other pieces featuring an excess of pleats.

The second collection by Eva Soto Conde, was completely inspired in origami. I did like this one the most, although there were dresses which reminded me of party garlands. Very colourful, this collection was lively.

Again I expected shows to be more extended in length, however everything was really quick, no more than 12 minutes each set.

Models were nice, but nothing to do with Gisele Bundchen or Naomi Campbell. The girls were really young, pale and very very skinny. Agnès had read a comment saying models were healthy icons, but believe me, that’s a fallacy.

Few years ago there was a scandal related to the extreme thinness in catwalks, and there was a standard minimum of BMI (Body Mass Index) marked as to control the models. What I saw yesterday was outrageous, and really can’t imagine how was before. TV really makes people look fatter, now I know that.

We spent 2 ½ hours submitted to super dark and artificial lights, awful disco music, surrounded by this halo of coolness and glamour. Not so glamour after all, professionals are working and you can see that in their attitude, observing, processing and taking notes, and then lots of young people, especially girls and fashion guys, who apparently will be spreading the trends right away.

Was it worth attending? Absolutely. I reckon it was an interesting experience and company, and consequently gossips and laughs, couldn’t be better. From time to time it rules being an intruder or an undercover agent checking what’s going on on the other side.

LET’S PLAY THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND THE MODEL

I’m glad my last visit to Madrid was so productive, filling an agenda with plenty of activities we don’t usually carry out when I’m visiting.

I’ve already told you about Hopper’s exhibition, and The Wildhearts’ special program at Viva Las Vegas. There were lots of beers and tapas with friends, and nice walks, but I want  to tell you about one of the funniest activities I shared with Agnès, which I’m looking forward to repeating, related to her blog, From Here to Fashion, photography, nice locations and outfits.

The blog cover many aspects regarding fashion, as you can imagine. Trends, designers, models, complements, vintage shops, photographers… topics which imply a research carried out via Internet, paper magazines, and the quest for inspiration in local shops. It’s not so simple as it might seem, and takes its time.

What has this to do with me? Sure you’re wondering, considering I’m not a fashion addict, even though I’m more interested and updated than it seems. For all the fields I’ve mentioned, my sis can handle by herself, but when it comes to show her own outfits, she modeling herself, in order not to deliver identical and boring pictures assisted by the automatic shooting mode, she needs some help.  Most of times, the appointed photographer is Kiko, and even though we know he’d do whatever for her beloved, he’s not into photography, thus, this outfits improvised sessions are quick, and taken in a very standard manner, so he doesn’t get bored or tired.

Imagine when Agnès asked me if I could take some pictures of her, and I accepted right away…she was so happy!

Agnès is a very controlling and organized person in some aspects in her life, as most of us, there are others in which she’s total chaos. I was amazed he way she handles her blog, scheduling posts, listing the outfits she wants to show, analyzing the complements to wear so everything perfectly matches. Quite impressive really!

You know our styles are totally different, I think mine hasn’t really changed in at least 15 years, but for including some items in my looks, such us make up, hairdo, skirts, tighter t-shirts, bags and glasses. That aside, I’m the kinda jeans and rock/film t-shirts with sneakers kinda girl. Perhaps I should ask Agnès to talk about my style more in depth, as far as I know, all the differences omitted, she likes my style as an important part of my personality.

On the other hand, since I met her many years ago, she’s changed her style completely, from top to bottom.  It’s funny to think what she’s gonna wear next time I’m seeing her. Really unexpected.

Let’s get to the point. I took pics of three outfits in two days, and the locations chosen were really nice.

First place was Campo del Moro gardens, which belong to the Royal Palace. A great variety of vegetation and trees , combined with beautiful fountains, and the quietness ruling, make of this place one of the coolest spots in Madrid.

Agnès was wearing a beautiful dress she found at her favorite vintage shop in the city, complemented with sandals and socks (I’m not into this mixture), and a cane bag resembling to the old fishing ones our grandparents used to carry.

I reckon she enjoyed the session lots, as I was shooting bursts, counting for her to move, and trying to make the whole thing more dynamic and interactive. Moreover, I was trying to cover her requirements regardless, and if I had to lay on the pavement to take a good shot of her sandals, even though I was covered with dust and pine stings after, I wouldn’t care less. I was up to everything.

Second session was that very same day after lunch, but unfortunate it was a quick one, due to terrible heat in the afternoon. We went nearby, to Madrid Rio, a project created at the bank of Manzanares river. It’s become a nice area the locals use for leisure activities and chilling out. Trees were planted but unfortunately haven’t grown up enough as to offer shelter from the killing sun.

This time Agnès was wearing a summer black jumpsuit, short, fresh and comfy, remarked by a pair of with platform sole sandals with a bow in white, quite pin up like.

Sun was so rough on us, she had to borrow my sunglasses to avoid much frowning. I was melting and almost blind, so the pictures were a bit lower profile. Sis, my apologies, I was dehydrating!

We were supposed to come back to Thyssen Museum to see the permanent exhibition, but it was such a wonderful morning at the Prado meadow, lying under the trees, enjoying the breeze and the fresh grass, we decided to spend some time simply for out joy and amusement, taking pictures, chatting and observing the people around. It was a blast!

This dress Agnès was wearing is one of my favorites, blue, red and white. Adorable and super easy to combine. In fact, complements chosen to fit were marvelous and mostly in red, which is my favorite color. A red satchel bag, the red Ray-Ban’s, the flat shoes and the red Swatch. Perfect. and the final touch with the golden bracelets.

It is really an interesting experience to take this kind of pictures. I’m not used to people modeling nor posing for me, nor having to capture details of things. I’m more into bands in motion, buildings, street art, and people in natural attitudes, so this is completely new for me, and I love it. Moreover, the fact that the model is my best friend encourages me to get good results, thus I try my best even though I’m not a pro by all means. Still, my condition as amateur doesn’t have to stop me from learning, trying and working hard as long as I can help my sis.

And finally, not only the best reward is seeing my pictures in her blog, which I encourage you to take a look at, and where you’ll find her outfits better explained, but also seeing her pleased and happy. And of course, the end of the sessions followed by a cold beer at one of these classic taverns, so typical in Madrid. Cheers!

Can’t wait for the next session, sis! Thanks for trusting me 🙂