A Cornucopia of References at Manuel Bolaño’s SS2015 Show

This season, Bolaño regaled us with a tale of cardinal reds, blush pinks and terra cottas, which, like his AW2013 show four seasons ago, was combined primarily with black or white to form each look.

MB_2014_2

Some sportswear pieces dominated the collection, and these were beautifully executed. But alongside the stripes ‘n’ sneakers that usually signify sportswear, throw in some broadbrim hats and crowns of thorns (or, technically, tourmaline) and it is safe to say that Manuel lost me a bit on the reference or look he was going for with his collection this season.

Hair and makeup form a major part of Manuel Bolaño’s storytelling each season. It is, afterall, he who gave us the sweet Lolita guys and gals with their air pollution masks and pin-straight hair from SS2014; and models with elaborate Mayan tattoos from his AW2013-14 show. This season, his girls came down the catwalk with pinched brows (which seemed to age them) and bruised knees (which bestowed a sense of playground youth).

MB_2014_4

There was quite a lot going on with the silhouettes, sometimes it was sportswear, other times, like an assymmetric floral appliqué dress which was rendered in red and in black, it was breezy-romantic. Two consistent elements were the ragdoll teddy, which has followed Manuel through many seasons, and the insect motif, which was immaculately rendered on the gauze of some of the sportswear.

MB_2014_3

In all, I think Bolaño’s ideas for this season’s collection, or the looks that resulted from it, could have benefited from a bit of editing. It didn’t seem to know if it wanted to be a sportswear collection, or goth, or romantic, or Wild Wild West. It is a challenge for even the most experienced of designers to try to pull off a seamless combination of four references in one collection.

ManuelBolanoShow2014SS

What I did like were the insect references (including an iridescent men’s jacket that seemed to emulate the colouring of a fly’s wings), and Bolaño’s quick-as-bolt bow at the end (I see he’s keeping up the red facial hair!).

BolanoBow

Please note: You can now find us on Instagram, where I document some more of our fashion week adventure in pictures. And if you missed our general review of our experience at the fashion week this season, you can read it here.

love,
Minku

Advertisements

Sweet Lolita, Lolita Sweet

Manuel Bolano’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection took the kawaii (cute) subculture of Japanese youth and gave it a thoroughly grown-up edge. Limiting the palette of pastels to shades of mint and baby blue, and combining it with tuscan beige, Bolano presented a collection in which each outfit was a sum of its many parts: stuffed-animal-as-accessory, mint polka dot socks, tapering coat, necktie of lock of blonde hair, bear-ears hat, and in instances bordering on geek, over-sized backpack and geek-cool glasses.

BolanoSS2014_1 BolanoSS2014_2 BolanoSS2014_3 BolanoSS2014_4

The tailoring was immaculate. Also interesting was Bolano’s allusion to rock climbing, with mountaineering-strength rope and hooks forming belts and backpack drawstrings.

Manuel has given the world another masterpiece with his Spring/Summer 2014 collection, and we would do well to sit up and listen.

Futuristic Amish at Manuel Bolano Autumn/Winter 2013-14

It’s hard to imagine the Amish of the future without being tempted to throw in a device centered around a motherboard. Wanna try? Close your eyes, give it a shot, reopen eyes when exhausted.

Enter Manuel Bolano, young Barcelona born/Galicia raised fashion visionary with the vocabulary to ideate an Amish future beyond iPads and broadband (how about some zippers, blue lipstick and golden russet hats?)

For his Autumn/Winter 2013-14 collection, Bolano sent his models down the 080 runway dressed in Yayoi Kusama spots, their endearingly-tattooed faces maintaining the fixated glare of a people caught between the necessity of eventual progress and a battle with the ills it introduces. Forget homogeneity – many of his models were unmistakably Asian, Scandinavian… as if to imagine a future of Amish cross-breeding.

BolanoFallWinter2013

Textile-wise, simplistic cotton and knits remained prevalent but Bolano also imagined the occasional fashion-embracing Amish, unafraid to welcome a bit of vanity with sequined black tops from Philly, a bit of sheer, lots of shine.

BolanoFallWinter2013pt2BolanoFallWinter2013pt3

Barely five years fresh from launching his own line after his studies at Felicidad Duce fashion school, he has become in artistic vision, elaborateness of execution and historical story-retelling, something of a John Galliano. From their Mayan-like facial tattoos to their herringbone braids, the narrative was woven not just into the clothes in the collection, but also into the styling and carriage of the models, making them actors of sorts.

ManuelBolanoFallWinter2013_details1

Speaking of actors, how long is it before AMC or HBO draws on the Amish community for inspiration for their next prime-time TV offering? I can see it already, thanks to Manuel’s styling and a bit of Photoshop adeptness on my part:

ManuelBolanoAutumnWinter2013_Poster

Fashion needs more Maunel Bolano – part of a new guard unafraid to draw inspiration then run with it into uncharted, unexpected and unforgettable waters.

And hey, what do you think about the idea for that show?

Minku

*Lob Lied is an Amish song usually sung in church congregations.