Designer Custo Dalmau was feeling a bit subdued for Spring. "This collection is about sophistication," said the designer earlier this week in the basement of his Soho boutique. But subdued and sophisticated mean something different for the always vibrant, entirely eclectic Barcelona-based label than they do for most.
Instead of a collection of beautifully engineered jacquards and woven raffia haphazardly piled on one another, Dalmau was content with pairing two or three textures. The change was good. For instance, a sheer white blouse with sweet broderie anglaise accents was worn with a pair of long culottes, the front of which were done in a red and white Aztec embroidery, the back of which were printed with a black and white hieroglyphics motif. The outfit was topped off with a red and white visor. Yes, it was a lot, but it still looked good. Same went for a shimmering rose-gold blouse embroidered with neon raffia at the shoulders and worn with a metallic jacquard skort. On the men's front, a pair of iridescent, tiger head-printed trousers elicited cheers from the males in the audience. They would never fly north of Miami—especially worn with that fishnet tank—but there's obviously a market for them.
In this increasingly global world, the way we dress day to day will continue to homogenize. It's good to see that Dalmau recognizes the fact that globally, consumers are more clued in to current fashions, and that he's willing to offer some more practical, trend-driven pieces. But it's also nice that there's still a colorfully printed bathing suit with purple leather fringe hanging from the sides in the collection, even if it's something only one in one hundred would want to wear. It's pieces like these that help Dalmau keep his standing as a fashion original.