On the runway, the line between poignant and pointless is laser sharp. A shade of rouge brighter or a step slower or an odd prop can blow your entire concept to smithereens. Instead of clothes – which for a designer means livelihood – the talk of the town, if any, would be about the show itself, extraneous and short-lived. Manuel Bolaño boldly unveiled his ten fall-winter looks in a tableau vivant invoking a painting class… Titled “Oh Judy, I need your love” the capsule collection was an unabashed tribute to technicolor musicals, faded rodeo postcards, all things Americana and camp. The margin of error was set wide open as the prairie sky, but one does not collect accolades on faux pas. Bolaño has already won best womenswear prize at 080 Barcelona Fashion Week twice. The fate of Judy was in capable hands. The cowboy silhouettes, the little rascal sweaters, the heartbreakingly earnest tin man suit… As if suddenly waking up from a nap on a Paramount backlot in its classics heyday, it was all beautiful, it all worked, even/especially the melodramatic floral prints equally befitting drapes, tablecloths, wallpaper. The challenge with costume-conscious collections, even the bestest of the best of ‘em (see Toronto’s David C. Wigley or Copenhagen’s Nicholas Nybro), is that at some point you have to wake up wake up and consider these garments as “mere” clothes for your own life wherein a star, that you are, still does not always fit in or get their wish. In other words… How well could this sell? What would you buy? How does it affect your livelihood outlook? Oh Judy, is your love enough?! Sincerely, Alexey Timbul

Rodeo with Manuel at Facebook & Instagram and check out my other Barcelona 080 fall-winter 20016-17 reviews: the bright existential crisis of CARLOTAOMS, the eight more reasons to adore Miquel Suay, and others.

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