Some collections I instantly fall for. Some shows irk me. And then there is Txell Miras. Barcelona-based designer continues to really challenges me as a fashion writer and consumer. I don’t know what to make of her work. I go back and forth between so into it and ain’t touchin’ it. Last season at 080 Barcelona Fashion Week I convinced myself to err on the side of just letting it be. This season I keep circling back to the collection in an attempt to get away from its spell. There is no escaping this now: Txell Miras is the most fascinating fashion designer working in Spain today. Here are both 2016 collections as proof why…
FALL ’16 – CONVENTUAL
First impression. Project Runway: Vatican. The straight up habits, the coarse knitting of scarfs and waistbands, the heavy cloaks recut into cumbersome coats and jackets. Are we on a mission to spice up conventwear for the 21st century? If you stay with it long enough for the initial dismay to bypass you, the collection reassembles itself into a more nuanced vision. The crucifixes are deconstructed into minimalist references. The rider pants preach street style gospel. The noir nun prints are freakishly Hitchcock-ian. As soon as Nordic moose make a bewildering appearance on the runway, we enter the monochrome version of Pedro Almodovar’s delightfully blasphemous Dark Habits. I can’t look (away).
SPRING ’16 – DISARM
In case you missed it, Txell Miras launched a summertime offensive against the military aesthetic. The designer subtly repurposed the functionality of uniform buttons, lapels, epaulettes in a neat guerilla warfare move. The volume on strategically recut pieces got turned up to billowing. By the time we got around to khaki looks, the camouflage threat level has been downgraded to “lampshade”. Black sandals/boots had me wondering is this for real, for days. It seemed at once conceptually over-the-top and tongue-not-enough-in-cheek. It made me question what was I seeing to the point where I realized I was actively looking for militarism in spaces no longer occupied by it. It freaked me out. It called me out. I was chicken shit not to claim it as Best-in-Show that it was. I stand corrected in anticipation of more subversive brilliance from Txell Miras.
Onwards, Alexey Timbul