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In the midst of an iconic Paris fashion week, Carlota Barrera made sure to bring a piece of Spain over to the French capital. Presenting her latest collection, Generational Relay, the Spanish designer took us on a journey back to her roots, immersing us in the cultural landscape of her country of birth. Drawing inspiration from the 1990s and the decade's transformative social dynamics, the collection encapsulates the essence of reflection, freedom, and fluidity. Unveiled at her Paris showroom, this new line showcases Barrera's signature tailoring from a fresh perspective, introducing layering techniques and innovative designs that blur the boundaries between real and imagined.

With a fusion of street influences, urban aesthetics, and musical inspirations from icons like Patti Smith and Kurt Cobain, the collection channels the creative freedom and authenticity that defined such an inspirational era. Carlota Barrera intertwines cultural references, resulting in a contemporary line that celebrates individuality. The colour palette of Generational Relay harmonises neutral tones —white, black, and grey—with vibrant hues of green and pink. Serving as the foundation for a study on silhouette and proportions, these neutral shades create a versatile canvas for creativity to thrive. Injecting freshness and vitality, the bold pops of colour add an element of surprise and playfulness to the collection.

The hallmark of Carlota's aesthetic, tailoring, undergoes a captivating transformation in this collection. Building on classic patterns, the designer introduces double-layered sleeves and trouser legs, adding depth and dimension to timeless silhouettes. The interplay of simplicity and complexity creates statement pieces that effortlessly blend elegance with a touch of rebellion. Trompe l'oeil effects cleverly deceive the eye, blurring the lines between reality and imagination, while fabrics like cotton voile, wool, and Tencel contribute to a relaxed and versatile feel.

As an iconic pillar of the brand, denim takes centre stage in Carlota's experimentation. The collection features deconstructed denim pieces that push the boundaries of traditional craftsmanship. Distinctive cuts and intricate details breathe new life into this versatile fabric, capturing the spirit of reinvention and breaking away from conformity.

The collection's ‘cut-out’ motif serves as a symbol of rebellion, representing an unfinished circle that speaks to the current demands of the fashion industry. In an era defined by immediacy and increased consumption, Carlota Barrera emphasises the beauty and value of handwork, highlighting the importance of traditional Spanish craftsmanship. Collaborating with small workshops in Madrid, the brand aims to reignite the appreciation for craft heritage, fostering a new culture that preserves and perpetuates the significance of these traditions. Her commitment to preserving Spanish craftsmanship is evident throughout the collection, Barrera collaborates with partners such as Ábatte, a company specialising in natural fibres in an old monastery in Segovia, and the historic tin workshop Estaños de Pedraza, paying homage to traditional trades at risk of disappearing. Together, they create unique pieces that honour the past while embracing the future.

To provide an intimate glimpse into the creative process, Carlota Barrera invites viewers to their Madrid studio, capturing the essence of craftsmanship in a documentary produced in collaboration with Querida Studio and Mañana. Directed by Guillem Cruells, the film amplifies the voices of the professionals who contribute to the brand’s vision, while Nicolás Feriche's imagery immortalises the entire development process of the Spring/Summer 2024 collection.

Recognised for their exceptional vision, Carlota Barrera, with the support of the Madrid City Council and as winners of the Madrid Capital of Fashion 2022 award, aims to establish a meeting place for industry professionals. By facilitating dialogue between generations and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, the brand strives to pave the way for innovative approaches to craftsmanship and knowledge-sharing, ensuring a vibrant future for the Spanish fashion industry.

Nur Rezai-Mah
Pablo Zamora

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