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Olé to the Art of Dressing Up! Hello Frills, Feathers, Ruffles and Sequins, Madrid is Ready to Party.

Image Credit Vogue
Sculptural embellishments – at Isabel Sanchis


Image Credit Mercedes-Benz Madrid Fashion Week, participating designers and Vogue


Madrid Fashion Week was a glitzy affair and the city of Madrid became the focal point of extraordinary fashion for a week as the 77th edition of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week got underway. A city with an enviable fashion heritage, felt even more festive when an entourage of Spanish celebrities, musicians, TV personalities, fashionistas, models, stylists and of course the real stars of the shows – the stalwart designers as well as the up-an-coming creative talent – descended on Madrid for a few intense, action-packed days of unadulterated, delicious, extravagant fashion.

As for trends – judging by the glitz and glamour, the frills, ruffles, feathers and sequins at so many of the offerings, it seems dressing up to the hilt for occasions (and that may be a humble lunch!) is back in fashion again, yay! Take for example the collections of Pedro del Hierro, Pertegaz, Isabel Sanchis, Guillermo Decimo, Hannbal Laguna and Encinar, who took us back to the golden age of Hollywood with hourglass shaped silhouettes, sumptuous fabrics and timeless elegance.

Superstars of the Spanish fashion scene, the likes of Teresa Helbig, Mans, Ernesto Naranjo, Dominnico and Carlota Barrera, gave us memorable collections. The coveted Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talent Award went to The eponymous menswear range showcased by newcomer to the scene, Aitor Goikoetxea. Two very talented guest designers, Maison Artc and Albert Oiknine, within the “Morocco, Kingdom of Light” program, also delivered some exceptional work. There were so many noteworthy collections, but a few that jumped out at us are Isabel Sanchis’ couture collection, the ethereal textures & layering at Ernesto Naranjo, the cheery, bold colour combinations at Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, the dandy men’s tailoring at Paloma Suarez, the sumptuously elegant floor-sweeping ballgowns at Hannibal Laguna and the fun, OTT faux fur coats at Odette Alvarez.

We’ve spotted quite a few key trends for AW 2023/4 on our journey of aesthetic delights – from nostalgic Hollywood glamour to a sea-green tribute to the sea-gods of the azure Mediterranean. Sit back and enjoy all the divine, extravagant and inspiring fashion – all with a dramatic and characteristically Spanish flair.

Here’s a little taster of live shows to catapult you straight into the action …

Watch Encinar’s show here:

Watch Odette Alvarez’ show here:

Watch Fely Campo’s show here:



‘Ethereal, sensual and angelic’ spring to mind in the light of Ernesto Naranja’s exquisite pastel-hued range for Madrid Fashion Week. The smart layering of transparent chiffon and organza is juxtaposed with sensuously draped jersey fabrics, the sugary pastels and nudes reigned in with accents of black, deep aubergine and chocolate brown, and softened with pom poms, faux fur and tactile fringed textures. The silhouettes are avant-garde and youthful – sexy even, and exceedingly sculptural. These individual pieces can easily stand alone, but we can also think of innumerable ways of incorporating them to an existing wardrobe. Other designers who love embraced this trend are Otrura with their flimsy transparency, Teresa Helbig with their fairy-like surface patterning and Moises Nieto with their fine, metallic draped tunics.

Image Credit Vogue
Sugary pastels and transparent, nude trousers – at Ernesto Naranjo

Image Credit Vogue
Ethereal and transparent – at Ernesto Naranjo

Image Credit Vogue
Pastel drapery – at Ernesto Naranjo

Image Credit Vogue
Faux fur pomp oms soften the look – at Ernesto Naranjo

Image Credit Vogue
Fifties-inspired silhouette – at Ernesto Naranjo

Image Credit Vogue
A textured collar soften the look – at Ernesto Naranjo

Image Credit Vogue
Drapery and a few black accents create an ethereal, avant-garde look – at Ernesto Naranjo

Image Credit Teresa Helbig © IFEMA
Fairy-like suefce patterning create this ethereal look – at Teresa Helbig

Image Credit Andres Sarda © IFEMA
Out-of-this-world delicacy in this silver lacy ensemble – at Andres Sarda

Image Credit Otrura © IFEMA
Transparent trousers complete the magic – at Otrura

Image Credit Moises Nieto © IFEMA
Metallic drapery suggests an elegant silhouette – at Moises Nieto



Sensational floor-sweeping ballgowns in organza, chiffon, tulle, jersey, silk and satin graced the runways, with colours ranging from saturated primary shades to subtle nudes and neutrals. Beading, embroidery, sequins, rhinestones and other exquisite tactile embellishments added to the extravagant allure of the offerings.

Isabel Sanchis properly heralded in the thrust for this season’s glamour and elegance that we saw at so many of the collections at Madrid Fashion Week. A beloved household name in Spain, Isabel Sanchis has been creating beautiful ready-to-wear as well as couture pieces since 1990 (currently present in a whopping 40 countries worldwide). We adore the subtle sunray pleating that we saw in so many ballgowns in this super elegant collection.

Watch Isabel Sanchis’ show here:

Image Credit Isabel Sanchís © IFEMA
A sculptural sleeve – at Isabel Sanchis

Image Credit Isabel Sanchís © IFEMA
Sea Princess! Pleating and scales – at Isabel Sanchis

Image Credit Isabel Sanchís © IFEMA
Clever draped sleeves in this chartreuse ensemble – at Isabel Sanchis

Isabel Sanchís © IFEMA
Chocolate brown pleating – at Isabel Sanchis

Image Credit Isabel Sanchís © IFEMA
Dramatic and sculptural – at Isabel Sanchis

Image Credit Isabel Sanchís © IFEMA
One solitary white rose on the hip – at Isabel Sanchis



The trend for spellbinding Hollywood allure was to be seen in many collections, with lace, sequins, bows, feathers and sumptuous satin, silk and brocade having a moment. Exaggerated sleeves, balconette tops, underskirts, generous pleats and ruffles completed these ultra-feminine looks. Designers who revelled in this trend include Guilliermo Decimo, Hannibal Laguna, Rafael Urquizar, Odette Alvarez and Encinar.

Image Credit Guillermo Décimo © IFEMA
Fifties glamour in this lacy-top nude pink dress – at Guillermo Décimo

Image Credit Hannibal Laguna © IFEMA
A symphony in royal purple ruffles and bows – at Hannibal Laguna

Watch Hannibal Laguna’s show here:

Image Credit Hannibal Laguna © IFEMA
Slits up to the armpits -at Hannibal Laguna

Image Credit Rafael Urquizar © IFEMA
Elegance personified in this cape dress with frogging details

Image Credit Sabela Juncal © IFEMA
It’s all about the sleeves! At Sabela Juncal

Image Credit Encinar © IFE
Pull on a pair of pink sleeves for instant glam! At Encinar

Image Credit Rafael Urquízar © IFEMA
Classic drapery at Rafael Urquizar

Image Credit “Morocco , Kingdom of Light” by Albert Oiknine © IFEMA
A theatrical period-inspired lace gwon – at Albert Oiknine

Image Credit Odette Álvarez © IFEMA
Contemporary glamour – at Odette Álvarez

Odette Álvarez © IFEMA
Painterly glamour – at Odette Álvarez



Various designers embraced the artist within themselves for Madrid 2023 – from Maison Artc’s Medieval and Renaissance inspiration to Reparto’s Greek digital prints and Eduardo Nvarette’s classic mosaic swimsuits. Maya Hansen’s leather artistry also got our attention.

Image Credit “Morocco , Kingdom of Light” by Maison Artc © IFEMA
Medieval inspiration – At Maison Artc

Image Credit “Morocco , Kingdom of Light” by Maison Artc © IFEMA
Renaissance digital art – Maison Artc

Image Credit Reparto © IFEMA
Greek-inspiration in this banknote print – at Reparto

Image Credit Aitor Goikoetxea © IFEMA
New Talent Winner Aitor Goikoetxea ‘painted’ with patchwork effects

Eduardo Navarette © IFEMA
Mosaic art – at Eduardo Navarette

Image Credit Duarte © IFEMA
Painterly effects – at Duarte

Image Credit Maya Hansen © IFEMA
Leather artisitry – at Maya Hansen

Image Credit Maya Hansen © IFEMA
Exquisite leather craft – at Maya Hansen



Spanish design has always had a penchant for combining colour, and this season at Madrid was no different. Creative director Jaime Álvarez created a feat of colour and texture for Mans. Floor-sweeping coats were worn over fuzzy sweaters and sleek leather pants. Rust, sage green and lavender combined in ensembles to great effect. Duarte also created some fabulous colour-blocking inspiration, combining, for example, tangerine with caramel and salmon – just inspired! Paloma Suárez played with deepest aubergine and beetroot – with the added detail of a cheeky hounds tooth insert.

Image Credit Vogue
Three shades of the rust family – at Mans

Image Credit Vogue
Green, green and green – at Mans

Image Credit Vogue
Rust combines with navy and lavender, with a hint of sky blue at the collar – at Mans

Image Credit Fely Campo © IFEMA
Beetroot and dusty lavender – at Fely Campo

Image Credit Pilar Dalbat © IFEMA
The combo of royal blue and gold will always be a winner – at Pilar Dilbat

Image Credit Duarte © IFEMA
Caramel, tangerine and salmon – at Duarte

Image Credit Pablo Erroz © IFEMA
Olive and raspberry perfectly balance the tangerine coif! At Pablo Erroz

Image Credit Paloma Suárez © IFEMA
Aubergine, beetroot and some hounds tooth – at Paloma Suárez



Green was without a shadow of a doubt the love child of designers at Madrid 2023. Green came in many guises – from sage to olive, khaki to poison green, teal to turquoise, sea-green to bottle green – and every shade in between. One of the stand-out pieces of the show is Isabel Sanchis’ sweeping, classic pleated sea-green ballgown. Fernando Claro’s graded sequin suit also made it to our made ‘must have’ list! Other noteworthy designers who celebrated green were María Lafuente, Paloma Suárez and Moises Nieto.

Image Credit Isabel Sanchís © IFEMA
A standout ballgown in sea-green pleats – at Isabel Sanchis

Image Credit María Lafuente © IFEMA
Sea-green and contemporary – at María Lafuente

Image Credit Sierra Crosses © IFEM
Alpine intarsia – at Sierra Crosses

Image Credit Paloma Suárez © IFEMA
Monochromatic teal – at Paloma Suárez

Fernando Claro © IFEM
A fluid sequn suit in sea shades – at Fernanado Claro

Image Credit Fernando Claro © IFEMA
Deepest green shades in this shimmery ensemble – at Fernando Claro

Image Credit Moises Nieto © IFEMA
Retro inspiration in this green frock – at Moises Nieto

Image Credit Carlota Barrera © IFEMA
Fishnet trousers pay homage to the Med – at Carlota Barrera

Image Credit Vogue
‘Lara Croft’ in chartreuse! At Domennico

Image Credit Aitor Goikoetxea © IFEMA
Strappy ‘seaweed’-like sea-green and blue ensembles – at Aitor Goikoetxea


Goodbye from Mercedes-Benz Madrid Fashion Week!


Carlota Barrera © IFEMA


Cecile Paul

Author at Pynck

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