Barcelona Fashion Week, Part II

More from Barcelona Fashion Week…

Locals know all about Txell Miras, the shadowy, deconstructionist label that rarely ventures outside of a black-on-black, Belgian color palette. So for the rest of her audience, designer Meritxell Miras (who’s been moonlighting at Neil Barrett since 2003) strapped miners’ lights to the foreheads of her models. How better to illuminate the dark, cavernous terrain of her aggressive, medieval aesthetic, with its endless wrapping, tucking, wrinkling, layering and folding? It was easy to get lost among all the zippers and pockets of her women’s collection—and was that a snood?—but by the end of the show we found ourselves marveling at her lean, mean men’s-style jackets. She might be the Catalan Rick Owens.

South Korean men’s designer Juun J did a double take this season, showing his fall collection in Paris and again in Barcelona. The collection, too, was about things that can be taken in two ways, full of sartorial double entendres. A suit jacket morphed into a tailcoat with the tail carried in a model’s hand; berets were large and disc-like, recalling woven bamboo hats worn by Chinese field workers; arm sleeves on leather bombers were unzipped lengthwise to create a capelet shape; and solid white and black shoes had soles so big and straight-edged that they looked like little coffins. By the time a series of repurposed trench coats with giant double collars emerged, one of which was held above a model’s head as if to shield from imaginary rain, it became clear we were being treated to a kind of avant-noir, East-West, split-personality spectacle. Stunning.

At Tsolo Munkh, to the pound of drums, we witnessed tumbling masses of frayed, recovered fabrics, seemingly unearthed leathers, monastic volumes, huge horn-shaped shoulders, and an overall exquisite lack of tailoring. Why bother with tailoring when you have frightening Buddhist demons embroidered at the knee? Born and raised in Mongolia, now based in Paris, designer Tsolmandakh Munkhuu is a nonconformist through and through, aiming to take her haute-sauvage to a higher plain. Most frightening of all? The Milli Vanilli hair.

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