Thursday, October 14, 2010

Second stop: Marbella

Second stop since I started my research: Marbella, or as I like to call it Barbie land, where anything more noticeable than clothes is the silicone. While the old Marbella (15 to 20 years ago) was filled with elegantly dressed women in  discrete sober dresses, matching hats and beautiful shoes and bags, the new one is filled with girls dressed in minimalist clothing and flashy vulgar accessories.  Whereas in Madrid I was wondering what women were wearing, in Marbella they are almost wearing nothing. It seems that the new fashion is nude, and I am not referring to the color of course!

Marbella was once the home of a worldwide high society. Only the crème de la crème vacationed in the small town. But over the past five years, it also became a popular sight for money laundering, an attraction for mobsters, a home for an international mafia, and by consequence a desirable location for easy money and materialism. What’s better than attracting bold middle aged rich men in flashy cars than wearing almost nothing? Wearing nothing with flashy, cheap and tasteless accessories I guess!!!

I am all for women’s freedom to choose their own dress code but it’s nice not to expose too much skin. There is a thin line between sexy and vulgar. Sexy always leaves some things to the imagination. Vulgar is lack of good taste. So cover up a little chicas and I definitely do not mean make up! 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

First stop: Madrid

First stop since I started my research: Madrid. Excited about how the art and culture in Madrid might affect fashion in a positive way, I somehow ended up at a reception where everything was present but style. It seems that people have forgotten how to dress and have distanced themselves from the term elegance. Dressed in an electric blue BCBG short dress, black shiny Gucci stilettos, and a classic black Chanel handbag, I feared that I was underdressed. On the contrary, I was overdressed. Although men were all wearing suits, granted not all were color coordinated, most women were wearing…I’m not sure… I don’t know if most of these women tried to mark an assertive role in a male dominated business world, but they surely did not dress feminine enough. As women, we are so lucky to have an array of different styles in our closets, something I believe men should envy us for, so why dress like a man? And why always be underdressed even when the occasion calls for formal or semi-formal?

I must admit that I sound a bit harsh. I am judging all of Madrid according to a reception where the median age was 50. We have to remember that although Madrid is Spain’s capital city, it is not as renowned in fashion as Barcelona or other European cities such as Paris or London. However, walking through the streets of Madrid, there is a positive vibe. I can feel the rich culture surrounding me. The city has many museums and really beautiful architecture. It seems that the city is surrounded by art and is influenced by art. A sort of vibrant and colorful feel all around that reminds us that art is always present and alive in Madrid and visiting many of the boutiques in the city, it appeared to me that this same feeling influences many of the Spanish designers such as Custo or Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada.  In consequence, it has a great influence in the way people in the streets are dressed. The city is full of life and full of colors and so are the clothes.

So, I go back to my initial questions: with such an array of different styles, textures, vibrant colors, why do some women nowadays dress like a man, or even worse (because menswear can also obviously be trendy and elegant), be so underdressed even when the occasion calls for elegance? With such a fast pace world, have we forgotten to take the time to dress?