From February 4 to 6, Barcelona, the artistic mosaic-colored Catalan city of Gaudì, hosted the BCN Fashion week ( with its four showrooms: Blanc, Verd, Groc and Play.

The Play Showroom in particular was a hotspot for the trendy crowd. Black carpets and white stands provided a simple, classic background to the innovative and fresh fashion. A relaxed atmosphere – including tables, chill-out zones and coffee bars – inside and outside made visitors and exhibitors feel the easy Spanish lifestyle. The sunny weather and the beautiful architectural backdrop of the Parc de Montjuïc and the neoclassic Museu Nacional d’Art Catalunya added to this feeling.

Labels such as VSCT, Freeman T. Porter and Agatha Ruiz de la Prada showed their a/w 2005-06 collections of men’s and women’s jeanswear, casualwear, urbanwear, swimwear and accessories.

Some designers even worked with the theme of the Barcelona Fashion Week: The Spanish brand Demano made bags out of polyester PVC banners with the BFW logo. The label’s lead designers Marcela Manrique, Liliana Andrade and Eleonora Parachini often recycle placards which announce the cultural events in town and make them into bags.

The BCN Showrooms drew 12,500 visitors, a quarter more than last September’s edition, in which 8,698 visitors came to the showrooms. The displayed creations were shown by 180 exhibitors and comprised 256 brands. Despite the rise in overall visitors, the exhibitors’ rate decreased compared to last year’s: In September, 190 exhibitors and 258 brands were presented.

The fair’s visitors came from many locations. On a national level, professionals attended the event from all of Spain’s Autonomous Communities, mainly Catalonia, followed by the Community of Valencia and the Balearic Islands, the Basque country and Galicia. Foreign visitors (27% of the total) increased 2% in comparison to the September 2004 edition. About 30 different countries were represented in the event. In terms of volume, most came from France, Italy, Belgium, Germany and England, but the event also drew visitors from South America (mainly Argentina and Brazil), North America and Asia (China and Japan in particular).

The work of hot avant-garde designers was seen during the eight fashion shows organized by Circuit, an innovative platform for the launching of new trends not just in fashion but also art, music and gastronomy. David Valls, Angel Vilda, Carles López, Cecilia Sörensen, Mercedes Gallego, Pilar Ruiz, Bambi and El Delgado Buil showed eccentric combinations of materials and patterns. The Circuit team, with Paula Feferbaum as director, presented the shows on February 4 and 5 to a well-selected group of international press in a big dark fabric hall with a chill-out space and candles.

The first day of the shows Circuit held a successful party on a boat at Barcelona’s harbor. At it, Berlin’s "in" band Chicks on Speed gave a concert and rocked the crowd.

This trendy band is not the only thing that will be arriving in Barcelona via Berlin. With the Bread & Butter trade show due to hold a spin-off edition in Barcelona in July, this could be just the beginning…

— Barbara Stockinger, Editorial Contributor