Haute Couture in Bilbao

Bilbao: small city in the north of Spain. Known for its industrial history, fancy art museum, and amazing pintxos (the local word for tapas). Not exactly known for its fashion scene. So I was pleasantly surprised when, while visiting my hometown in Spain, I came across this mini exhibition set up in one of the city’s main shopping centres, Zubiarte. A series of (I think) one-off pieces made by Bilbao-based couturiers Manuel and Ariana, they specialize in statement bridal, occasionwear and basically in-your-face wear. Whilst I probably wouldn’t go for any of these pieces, I found it charming how unique they were. I’m not exactly clued-up about bridal wear trends, but my impressions from the exhibition were that the design duo seem to have little regard for current trends – and I mean that as a compliment! The pieces are just so different and romantic that it would be hard to spot any direct references – if anything, many of the pieces do have a vintage (even Victorian?) feel…

I loved this dress not so much because of the design itself but because of the amazing presence it had. There’s something very arty and sculptural about it. This dress has a very Victorian feel for me, I could almost picture it in a 19th century ghost story.

My Gothic Fair Lady?

Again, this has a Victorian vibe, or at least looks very vintage. I love the layers on the skirt, they sort of give the dress a child-like quality.

Not sure about the fluffiness but I love the construction of this jacket.

I love this dress! It had a really sweet back (a small white bow) and the fit just looks so right. If only I could hear wedding bells…

I suggest you take a look at their pretty website – most of these pieces are on there (as well as some other dresses that I have fallen in love with) and seeing them on models makes all the difference. To sum up, it’s always nice to see fashion-y stuff
happening in Bilbao, and to be reminded that creativity can happen
anywhere – even in the smallest of cities.

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