It’s been a big fashion month week for the Spanish-born designer Paula Canovas del Vas. The 2022 Vogue Fashion Fund Spain winner packed up her collection in her London studio, loaded it onto a truck along with all of her other possessions, and drove to Paris to start a new chapter. By the time she presented her fall outing in the gilded salons of the Instituto Cervantes on the Avenue Marceau, she had found not only a place to live but also a studio, a carpentry atelier loaned by a friend’s father in the eastern reaches of Paris.
Exciting, yes, but also a bittersweet Brexit tale about a small brand trying to grow while also struggling just to extract samples from customs. And so a new adventure begins. For fall, the designer used deadstock yarns to produce high-texture pieces, like fitted striped sweaters in sage and blue or gray and fuchsia with oversized, crumpled-looking mutton sleeves, or full-coverage mohair balaclavas hand-knitted in London. Bold-hued silks and Japanese denim were sourced the same way, then given new life. A red blouse with a great swirl of fabric around the shoulders looked striking. As part of the presentation, models were asked to use fluorescent markers to doodle on transparent easels and podiums, outlining the imprint of Del Vas’s signature cleave-toe shoe, a style handmade by a total of eight artisans in her native Spain.
“It’s nerve-wracking because you don’t know what will happen, but it brings a different perspective,” the designer said. “What’s exciting to me is seeing how the narrative evolves.” Now that she’s in Paris, we’re looking forward to seeing how the designer’s narrative evolves, too.