Naranjo Del Vas is a fashion design collaboration between Paula Cánovas del Vas and Ernesto Naranjo. Following a chance meeting with Vittoria Matarrese, head of special projects at Palais de Tokyo, the pair were invited to exhibit a new kind of fashion show presenting the idea of a parallel presentation with a vision to democratise the fashion system. The idea involved the designs and models interacting as “live sculptures” with each other and the audience in an attempt to revolutionise the traditional, voyeuristic set-up of fashion runways. Currently, Naranjo del Vas are presenting their AW Couture 2019 collection, showcasing an alternative vision to their Palais de Tokyó programme.
Both Paula and Ernesto graduated from the MA Fashion Design course at Central Saint Martins. “We have worked together as a creative duo for several brands and projects and we thought it could be a great opportunity to create a dialogue between our personal work”, the duo tells It’s Nice That. “We want the visitor to have a dialogue with the pieces, it’s important that if you get the chance to show in a special place you take the chance to do something out of the fashion bubble”, explains Paula and Ernesto. For the AW19 collection, the idea revolves around merging the viewers with a first-hand experience of the pieces. This interactive nature offers a highly individual element to the world of fashion runways, something that is more often seen in theatre productions and performance art.
Although their design practices are aesthetically and thematically different, this collaboration creates a synergy between the designs and living sculptures. The two Spanish designers draw similarities between their shared cultural background and their thorough research methods. “When we work for a brand we try to inject our own personal values and points of view while always respecting the brand values and ideals”, explains Paula and Ernesto. “Being at Central Saint Martins made us react and work in similar ways, we complement each other really well”.
Paula’s work ranges from work with Nike, Gucci and Maison Margiela. Her practice is research-based and inspired by literature and beauty conventions while touching on feminism. Known for garments with extra-large volumes and silhouettes, her pieces incorporate techniques such as embossing, knitting and printing which tie her work to a sense of craft. Her voluminous pieces make statements of empowerment, affirmed by the designer’s use of bold and florescent colours.
Alternatively, Ernesto’s design practice is based on the values of “family first”. Characterisation and a sense of community are central to his research and creative process; greatly informed by his Spanish upbringing. Within his work, the dramatic edge merges with the ironic which merges with sharp, geometric shapes. His collections possess a strong yet flexible sense of cohesiveness that create differing narratives depending on the mix of characters and garments exhibited. The recipient of the Alexander McQueen Scholarship during his masters degree, Ernesto has also worked under John Galliano in both Artisanal and Prêt-à-Porter lines.
Naranjo del Vas is an exciting addition to London’s fashion industry, their unique outlook on how fashion pieces should be viewed, along with how they present their work in parallel to each other demonstrates an original ability for spirited thinking and collaboration.
About the Author
Jyni became a staff writer in March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.