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Miriam Ponsa: Textural Clothes and Utilitarian Craft
Mittwoch, Juni 8, 2011, 14:28 / Barcelona, Spain
A constant presence on the Spanish fashion scene, Miriam Ponsa celebrated her first ten years in business last year, confirming her status as one of the country's most promising designers. In fact, Ponsa was more or less born into fashion, with her parents running a yarn factory she has fond memories of: “Since my childhood, I had been involved with the family yarn company and was always running through the various yarns and ribbons on the floor. The factory had a really industrial atmosphere with historical mills. I will always remember the sounds and smell of the oil there. As I grew older, I felt this urge to create, even though I didn't know at that time my whole energy would go into fashion.” A graduate from the Escola d'Arts i Tècniques de la Moda in Barcelona, Ponsa also studied at the Winchester School of Art in England, where she got her degree in fashion design.
Ponsa's signature is her work on textures and crafted effects, giving extra depth to her pieces: “My ongoing research with sculpture materials is one of my trademarks, as well as an artisan touch. I love the idea of comfort and work uniforms, too.” Ponsa knows how to balance the rough with the smooth. In her last catwalk show, presented during 080 in Barcelona, she was inspired by turn-of-the-century women washing their own clothes in the river or communal bathtubs. Bearing the marks of work and regular use, the clothes had a restrained charm and lived-in feel. For her, Catalan fashion is more about modesty than showy effects: “I do think there is a Catalan fashion identity,” explains Ponsa. “It has to with our culture and sensibility. It can be defined as a strong and rather austere design stance, putting loud statements aside.”
Even though Ponsa's name is famous in Spain, she is aware of the challenges that come with building up a brand locally: “People tend to view Spanish fashion as entertainment -which is positive in a way- but I'm not sure it is taken that seriously. Spanish designers should return to the core of fashion, respecting the value of their profession.” With several stores in Spain and a stylish online boutique, Ponsa seems happy with her first fashion decade: “We're still a very young company. We grew in a unique way and it feels like we are on the right path. I have an amazing team I am very close to.” Ponsa is currently busy with a project involving artists presenting their works on the second floor of her workshop, located in the small town of Manresa where she is based. As a creative platform, Barcelona clearly appeals to her: “It's a city that pushes independent ways of doing things and Barcelona keeps on renewing itself. However, when it comes to hard work, I prefer Manresa, where I don't have any of those nice distractions.”
Philippe Pourhashemi | TribaSpace
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