If there is one key proclamation that can sum up successful fashion talent today, then it has to be multi-discipline. As well as possessing a solid creative talent, today´s most savvy designers have to be fully conversant in the world of marketing, advertising and social media. In harsh comparison to several decades back, having a good collection is no longer a key to success. More and more consumers are buying into the complete lifestyle of the brand. In addition of relating to and interacting with the designers, their following public now look to engage with them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, at the very least. (One recent example being Burberry who now have an official iTunes playlist.) As well as a need for interaction, there comes a desire for the polemics of the aesthetic; The philosophy and thought process of the designer as both a person and ultimately a product.
Guillem Rodriguez is one example of the increasing number of ´fashion intellectuals´- a designer that has been educated in the multi-faceted process of design which can be applied to other areas (such as fashion) succinctly. Born in Barcelona in 1991, he studied at BAU Design School from which he graduated in 2013. A product of the nu-wave of fashion training, his education instilled him with values ¨ to have an open point of view for basic and contemporary design & society along with the interpretation of trends.¨
Ever since his youth, he was strongly attracted to drawing and the arts, before developing this passion into fashion design. This instilled within him, a sensitivity and imaginary that he currently seeks to explore and develop. His exposure to design along with retail management training (Burberry Prorsum) allows him to engage in customer interactions and explore the relationships between the creative and commercial facets of the industry .This experience has enabled him to reinforce his personal brand values, not just design for designs sake (as per say Olivier Theyskens) but to foster and instil sustainable values of buying less but choosing well, with an appreciation for quality and a more rationalised manipulation.
My images are society and I love to reflect on the current moment and the Zeitgeist. I put more importance on brand equity and origins for my design philosophies – Guillem Rodriguez
2014 saw him win the Modafad award with his collection ´Romantycs´ which was based on the research and development of his personal imagery. After Barcelona, he was presented to the Unimoda 2014 congress of fashion in Aguascalientes with his collection of the same name which was also equally well received.
The concept of ´Romantycs´ was born from by observing the escapism of the youngest generation of people that has grown at the same time as Internet and Social networking. These kind of images, reflect an ideal world connected with the romantic scene but also with a new aesthetic, calmer and lightly than the traditional romantic’s used to be.
Guillem believes that a necessity for new shapes and silhouettes form a stronger and more united collection. The statement of fashion has a dialogue and (black and white) and an essence (Yellow and navy blue) which should be succinctly adhered to, he confidently expressed.
His offering for Autumn/Winter 2014-15 ´Vulnerable´ reflects on the role of a romantic young avant-garde twist that leads to new times. This collection is conceived as linear silhouettes accompanied by classic tailoring, wool and textures. Stresses pairing white lines, grayscale and touches of navy as predominant colours in this forward thinking collection.
My projects are marriages of shape and texture, paying homage to abstract art and classical interpretations, in which my fusion of ´a man´ and ´a woman´ challenges old clichés – Guillem Rodriguez
As well as being a poetic soul, Guillem also takes inspiration from Louis Vuitton´s victorious Veranos, JW Alexander´s eccentricities and Loewe´s coolness factor, sprinkling in some Saint Laurent for street inspiration.
Guillem is currently working on a new collection which will be revealed in the not so distant future, although not too much will be given away on-line ¨Social media is an essential context for designers and followers to remain in constant connection. However, I believe in a personal media influence and not just an official page.¨
In addition to the new collection and the impending launch of his new website, 2016 could be another fruitful year for this talent because as well as crossing geographical boundaries, he will continue to cross sartorial ones to the gratitude of his peers and public alike.
Article: Charles Daniel McDonald, Executive Fashion Editor LookBook 360
Photography: Guillem Rodriguez / 080 Barcelona Fashion