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We talk W/ Melania Freire winner of Mercedes Benz Fashion Talent 2019

Melania Freire stood out for creating a collection inspired by the vivid colours and shapes of the painter David Hockney.

Freire stood out for creating a collection inspired by the vivid colors and shapes of the painter David Hockney.

Melania Freire

Inspired by the retrospective of artist David Hockney at TATE, Melania Freire won this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Talent. With a perfect balance between art, concept, fashion and the most exquisite tailoring, the Galician has achieved that her collection is the most commented of the MBFWM.

Thanks to this award, Freire (@melaniafreire), will present her collection in a runway outside Spain – Prague -. Without a doubt, a good opportunity to make yourself known beyond our borders and above all to expand the networking. We talked with her about her collection, past and future.

H. Your Autumn/Winter 19-20 collection has been awarded the Mercedes Benz Fashion Talent Award 2019. How do you feel about it?

Melania Freire (MF) – I feel satisfied… This is a collection in which I was especially involved, moved by a certain responsibility towards the author and the institution to which I was referring and with the need to try to make something tremendously big as is the work of David Hockney and the sensitivity with which he works color and form. The complexity that I faced when polishing such a quantity of stimulus and influences makes me see the collection finished and in the Samsung EGO catwalk, being also awarded the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talent, I was full of a very, very special satisfaction. In the end I just think that all those hours of sudden blockages and inspirations between paintings, patterns and fabrics have been worth it.

H. Your Autumn/Winter 19-20 collection has been referenced with the paintings of Pop Art artist David Hockney (you even stamped the ticket of one of his exhibitions at the TATE in London on several garments). What is the reason for this election? How do you describe the result of capturing his paintings on the clothes?

MF – This collection is inspired by Hockney’s retrospective of the TATE, and it is that the walk through the different rooms that showed all his stages as an artist served me to verify that he is a total artist, in constant movement by an inexhaustible curiosity.

The chromaticism and the plastic treatment of the paintings he paints in Los Angeles in the 1960s served as the basis on which to build the collection, which is constituted as a kind of appropriationist painting or of annotation of that experience between the exhibition halls. The colour of its pools under the midday sun, which delimits the silhouettes of the buildings and the figures, so clean and vibrant, became the chromatic range of the collection.

The way of working it sought that closeness to the artistic format, both at the pattern level and in the illustrations, so that I began to work from the square and the superposition of layers of fabric that in parallel was intervening with paint emulating the main lines or elements of his works through different techniques and materials. It was very interesting to work in this way, as it allowed me to approach Hockney from a new perspective, also learning from his gaze and his way of doing.

H. This award is also the jump for Prague Fashion Week. What are your prospects for this new challenge?

MF – To be able to show my collection at the Prague Fashion Week is going to be a fascinating experience! Gather impressions about this personal project from other cultural perspectives and be part of such an event from which I will surely learn a lot… Meet new designers and be able to see their collections from the inside. It is a wonderful opportunity for which I am sincerely grateful. And for all this to happen in Prague… I can’t think of a better scenario.

H. – In which project will we be able to see you next?

MF – At the moment my most immediate projects are between fashion and art, with a possible collaboration for a fashion film with new technologies applied with a professional I admire a lot. And from then on… I’ll see about that! Projects always appear if you make an effort and keep a positive attitude. At least that’s what I’ve been learning through my own experience.

“The chromaticism and the plastic treatment of the paintings he paints in Los Angeles in the 1960s served as the basis on which to build the collection.”

Melania Freire

H.Cuéntanos un poco sobre tu trayectoria. ¿Cómo empezaste en el mundo de la moda y qué te llevó a presentar esta colección en la Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid?

MF – Although it was always clear to me that fashion design was what I wanted to dedicate myself to, I made the decision to postpone my entry into a fashion school in order to study Fine Arts first. At that moment I felt that I needed a previous background: to learn techniques and forms of representation, to gain knowledge related to art and culture and also to work with ideas.

Four wonderful years in the Faculty of Fine Arts which, seen now with the perspective that time gives you, were an absolute success that made it possible for me to live professional experiences in different fields. Of course, this way of working and the knowledge acquired in Fine Arts were applied in the same way to the creation of fashion.

I graduated in Fashion Design at ESDEMGA (University of Vigo), a wonderful school located in the same Faculty of Fine Arts. This relationship between art and fashion that has influenced me tremendously, is lived constantly during the years that the degree lasts. In ESDEMGA I learned from great professionals with a very contagious sensitivity and love for fashion.

My arrival to the world of fashion was through an internship I did in the department of pattern-making and creative of the Belgian brand Christian Wijnants. There I discovered the tremendous effort and involvement involved in maintaining a brand at all levels, trying to maintain consistency and care in the construction of each collection in the changing whirlpool of the market and trends. They taught me to experiment with weaving through moulage and to work with complex patterns that enriched me enormously, and reinforced the passion for design that I already brought with me through the culture of effort and improvement. 

H.What do you expect from your future as a fashion designer?

MF – I hope to continue to know and understand what surrounds me through fashion. It’s a fascinating way to go deeper into ideas and develop them through weaving, which also dresses over a body. I will try to keep working as hard as possible, guiding myself by what the body asks of me… For me it is the only way to continue, in general and of course also in fashion, with coherence. I don’t close myself to anything. Any experience adds up.

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