Born from a motorcycle trip across America in the early 80’s, Custo Barcelona combines an influence of psychedelic California style and a love for graphic design, bold colors and extreme textures. The runway is where brothers Custo and David Dalmau experiment with creativity and emotions – not to showcase trends for the upcoming season.
Almost three decades after creating their first graphic tee, Custo Barcelona progressed to designing everything from suits to shoes to swimwear while staying faithful to their vision. Recently, the children’s collection CUSTO GROWING was launched for ages 4 to 14-years-old, providing fun, environmentally friendly clothing specifically built to last for kids. Last fall season, the Lowxury collection was introduced as a new staple for Custo Barcelona to provide items like reversible fur and jeweled dresses at affordable prices.
The fashion scene noticed Custo Barcelona from the influx of celebrities wearing the garments. What lures customers to come back for more is not only the sophisticated bold colors and graphics, but also the ability to provoke different moods and emotions through their clothing. Celebrity fans include Charlize Theron, Shakira, Christina Aguilera, Taye Diggs and Miss Universe Stefania Fernandez.
The S/S 10 collection was packed with funky patterns and graphics, fringe, and colors such as teal, fuchsia and yellow. Instead of actual fabric, pieces were created out of perforated yarns that made them uniquely transparent. Since the Dalmau brothers never cease to surprise, the F/W 10 collection was just as fascinating for New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. It shifts to an opposite color palette of bronze, steel, gold and black, with extreme textures and a dark energy. Named ‘Hairy Metal’, this collection revolves around graphics inspired by melted silver, mercury and red-hot iron contrasted with fake fur, wool and hair in every imaginable form. A new depth is reached for the fall/winter season from the graphic effects crossed with clean lines.
RM: Custo Barcelona fashion has been called not just a specific design, but also a specific lifestyle. What lifestyle do you feel your designs represent?
CB: An adventurous lifestyle.
RM: What are the muses that inspire the graphics in the F/W 2010 collection?
CB: Different animals, industrial structures, and a play on the rocker girl.
RM: Are there any modifications in production or manufacturing with this collection? Any new fabrics in use?
CB: For the first time we used a synthetic faux fur that is reversible and machine-washable, which is really amazing. You have two coats for the price of one and can throw it in the washing machine. Amazing!
RM: Custo, are your designs ever influenced by the architecture you studied in Barcelona?
CB: I would say they are more influences by travels and people then by architecture.
RM: How did you come up with the name and concept of ‘Hairy Metal’ for your 2010 fall/winter collection?
CB: It was the best way I could describe the combination of cold metals with long hair and synthetic fur.
RM: Do you have a favorite swimwear design, or designer, this 2010 season?
CB: I think the Custo Barcelona Swim Collection is pretty good, but that’s just me. The silhouettes are sexy and the prints are vibrant, the perfect combination for the beach.
RM: What is unique about the new children’s collection, CUSTO GROWING?
CB: The Collection itself is unique. You have a miniature replica of the Custo Barcelona adult line for the little ones, and since most children like to dress like their parents the response has been very good.
RM: The S/S 2010 was created around the concept of movement and lightness, while the contemporary Fall/Winter collection revolved around psychedelic animal prints, contrasting bright and dusky colors, and strong lines. What was your thought process between the two collections?
CB: Summer is about wearing lights fabrics and showing skin so this is the message we projected on the runway. Designing for fall requires a different mind-set. You have to think of yourself wanting to keep warm and staying fashionable so finding the right mix of fabrics and textiles is the key.
RM: Can you reveal to Runway readers any hints about what to expect from Custo Barcelona next spring/summer season?
CB: Always expect the unexpected. We use the runway to experiment on new styles, techniques, fabrics and combination, but they will have to stay tuned in for more details.
RM: Custo Barcelona was first shown in New York Fashion week when there was a time of openness and optimism in the U.S. fashion markets. Do you feel the industry is more difficult to break into now then it was when your collections first emerge?
CB: There is much more on the market today from when we started, but then the communication is also greater today.