Established in 2016, Duarte is already considered as one of the leader brands in high couture in Madrid’s fashion industry. Their presentations are always highly anticipated each year in the Madrid Fashion Week, always bringing a new proposal which revolutionizes textile expression. Presented in January 2020, the Fall-Winter 2020 collection, created by Kiko Font, the creative director behind the brand, inspires awe and does not disappoint.
Silhouettes and colours for this season are directly inspired by the Alfa Romeo automobiles, specifically a mid-1950’s model which was never properly commercialized, but which had many units made. The colour palette, which has always been a main concern for Duarte, is now reinterpreted in the outfits: the most vibrant colours, seen in the car’s interiors, are now featured in the innermost clothes, such as shirts, and the neutral tones are placed on the overcoats and covers, just as the Alfa Romeo model had their sober exterior decorated.
Bright yellow shirts and deep blue dress shirts contrast and harmonize with the muted marron on the blazers and trench coats, creating a well-balanced colour palette, pleasing to look at from all directions. Some of the bolder details in the most sober ensembles can be found either in the accessories or the prints in the clothing. Shirts are printed with patterns which immediately remind of the bumps in a car’s body, the rust over metallic plates and the temporal nature of a car. Handkerchiefs hang loosely from buttonholes, sleeves and pockets, and asymmetric cuts are emphasized with dissonant colours, pulling attention to the whole outfit any way one looks at it.
The use of a simple and very specific silhouette is already a brand staple. Font describes it as the triumph of simple lines; Duarte outfits are characterized by their ample nature, almost akin of an XL size, broad overcoats and loose, relaxed pants which constitute a simple and roomy appearance. This season’s collection aims to achieve a fitter line, without losing its signature straight lines and almost androgynous look. This results in a collection capable of being used in a day-to-day fashion, and its colour scheme helps to mix and match its elements freely.
The most interesting pieces are perhaps the slanted-cut jerseys, and the long and floaty overcoats which perfectly complement any wardrobe. It is also worth noting Duarte’s tendency to create layered looks: runway models wore shirts, trousers, coats, trench coats, and quilts one over the other, adding the aforementioned handkerchiefs and brightly coloured accessories, elements that break the expectations and modernize the look. Font himself states that “it’s the details that mark the difference from the really basic”.
Without a doubt, this collection is one of the purest from the Spanish brand, a demonstration of Kiko Font’s ability to balance vintage and modern and his high couture team’s dexterity in luxury tailoring. This collection inspires atemporality and contemporary ideals, the high-quality pieces combine to create an homage to the interaction between old and new, classic and modern. Duarte keeps on offering fresh proposals, and Madrid can’t wait to know what new ideas they bring forth on the next Fashion Week.