Agatha Ruiz de la Prada: Happy Fashion

Agatha Ruiz de la Prada Foundation

Agatha Ruiz de la Prada

Agatha Ruiz de la Prada
She is the most original dress designer and creator in recent years. Her bold and colourful designs have made her one the most acclaimed fashion designers in the national and international scene. She was born in Madrid in 1960. She is the daughter of a famous architect and art collector and a Catalan aristocrat. She studied at the Escuela de Artes y Técnicas de la Moda (School of Fashion Arts and Techniques) of Barcelona.
Early Years
At 20, she began working as an intern in the studio of designer Pepe Rubio in Madrid. A year later, she presented her first collection in Madrid at the LOCAL design centre and shortly afterwards exhibited one of her collections at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Madrid.

In 1982, Agatha exhibited a collection of dresses hand painted by Enrique Vega at the Fernando Vijande art gallery of Madrid and two years later repeated this experience in the Juana de Aizpuru gallery of Madrid with another collection of dresses, this time painted by artist Gloria García Lorca (image).

It is at the Juana de Aizpiru gallery where Agatha presents her first licensed products: a collection of bed linen for Burés in 1987, and a collection of crokery for Bidasoa (image) in 1991.

Her first fashion shows also take place at artistic and original places. Thus she held a show in the Reales Atarazanas or in the Borne Market of Barcelona; at the Museo del Ferrocarril in Madrid (image) or the Museo San Telmo of San Sebastián where she presented a collection tribute to her favorite couturier Cristobal Balenciaga.

She began to be known abroad in 1986 in the Bordeaux Festival SIGMA where she presented her collection with other Spanish designers from La Movida. Later she will present her collections in Berlin (1989), Osaka (1990), Kyoto (1992)... Her first fashion show during the Paris Fashion Week (picture), Agatha presented a collection of 150 original dresses in the Museum of Modern Art.

"La Movida"
During the 80s, Spain was immersed in a cultural and artistic revolution, a movement that was the true breeding pot of many relevant Spanish artists and personalities. Agatha became one of the "movida's" main promoters and from that moment on, she has remained very active in the cultural and artistic scene of the country.
Agatha has expressed the great impact exerted on her by the American Abstract Expressionists, and especially Rothko's work in which she discovers de qualities and nuances of color. "I love the American abstraction. My logo is a bit Rothkinian and I conceived it like this because I've been a huge Rothko's fan since I was 17 years old".

"From Surrealism? I have a son who, among other reasons, is called Tristan after Tristan Tzara. I love Elsa Schiaparelli, but I´d rather not have things overexplained... It's true that I like fuchsia like Schiaparelli, and the lips of the Surrealists and the heart, yes. And I would like to have the connections that Coco Chanel had with Diaguilev, Jean Cocteau, the Serts..."

"When I was in París and I went to see the exhibition Les années Pop at the Centre Pompidou, I said to myself: 'I am a Pop daughter... I am an absolute Warholian.'”

The collaborations
Agatha has collaborated with different private companies and governmental offices. She has designed uniforms, wardrobes and set designs for theatre, opera and dance performances, Christmas urban lights, children’s parks, theme parks, murals, gardens, posters for events, etc...

Agatha was the first European designer to become part of the international fashion collection of Absolut. The Absolut Ruiz de la Prada collection was presented in Madrid, Stockholm, Miami and Punta del Este.

She has also worked with artist from different fields. In 1994 she worked on a book with photographer Christopher Makos, an Andy Warhol collaborator, about the photographs Makos took during Agatha's fashion show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Paris.

It stands out the collection of dresses made on 1996, tribute to Eduardo Chillida, done by Agatha in close collaboration with the Spanish sculptor.

She worked with the Majorcan painter Pep Guerrero (image) combining fashion and painting in everyday recycled objects: clothing, furniture, fabrics and even hangers, as well as with other artists such as designers Luis Galliussi & Philippe Andrieux, photographer Ciuco Gutierrez...

Agatha has collaborated in the artistic project Self-Hybridations of the french artist ORLAN (image), with Nicole Herzog, Karim Rashid...

...even with the spanish Chef Alberto Chicote!

A Committed Artist
Agatha is an artist committed to various international solidarity and humanitarian causes. Every year, she participates in projects aimed at environmental conservation and education activities, prevention and fundraising campaigns in the field of health, and initiatives of direct assistance to people and groups at risk of exclusion.
Since 1986 and with the help of the best manufacturers, Agatha's brand has been progressively developing and expanding its branches with fashion accessories, ceramic coatings, household items, books, pet accessories, perfumery articles and stationery, and many other products.

Her designs transcend the world of catwalks by exhibiting her masterpieces at important art galleries and museums of different cities around the world.

Agatha opened her first shop-studio in Madrid in 1982. At present, the designer has her own stores in Madrid, Paris, Milan, Oporto, Bogota and Lima, and her products can also be found in her online store and at multi-brand stores in more than 150 countries.

In 2011, the Agatha Ruiz de la Prada Foundation was constituted, conserving an important representation of Agatha's progression during her past thirty years of history in the world of fashion and creativity, with the purpose of classifying and diffusing her impressive legacy.

Agatha Ruiz de la Prada Foundation
Credits: Story

Agatha Ruiz de la Prada: Happy Fashion

Pablo Hojas
Bie Peeters
Christopher Makos
Ugo Camera
Luis Hevia
Santiago Esteban
Estudio Agatha Ruiz de la Prada

From the YouTube account of My Old VHS TapesVinylCassettes (Fragment of the documentary «Spain: 10 Years After» by PBS, 1985).

Agatha Ruiz de la Prada Foundation

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Translate with Google