15 emblematic designs by Agatha Ruiz de la Prada

Agatha Ruiz de la Prada Foundation

More than 30 years have passed since Agatha Ruiz de la Prada presented her first fashion show and since then, season after season, she has continued creating contemporary, abstract, pop, surreal, happy and above all positive designs. For the spring-summer 2013 season, the challenge fell on developing a collection that revisited her classic forms and shapes: hoops, stairs, michelines, pianos, self-portraits, baby walkers, roosters, etc. 30 years of experience building upon the same idea: optimism through art and design.

Hoop dress
She has dressed the postmodern generation that listened to the songs of Alaska and the Pegamoides and beyond. In 1983 Agatha invented a game for children and adults for dressing... dolls? Wasp waist? Some sought to sculpt their bodies with hula hoops, others [as the song by this group goes] spent "all day dancing and the neighbors wouldn’t stop being a nuisance". Agatha’s hoop is sexy; it rises and falls saucily, cleverly; it remains intact, rather playful and not at all posh. From the 80s to the first exit on the Spring-Summer 2013 fashion show. As Agatha says, "it caused a sensation at bourgeois dinners". An idea woven for 30 years into a perfect circle.
Michelin
The Railway Museum, concert-rock-fashion show, three in one, and a creative discovery that will go down in history as a legacy of that roguish needle: the "michelin" family. The show was hosted by Paco Clavel, who announced "live music". Those were the years when the TV show "La Bola de Cristal" stirred up a music band, that greeted the spectators on the fashion show with a burst of guitar music on that day in 1985: "We’re the Nikis and we’re nice guys". They sang "Silvia Sobrini is a serious gir" and the models paraded thousands of ruffles on mini dresses, tops and strapless garments. "We lost our possessions with the Habsburgs and the Bourbons..." they shouted into the microphone and Agatha’s Michelin was raised as a standard "because our grandchildren deserve it, so that history repeats itself over again".
Ensaimada
Sweet memories of childhood, of summers wound up on the island of calm, where Agatha lived on a diet of proteins and dreams. Perhaps those ensaimadas were the first ones; she presented the second ones at Osaka in 1990–91. In 2013 they are yellow, like lemon or vanilla, and are woven into a transparent spiral like a lock of angel hair.
Heart
"Agatha for President" is the title of the fashion show that presented the first heart of her professional life. It was the first one to be made of fabric, the first to be stitched on a machine, at the dizzy pace set by the pedal in the mid-eighties. It took the Railway Museum by storm. It was extra-large, from top to toe, to make a statement that it is the symbol that invades everything. She is been making them all her life. The symbol of forever, the symbol of "yes, I do".
Rubber Ring
She was the pioneer. The first to come up with a lifesaving dress we could splash about in the water without being afraid of sinking into the seaweed. Rei Kawakubo followed the free style begun by Agatha, but the rubber duck was missing.
Dinosaurs
They say that the straightest route is the curve. For Agatha it is a succession of steps, lines drawn with a steady hand that rise between the seams, structured in fuchsia and with matching Bermuda shorts. The zigzag pattern that dominates the fabric and defies the established order is needed in a society that is sometimes too straight-lined.
Recycling
Patchwork has existed since Agatha has been Agatha. She made remnants into the first rooster skirt in 1993. That year an above-knee-length dress belonging to the same species crowed at the flashes of the camera, worn by her personally when she posed with Bofill in a garçon haircut with flat-screen sunglasses. In 2008 she lent it to Minnie when she dressed up for Mickey’s 80th anniversary.
Menina
As Spanish as Serrano ham, olive oil or tortilla, the menina is the Spanish and painting icon par excellence. The only person who has come out with a textile version is Agatha. Olé!
Piano
She went over to the dark side, just once and with keys, in 1994. With black you are banished for good from Agathaland. The new version is a grand piano dress and was reborn in burgundy in 2009. Play it again Sam!
Self-portrait
Everyone portrays themselves. The self becomes art. I portray myself in my outfits. Olivier Saillard says that I am the only designer who wears her own clothes. More POP influence.
Baby walker
The baby walker dress was born with her, grew up in Agathaland and developed among her clients: "The dress grew a leg and a mechanic lent me his last spare wheel. Some guests put their glasses on it and the party went from one place to another." Going about on wheels is great!
Stairs
From ground to sky. Because it started out as a pair of trousers in 1989, then it was filled with switches, just in case the lights went out, and in 2001 it appeared in collaboration with the interior designer Luis Galliussi. Now it comes in the form of a block of strawberry and vanilla ice cream.
Umbrella
The Umbrella dress dates from 1989. Pep Guerrero used it as a canvas in 1999 and ten years later it appeared upside down: it’s an umbrella suit where it rains inside. The latest one is very different, more poetic and less surrealistic.
Cake
Sweet and colorful, the first cake-making experience was in 1994. It had layers like wedding cakes. The magazine Amica immortalized the design in a fashion feature published in April 1995. The rest is contemporary history in orange and lemon.
Flowers
Those who were at that Paris show say it was magical. A dream that is now converted into pictures, because the flowers withered. It reminds me of the one Alexander McQueen staged years later also in Paris. For those who want to carry on playing at "he loves me, he loves me not", there is a new version in 2013, which is long with fabric daisies and petals.
Agatha Ruiz de la Prada Foundation
Credits: Story

15 emblematic designs by Agatha Ruiz de la Prada

Texts
Agatha Ruiz de la Prada
Teresa Iturralde

Photographies
Estudio Agatha Ruiz de la Prada

Video
Elle.es

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.
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