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Francis Montesinos is a leading designer from Valencia credited for using traditional attire from his hometown as a recurring inspiration in his fashion collections. He introduced staging concepts in a key fashion show that lit up future runways, held in 1983, in Palacio de Cristal, Parque del Retiro, Madrid.
Francis Montesinos is currently preparing his eponymous fashion brand’s 50th anniversary. He began his fashion career in the 1970s in the barrio El Carmen in Valencia. The young, dapper, designer was then a promising name in the global fashion scene, and by the early 1980s had been featured in top fashion magazines and been portrayed by leading photographers, such as Helmut Newton.
The fashion creator was also a mover & shaker during the madrileño cultural movement of La Movida. Among other creative scenic collaborations, he designed the wardrobes for movies directed by Pedro Almodovar and Bigas Luna. The Valencian designer’s love affair with scenography is also reflected in his highly elaborate fashion shows throughout his career in fashion, of which this was the first of many.
In this fashion show, in 1983, Montesinos aimed to create “ an awesome fashion experience that transported the public to the Montesinos style universe”.
The beautiful crystal palace in Madrid’s central park, El Retiro, was the chosen venue. The runway was decorated with fluorescent paint to portray silhouettes, with color and light, flowers and fruits, feathers and sequins. Scenic concepts were implemented, rehearsal schedules set up, and acting tips were given to the runway models. This was seen at the time as a total waste of resources for an event that was to last only half an hour. But Montesinos counteracted critics by stating that the photos taken in the fashion show would last forever.
In this innovative and very modern setting Francis Montesinos showcased a trendsetting collection that interpreted Montesino’s fashion ideology. Valencia’s traditional attire can be seen in the knitwear, the prints, and brocades, the hats, or the Goya-inspired models in the evening wear.
Francis Montesinos also innovated at the time by understanding designers need to create a strong, media-fuelled brand, to allow product licensing. A path followed by many other Spanish designers, and a business trait in the Spanish Fashion System. Many fashionable products bear the Montesino’s creative seal; men’s wear, women’s wear, children’s wear, furniture and draperies, perfumes, jewelry, accessories, and millinery, resume Montesino’s aesthetic universe beyond fashion.
Francis Montesinos is today a leading figure in the Spanish Fashion System. Very much active professionally, the designer is preparing his 50th anniversary in fashion from his beloved hometown in Valencia. Furthermore, Montesinos is a cultural asset for Valencia. He is credited for promoting the beautiful and creative Mediterranean city more so than the typical local dish, la paella, a comparison the designer revels in.
Also, Francis Montesinos is a long-standing member of the Asociación de Creadores de Moda de España, ACME and he has received numerous awards and distinctions throughout his career in fashion. His collections are available at his flagship store in Valencia, Carrer de Martí, 5, where he also creates bespoke models. Francis Montesinos is a Spanish fashion brand, made in Valencia, that celebrates its 50th birthday as a legacy brand.
To be continued…
Francis Montesinos appointed as Creative Director Pepe Vela Zanetti. I worked with Pepe Vela Zanetti as his assistant from 1982-1984. I was extremely fortunate to work with and learn from such a talented person.
Heeded by my peers and myself, for this fashion show, Pepe took into consideration the photographers technical needs for a professional lighting scheme. A lighting template was created and used in subsequent fashion shows throughout Spain.
This the first fashion show featuring model Paola Domininguin, who has been the designers’ muse since then.
* This section will be updated regularly with information.