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Giving history a contemporary touch
Sometimes, people recognise a sort of relation between creating and other realms of life. So does he. Juan Brea defines himself as a pure follower of architectonic, historic and artistic movements. From renaissance and Boroque, through German Bauhaus style until contemporary design, BREA gets input from them and more, like his own life, to outline and sketch his fashion collections.
The Madrid born Juan BREA has won several fashion prizes that have made him one of the most promising high end fashion designer in Spain at this moment.
In his atelier in one of the most known avantgarde areas in Madrid, he reveals us his driving forces, inspirations, struggles and success.
As matter of fact, Juan Brea makes parallels either from his own and other´s life experiences to draw artistic paradigms that he eventually applies to his fashion sketches. By taking the breakup of a personal relation to his former partner as starting point, he personally found associations to the controvertial love between one of the most influencial European monarch of the 17th century, Louis II, King of France, and his wife Anne of Austria, to give birth to one his collections. Particularly the time and their attire back then were sources of inspiration to create the most successful BREA collection series calledTriology, which was based on European Baroque epoche. The collection embodied the deep blue, black and white colours to represent the different phases of a love relation, thus making blue depict the time of infatuation; black, dark time; and white, the breakup and new beginn.
BREA moved on, though, and never stopped working on new challenges. Lately, he presented his collection on Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Madrid. His pieces seem to be marked by slightly aggresive cut that could reveal the influence of contemporary architecture of linear design that breaks the rule when it comes to its baroque components.
Architecture was BREA´s strength: “I actually was into going after architecture. It was by chance that I read a fashion magazine, and I asked myself : why don´t you try to design textile pieces? That´s simple. I wanted to sketch women´s wears every year without that much ambition. I got obsessed by the desire of learning more, and entered the School of Fashion Design in Madrid, Spain,” Brea reveals. It paved the way to start his very own BREA brand that is now seen as a promising high quality clothes brands in a country, where well known local clothe houses have allowed the great mass of the population worldwide to have access to allegedly good designs. Juan Brea has a logical answer to the reason behind it: “Those very well known Spanish clothe brands are offering a good design at relatively low prices. And people just buy it. The quality does not play a huge role in their decision on buying it or not,” he explains. “For me it is matter of finding the best balance to offer both, it is hard to, but I´m in the right direction,” he continued.
For Juan Brea, designing and producing for his clients is more than that. He grants a lot of importance to reach a balance between unique design, the best quality possible and, particularly, understanding of what we have been so far.
For many, this wide cultural baggage might not be easy to swallow down, but BREA clients find some of attraction to what they mostly see without paying that much attention to the profound background of each piece, that they would eventually unterstand. For Juan BREA, it is a confirmation that people should be open to put together different trends and discover hidden appreciation for something, maybe, weirdly new and beautiful, though.
By Vincent Echenique