i-D took a sunny trip to attend the fourth Mango Fashion Awards high up in the Catalan hills.
Click images to enlarge.
This international contest, open to any young designer under the age of 35 with their own collection or over three years of experience in the industry, is supported by Mango alongside the crème de la crème of European design schools – Central Saint Martins in London, Escola Superior de Disseny in Barcelona, Institut Francais de la Mode in Paris, Instituto Marangoni in Milan, and Noninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp – and comes with the most amazing prize in international fashion: an astounding €300,000 for the lucky winner.
This year’s panel included Kate Moss, Carolina Herrera and Derek Blasberg, and all were in attendance in Barcelona. “Mango asked me to be a juror, and as I love judging people, naturally I said yes,” joked Derek. “Today we picked a winner, and it was actually a lot less difficult than I thought… there were no screams or punches thrown, so I guess everyone was happy with the final decision!” Finalists came from all around the world – Christine Phung from France, Haesung Bong from Korea, Harvey Bouterse from the Netherlands, Mads Dinesen from Denmark, Sergio Pastor and Ismael Alcaina from Spain, Stefanie Malmgreen de Oliveira and Richard Lindqvist from Sweden, Takayuki Tanaka and Takashi Nishiyama from Japan, and Tuomas Laitinen from Finland – to the glamorous awards ceremony in the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, with its mountaintop views over the city below at sunset.
After dinner and a fashion show under the museum’s soaring architecture, first prize was awarded to Thai designer Wisharawish Akarasantisook for his baroque constructions of woven leather, sculpted silhouettes and fierce animal prints inspired by Buddhist reincarnation. “The concept’s quite hard, because I lost my dad last year,” he told us on the terrace outside, “and that’s why I go to temple many times, that’s why it’s related to Buddhist philosophy. It’s a little bit poetic on my side, but I don’t want to be too deep on that…”
Text: Dean Kissick
Photography: Coke Bartrina