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Gloria & Emilio Estefan

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70 MIAMI LIVING Custo Barcelona head designer Custo Dalmau calls his Spring 2009 collection, "a trip through a colorful place where white is an accent." Miami Living tagged along for part of this journey last September when we flew to New York City to attend Custo Barcelona's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week show, held once again in The Promenade at Bryant Park. As the Spanish designer had promised earlier in the day, during an interview in his new SoHo showroom, we saw fitted silhouettes with contemporary textures. And we loved it all. Dalmau's collection for women was, of course, the star of the show. After all, there are fewer rules with women, whereas "with men," he said, "the risks are more calculated … bolder, but more calculated since there are some many rules." (Among the items for men were graphical polo shirts with vintage-like finishes.) Strong combinations are paramount to Custo Barcelona's Spring 2009 collection, and youthful, flirtier looks rule. It is a traditionally colorful collection, but there was a fresher, more luminous tone to it, which we found a bit unexpected since it is said to be inspired by old Technicolor films. The fabrics emphasized the models' shape, and left little to be imagined, but always rather tastefully. It is always a statement to send something see-through down the runway, but Dalmau's choice of silk in different weights, beautiful lace, and georgette worked on with Japanese techniques paid off—just ask socialite Tinsley Mortimer, or Aubrey O'Day, or Dania Ramirez (TV's Heroes), or even young Mark Indelicato (TV's Ugly Betty), all of whom sat front row and delighted in the show. The colors chosen for the season will help the Custo Barcelona-wearing lady draw attention wherever she may go, indeed. Combinations or white, lavender, hyacinth, apple green, electric blue, cyan, and fluorescent yellows and pinks definitely do not go unnoticed. Among the highlights were oversized pieces that borrowed classic men's looks, namely the polo shirt, that were turned into feminine and modern dresses. Perhaps— strike that, these will be most popular this season, for shape will be big. (In between glasses of wine ML checked out the press other designers got at Fashion Week, so we can make that statement safely.) Dalmau presented a complete collection of pants with a staple denim concept (double seams, pockets, and buttons) in totally non- street-wear fabrics like jacquards, Lurex, and silk in different fits (think skinny, wide, etc.). "Pants," he said, "are very important in this Spring-Summer 2009 collection." Something else we saw Custo Barcelona's show in New York: beachwear. First introduced last summer, at Mercedes- Benz Fashion Week, Miami Swim, at The Raleigh Hotel, pieces from the label's debut beachwear line also came down the runway at Bryant Park. Sounds perfect for Miami, right? The beachwear collection includes "fuoriacqua" pieces in three different groups: One of strong colors with tie-dye prints, loose fits, such as tunics, as well as breezy, long patchwork dresses; another of strong patterns with fringes and tassels (think caftans and pareos, blouses, and kimonos); and one made of tactile fabrics like lace and velour with floral jacquards, such as baby dolls, pareo skirts, and halter neck dresses. And, natch, the new beachwear collection also includes roomy and fashionable beach bags that will hold all your essentials— including this issue of ML. For more information, or to shop Custo Barcelona, visit their Magic City store at Bal Harbour Shops (9700 Collins Ave. # 226; (305) 864-0426), or visit ML With Mucho Custo Welcome to the Spring '09 collection…. Words by Martin Haro FASHION SPECIAL

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