- Words Aimee Phillips
Shunning labels and embracing free love, María Escoté speaks on her collaborative new collection for Desigual.
There is no better way to describe the new Desigual x María Escoté collection than their self-proclaimed “orgy of colours”. Teeming with animal prints, neon and clashing styles, the “sexy-positive” collection is like flower power daydream, and it’s exactly what we need right now.
Hoodies adorned with a vibrant mish-mash of cartoon unicorns and koi carp are paired with purple tiger print leggings. Elsewhere, a floral oversized trench coat packs a punch and silk shirts somehow marry zebra stripes and flowers perfectly. Handbags, cowboy hats, scarfs, socks and more round off the collection for complete looks. It’s María’s ‘Sexy Planet’, and we’re all just living in it.
For the FW21 campaign, María Escoté and Desigual recruited a handful of incredible women, from the performer and former politician, Ilona Staller, Spanish actress Carla Díaz and musician Nei Bikoko to the models Lea T and Tess Maylo.
Notion spoke with eclectic designer María Escoté about her brand new collection, what it was like working with the revered Spanish brand Desigual, and why clothes are an expression of our identity.
Has it always been a dream of yours to collaborate with Desigual? How did the collaboration come about?
I’ve known Desigual since I was a teenager. I remember the impact it created on me the first time I saw one of its stores in Barcelona. At that time they appeared with a concept of freedom and fun, an uncommon crossbreeding in the fashion industry but surely what made me fell in love was the unique, independent, and transgressive colour.
The collaborative collection is called ‘Sexy Planet’, an homage to openness and love for others, ourselves, the planet and nature. The ethos might be a utopian notion but do you feel that it is possible to live in such a world?
Of course! It is true that many times we live a bit far from reality, but it is true that from a very young age I have tried to surround myself with those people who, nourish me, inspire me, etc. As humans, we grow by creating our own community. I am lucky to live surrounded by colleagues who constantly pay tribute to the Sexy Planet concept and together we fight to live on a better planet with the best version of ourselves.
Did you always have a concept in mind before the collaboration started? Or was this developed in partnership with Desigual’s team? Give us an insight into the process and your inspiration for it.
Every time I start a collection I work with a different concept. I try to talk about the social moment that we are going through, deep personal feelings or simply be inspired by artists that I admire, it depends on the time or moment, but they are always very personal projects. Obviously, teamwork is essential and if there is something that I feel fortunate about in my relationship with Desigual, it is the professional and creative infrastructure that the company brings. The team makes my ideas and my work always so much better.
The collection is full of bold, bright prints and designs. How do you hope people will feel when they wear the pieces?
Fashion is a way of expression and our garments have their own identity. We do very important creative work both on the graphics and chromatic parts. Our community understands that many of our garments tell a story, belong to a specific era and have great illustrative work behind them. This season in particular we have done graphics which I am very proud of, we could say that some of the garments are authentic art pieces.
Do you have a favourite piece or design from the collection?
Yes, without doubt, the oversized coat with a floral print and the Sexy Planet sweatshirt.
You have selected a range of diverse talents and creatives to front the collection, such as the transgender model, Lea T, dancer and actor, Carla Diaz, and others. What drew you to working with these people in particular?
The identity and personality of each of them, very different women who work daily to create and live on a better planet.
Are you planning to continue collaborating with Desigual?
Yes, we are in the middle of an idyll!