Can you remember when you first made an item of clothing?
I was 20 and I was in my foundation year of college
What is a childhood image of fashion burnt into your mind?
It was in primary school and back then I didn’t know anything about fashion or clothes, but I saw a picture in a magazine of John Galliano’s latest show at Dior and this one image just blew my mind, it made me feel so much, confusion but connection as well. I didn’t think that was fashion, for me it was some kind of art.
Can you tell me an iconic designer whose work you got very fascinated by? What did you feel when looking at their designs?
My first job in fashion was in Chanel, I was part time in the store in Barcelona while I was still in UNI. Karl Lagerfeld illuminated me, he really did magic in there! I have never seen clothes that precious before, the small details were incredible, and the history behind each garment it was just fabulous. With his creations he made me understand that fashion can be made and can be treated as pure art.
Do you think the “male gaze" is a myth?
Male gaze is not a myth, we have had a male dominated field for years. However, the number of female leaders is shifting in the creative and business side and slowly increasing, because of this we see this new female gaze emerging and this is starting to finally balance everything a bit better, yet we need more!
This is an important conversation that we have to remember to have right now, and in 2020 we have to understand that every person in this world regardless the gender, has their own gaze- every person in this world will base their criteria and vision in relation to themselves and what they have experienced in their lifetime, their taste and their ego.Then, it is wrong at the day of today to talk about this as a wall between us. We have to look at this as an opportunity to empathise, and grow.
What was your first fashion collection?
My first collection was all an experiment, I was in my first year of college and I got an invitation to show a collection during the fashion week of my home city. I remember I was scared as I barely did clothes back then and I was very new with the sewing machine, however I refused to give no as an answer and I knew the only way to learn with “real fashion” is to get your hands on - without action there is no progress.
I have to say that sometimes I can imagine this story being a great romantic-comedy in the cinemas. It was all an experience!
What do you love most about the fashion industry?
Fashion makes life more beautiful and dressing for it should be our daily routine.
What do you hate most about the fashion industry?
It’s not hate, but I dislike the pressure that we have to show collections and newness inside the fashion calendar, I would love to make fashion a unique place again where you show your work in a more independent way. Everything is gong in a frenetic speed, we should focus more in quality and not quantity.
If you would start out now what would you be doing, how would you go about// who would you work with and where would you be aiming?
The same, I am very happy where I am today I wouldn’t like to change anything.
Statistics show that only 3 in 10 of the Top Womenswear Fashion Brands are designed by women. Is there just no more qualified female fashion designersout there?
In my uni we were around 95% women and 5% men, however the men were the best rewarded in percentage for the press and finding jobs after graduation.
I did also work with two womenswear design fashion houses where all the team was composed by women but it was led by men.
I wish everything was a bit more balanced. I believe in 20 years time we will not be having this conversation anymore, gender will not longer exist and everything will be finally equilibrated without the cliches and stereotypes that fashion represents today. At the end, our generation is screaming for this change.
One says it takes 10’000 hours to become a master of a craft, how long inhours/days/years did it take you to make a living?
I am still learning, and this will never end. One can be the best and still do it better everyday. All my life I have been involved in crafts, arts and design, 9 years since I got into fashion and 2 nearly 3 years since I started building what is PAULA NADAL today, and its been 6 months that I am making a living of it. I have done 10,000 hours in some way... but that doesn’t guarantee anything!
Who is your female fashion designer icon and who is your the one to watch?
The work of Edith Head it was fabulous, Coco Chanel also, I do empathise with her strength and courage and Stella Maccartney I think she is doing a fantastic job, Diane von Furstenberg with her foundations and philosophy is something that we must to look at, there is so many good designers that are creating a very strong philosophy behind the brand, thing that I believe is necessary at the day of today as fashion is a lifestyle choice and we have the privilege to be able to build a more conscious world with it.
Who is your female fashion image maker icon and who is your the one to watch?
What do you say about the charge that women’s fashion needs the male gaze
to make it and portray it?
If you ask about women’s fashion in general I would completely disagree. We do not need“male” gaze, what women’s fashion and all kinds of fashion needs is all gazes, diversity, in all the levels, shapes, colours...We are in 2020 and there is a place for everyone.
There is a big surge of feminism at the moment - do you think that will affect fashion design?
Definitely, and it is currently affecting design.
When I look at your work, my favourite collection is 3. What is yours?
Thank you! I am very glad to hear this, collection 3 is a very personal one, it take us to my unconscious and fantasy world. I don’t have favourites I love all of them.
How important is teamwork?
Teamwork is everything, for me this is the most important thing in the world in a professional but personal way. However finding a team is not an easy job, sometimes this can take a very long time.
Wherever you go whatever you do the most important thing is to be surround with people that make you and you make them better.
What was your relation to design/fashion prior to working in this industry? Has it changed?
Yes it did. I was more interested in the image creator side of this profession and the arts coming from it. Once I started working on this industry I understood that what I am really interested in is the value of the design and how a product can lead a change in us, now the image is just the complement to this.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you were ever given and what advice would you have wished for earlier on in your career?
Do what you love, be constant, be patient, don’t be late and focus only on one thing at a time. This is some of the advices that my parents repeat to me since I am a little girl, however, some of them I started applying to my life only 5 years ago.
Some things come when they have to - Not before and not after, just on time-
What is your next big project or goal for your career?
We are launching soon a loungewear line, a beautiful capsule collection. I also am working on another line within the label that we hope can be used to spread apositive message!
Is there anything in particular you'd like to accomplish?
Awareness and respect for design again.
How does it feel to shoot with a female photographer vs a male photographer— is there a difference, if so how?
When I choose the team I never choose by gender.
First I see their work, then I fall in love with it and last thing I do is the research of the persona behind. Up until today the 3 campaigns I have done have been casually made by male photographers- I worked with incredible female stylists and both genders for makeup and hair.
I believe it is not thing such as differences working with one gender or the other as every artist, every persona are unique and authentic, every one have their own independent gaze. This is what it make everything special, personal and distinctive. This is what I love the most when we shoot our campaigns.