Date 04.02.2015

JEF MONTES FW2015: Tuesday’s sailing on rough seas at 1pm, and alone

JEF MONTES presentation space seems far removed from the harbor pier that inspired his new imposing collection: VELERO – “sailboat”. It invokes thoughts of artisans working on coastal barracks where different waterproof materials (mostly shinny and technical) are molded and manipulated; where the romanticism of the ocean makes us fall in love. And it is with this love that we drift out to sea, rolling and pitching in MONTES’ “sailboat” whose sculptural sleeves tease us with tension and suspense… His obsessive treatment of the sleeve in this collection left no outfit without special attention to the upper limb of the body. Beyond the sleeves the ocean also leaves an impression – the first dress stands dissolved and torn like it has been at the mercy of the waves of time… below it lies an exposed and distressed torso, another dress… marooned and shipwrecked.

Winter sailing requires a sturdiness of garments; something alluded to in the contrasting masculinity and femininity of MONTES’ women in VELERO … The rougher the materials, the more refined the patterns or embellishments (Swarovski); the back of look 06 showed a wild ocean current twisting, swirling and transforming itself into drama and beauty. The draping displayed conflicts with the delicate sensuality this technique usually suggests; the movement achieved by fabrics had more to do with men folding sails made out of fiberglass, carbon, aramid, etc.

The influence of the sea in MONTES vision is clear to see in the freedom and organic nature of this work. Like Cristóbal Balenciaga (born in front of the Cantabrian Sea) before him, MONTES creates without horizons, like a tail wind is driving his process … If I have to choose between his fringes and the ones seen on the last day of the Paris Couture Week, I still go for JEF MONTES. More destroyed, less frumpy, above the knees or until the wet floor. Contemporary as it must be.