Erica Kiang is the mastermind behind Babel Fair, the Nolita shop stocked with of-the-moment clothes, accessories and trinkets from around the world. With the help of three trend forecasters, she imports styles simmering on the streets of Europe, Asia, South America and beyond. Last week, however, she hopped a flight to Barcelona to observe their latest and greatest wares firsthand. Here she reports to PAPER on what caught her eye at Barcelona Fashion Week:

Hot off a World Cup victory, Barcelona was alive with energy, romance, and a bit of disco edge last week for Barcelona Fashion Week. Located in the impressive Fira de Barcelona, the week kicked off in true Spanish style – with wine flowing before noon, a DJ perched above the cobblestone quad, and the fashion crowd busting a move between each presentation. Eighteen shows were held during the three-day event, and they represented a mix of European talent.

Among the standouts: Spain’s own Cardona Bonache, whose Spring 2011 collection focused on a monochromatic white scheme enhanced by pleating and folding details. Bonache’s show opened with the very literal accordion dress made with a series of delicate pin tucks. Earning an increasing reputation, Juan Antonio Avalos of Barcelona was also a hit. He showed a menswear collection influenced by Japanese pop culture, with punchy colors and metallic shoulder pads. (Even the hamster wheel helmets his models wore, however, could not hide the hotness of Spanish model Jon Kortajarena, from A Single Man, as he walked the show). And, finally, Indian designer Manish Arora, renowned for his wild M.I.A. and Lady Gaga custom designs, seriously brought it. We loved his sequin bodices, race car skirts, and fantastical prints. In a word: dazzling.

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