Inspired by hippie and happy era

Spanish designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada tells Megara Tegal why she goes for the colourful

The first thing you’ll notice about Agatha Ruiz de la Prada is her quirkiness and love for colour. You can’t miss it. A marquise and baroness, Agatha is also a famed designer in Spain whose vividly colourful and playful designs have been in vogue for the past 30 years.

“I believe in life you must have a style,” she explains. “And my style is to have a lot of colour. I was born in the 60’s and I think that was a very happy period; with the hippy movement and with peace and love and with the Beatles and the beginning of the jeans and pop culture.” Her inspiration, she says, is drawn from pop art; an artistic style that was introduced and became very popular when she started out as a designer.

“I was only 20 when I did my first fashion show. I was very lucky because when I started there was a very important cultural movement in Madrid. There was a lot of freedom. And there was an intellectual and freedom movement. It was just my generation. So for me it was the best period to start.” Owing to her family background of well known architects, Agatha says she couldn’t restrict herself to designing clothes, she is much too inventive for that. “Now I do everything from security door collections to t-shirt collections.”

Having been invited to the HSBC Colombo Fashion Week last year, Agatha fell in love with Sri Lanka and felt the need to collaborate with a company here. “I was very much impressed by the country. I think there are shops here that are better than in Spain. What a miracle of good taste and quality,” she remarks.

Sharing a vivid use of colour and playful designs, Arugambay and Agatha have teamed up and are hoping to go international with the latter’s trendy new slipper designs.

“I’m very grateful to Arugam Bay for giving me the opportunity to work with a Sri Lankan company. Now we need a lot of luck and good prices. If you put that in Spain,” she says gesturing to a rack of colourful designed Arugam Bay items, “it will last only 15 minutes!”.

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