ELIO BERHANYER: THE PASSION FOR THE SEAM
For: Josefina Figueras
This month we are going to meet a little better Elio Berhanyer, who led the best moments of the Spanish High fashion with international projection and it has continued on the foot of the cannon with his creativity and his good one always to do to point.
His professional trajectory is the living history of the ups and downs of the Spanish fashion of last decades. Elio Berhanyer, led the best moments of the Spanish High fashion with international projection and it has continued on the foot of the cannon with his creativity and his good one always to do to point. It receives me in the wide lounges of his house of seam of the Street Fortuny of Madrid. He is an educated, affectionate and cordial man... It works with the illusion of the first day and thinks that the fashion should be declared “the eighth art”.
- Hábleme of his beginning. I believe that of child he was dreaming of being an architect....
- if, but I it could not go so far as to be because my family could not give me these studies, but in my collections my inspiration was neither Dior nor Balenciaga, it was Him Corbussier and the architects. That's why perhaps I started with a very hard, very architectural fashion. This happened also to Courreges and to Úngaro. They went out of the Balenciaga workshops but they did not want to continue that the trajectory of the teacher, like I that I did not also want because.Si wanted to have a proper image out painter would admire Velázquez but it would not try to do like Velázquez, because that would never obtain it.
- How has it faced the different courses that the fashion has continued in the last decades?
- I have lived through an epoch through that none has lived of those who are now in Cibeles or in Gaudí. I am the only representative who has done seam, which is a very different world to “pret to porter”. I long very much for the world of the seam but always, even when I do “pret to porter” for the Cibeles, I do things that enter in the field of the High fashion, and that a factory cannot copy, because it is very difficult that it is possible to do in series.
- What differences would it indicate between the High fashion and “pret to porter” from the point of view of a creator?
- when I began in the year 60 my collections were of High fashion, later I devoted myself also to “pret to porter”, but this one goes to the shops and you never know who buys it, who takes it and if the people are wrong on having chosen it, on the other hand in the High fashion you have the client face, you prove it, advise it, modify the line, you are to his service; it is a completely different world.
- Why did the High fashion finish in Spain of such a drastic way?
- for the brutal tax that they put to us. Just in the same epoch in which the Italian government removed the taxes, in Spain they marked to us a tax of 60 % on the sales. In the year 78 Pertegaz, Pedro Rodriguez, it was me who close .
- How would judge the itinerary of the Spanish fashion since it started till now?
- the fashion has had a very direct relation with the movement of the country. I have lived through the most glorious years of the seam that were the 60 and the 70. The protagonist of that epoch was Balenciaga, now the big star of the Spanish fashion is Zara, but “pret to porter” of Cibeles or Gaudí it is not in the world and Zara is in all the countries although it is not creative...
- Do good young designers arise at present?
- in Spain there is hundred, too much. There are many that want to attract attention and do authentic atrocities, they do not know that attracting attention is to do some ponible and made good. The fashion is an important phenomenon and also it has been demonstrated that the fashion gives a lot of money. The richest man of Spain is Amancio Ortega, the proprietor of Zara.
- On what values does there rest a long and brilliant trajectory as that Vd. it has had in the world of the fashion?
- I have never realized much the value that I could have in the international area. That I have dressed the best society of Madrid, I have dressed big families, Queen Sophia until I closed my seam house, have dressed the famous people as Ava Garner, Brave man Charisse. I started without knowing anything, but curiously I did a hollow to myself between the big ones that existed in Spain as they were Balenciaga, Pertegaz, Pedro Rodríguez...
- Is he considered to be a man with luck?
The luck one has to do the his one working and I have worked very much. I love
my profession over everything and I keep on working with the same illusion as the first day. I do not do High fashion collections but I keep on dressing to a very good and very faithful clientele. My love by the seam was demonstrated when I mounted the exhibition Pertegaz in the Museum Queen Sophia. No designer does a homage to other and I did it to Pertegaz because he was a partner of those years.
- Vd. has declared one day that it would fight so that the fashion was declared the eighth art: is it like that?
- when I did the exhibition of Pertegaz they did not want to transfer me Queen Sophia because they were saying that it was a contemporary art museum. I fought until the end and obtained it because I have always believed that the fashion must be considered to be an art. The arts were six and the movies happened to occupy the seventh place. The fashion can occupy the eighth one. In the MOMA of New York there are big sculptures and big pictures, but the fashion is also.No all the suits are an art all the painters cannot even be in the Prado Museum, but a suit is an art when it does 50 ó 100 years he was beautiful and it it keeps on being now and it it can keep on being in 100 years. If the following generations keep on thinking that he is beautiful that it enters already the art category.
- his collection autumn - winter was interpreted as a certain homage to the High fashion: is it this way in fact?
- in this collection I presented several black and white models, my favorite combination because there are the colors of Andalusia. There are neither the spots nor the colorines, they are the white person of the farmhouses and the whitewashed peoples and the black of the seated women of the peoples in enea's chairs conversing to the evening. My collections always aim at the white person and the black but in this one I wanted to do a homage to the big designers of the XXth century, the century that is provided with the most wonderful fashion that exists.