Mango celebrates the second edition of El Botón

From left: Leigh Lezark, a look from Mango's Fall 2009 collection and singer Solange Knowles
From left: Leigh Lezark, a look from Mango's Fall 2009 collection and singer Solange Knowles

Knowing not a word of Spanish, I assumed the gilded words “El Hangar” on the Mango gala invite meant the whole glittering shindig would go down in a Barcelona airport hangar.

Not quite: the location of the Oscar party (that would be the jury chairman and too-charming host of this year’s El Botón-Mango Fashion Awards, Oscar de la Renta, not the little gold man) was in Mango’s BCN headquarters. To fete the second incarnation of the awards, the warehouse was transformed into an amber-lit hive of fast-fashion festivity, all champers and ciggies and swift kisses on both cheeks. The international jet set was in full force, so in that respect it was a sort of hangar, after all (and never mind all the overbronzed hangers-on).
On the runway, a seemingly infinite stream of models touched down, fetishy feet (it’s not an It-shoe if a single inch is left un-studded or -strapped) gliding past tiers of glammy onlookers. Mango’s Fall 2009 show was called “We Can Be Heroes,” but if you think one person can process all the Paris-Milan-London trends lavished on the lanky creatures, you overestimate my reviewing capabilities. Suffice it to say: if you regularly employ the phrase “WORK it,” idolize La Lanphear, and wake up drenched in cold fear over missing the fur-arms micro-trend, you´ll happily camp outside Mango til shipments of Euro treasures arrive.

El Botón winner Jin Youn Lee with looks from his micro collection

Is that Penelope, bee-lining for the bar after the show? Even the eagle-eyed American editors can’t say. It’s Mónica, wearing her own collection for Mango, says her attendant translator. As for real designers: award runners-up Josh Goot (Australian, but shows in London) and Jean Pierre Braganza (Canadian! but… ditto) mingled with pretty people under palm trees. (We would have liked to see more of winner Jin Youn Lee, who is exquisitely talented and endearingly shy.) Avoiding trays of Iberian ham and prawn croquettes, current Mango face Leigh Lezark kept her lipsticky smirk intact, showing her teeth only to her ebullient chum, contrib Derek Blasberg.

But who could resist a smile at Solange Knowles, bursting onto the stage in all the incandescent glory her name’s meaning implies. By the end of her five-song romp, she had the drunker part of the audience dipping it low with her–on stage, no less. Move over, Sasha, there’s a new Fierce in town.

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