Jose Manuel Pego from Zarabanda dedicating his
2004 childrens collection to our reporter Wiltrud Schwetje
historic mill at Punta des Molí in Sant Antoni and the
mola on Formentera were the two backdrops for Moda Adlib’s
big anniversary show of 2004 - the year of their thirtieth anniversary.
This year twenty-one fashion designers exhibited their collections
for Ibiza. The audience included local politicians, Spanish actors
and other television greats. IbizaNOW was also there with our
fashion expert Wiltrud (Vivi) Schwetje, who was honoured for her
fashion work for IbizaNOW and IbizaHOY by José Manuel Pego
of Zarabanda - who dedicated his adorable children’s collection
number of fashion designers remain true to the traditional Moda
Adlib style; they use light natural fabrics that cling to the
body and ‘accidentally’ show more than they hide.
The colour white is well represented; points, applications, needlepoint,
knitted sections and flounces are also favourite details. All
the same the audiences weren’t only treated to typical Adlib
creations. This was because the Island Council had invited some
new designers into the Adlib group and some other well known Adlib
designers were missing this year.
The fashion marathon in Sant Antoní’s bay started
45 minutes late and the show lasted about two hours. While the
organisers were frantically making final adjustments back stage,
the audience whiled away the time watching the wonderful sunset
over the sea. Then Island Council president Pere Palau, Councillor
for Industry from Palma, José Juan Cardona and the Sant
Antoní mayor, José Sala, greeted the audience and
participants. “The Adlib idea has survived, the Ibicencan
creations, as they always have, represent peace and freedom,”
emphasised Palau. At the same time, he reminded us of the people
who helped to make Adlib what it is today, like Smilja Mihailovic,
who passed away in 1984. Until her death she was the patron of
Moda Adlib and provided the yearly happening with the glamour
that it still thrives upon today.
Ibiza’s fashion during Smilja’s time, was like the
island on which it was designed. It caught the wind and light,
it smelled of the sea, mirrored the beaming white of the farmhouses.
Adlib – ad libitum – as one wishes – it represented
fashion full of life feeling and harmony.
The designers’ creations were a synthesis of traditional
Mediterranean styles and the mad hippy look. Adlib also took inspiration
from the traditional Ibicencan garb and the materials used at
the time: Light natural fabrics, usually in white or black, laced
borders, needlepoint, points and flounces. The Adlib clothing
of the time was designed and made strictly on the island.
The fashion show in 2004 in the bay of Sant Antoní, according
to Pere Palau in his welcoming remarks, was a homage to the roots
of Adlib, but it also showed that over time Adlib has also grown
and changed. The styles seen on the catwalk reflect that change
– 1974 was comfortable, romantic, playful, discreetly see-through
and seductive. 2004 Ibiza was elegant, daring and decidedly sexy,
a wide range of materials were used and the whole of the colour
spectrum was represented.
Not everything presented spoke to the traditional Adlib philosophy.
Not all of the pieces were sewn by local seamstresses. This fact
already created some uproar among the ‘old-timers’
before the show. “If it wants to be called Adlib then it
should be typical Adlib and it should be produced on the island,”
was how several fashion designers summed it up. Due to this debate
about principles and other irregularities in the organisation
a number of the designers, who are actually important parts of
the Adlib team, were missing for the 30th birthday bash. Designers
like Melania Piris, Luis Ferrer, Gloria Bendita, Charo Ruiz and
Perlotti&Giannini. Each had their own reasons for declining
the invitation, either a lack of time or the feeling that it was
not well handled.
Those taking part only had good words for the event afterwards.
Here just a few points of criticism: . The large number of
participants diluted the concept of Adlib; . Participants were first
officially notified merely nine days before the show. Thus some
designers – due to lack of time or enthusiasm – showed
pieces that were not specifically created for the show or are
already on the market; . The Island Council did
not inform the designers that a catalogue was being printed for
the special occasion. Consequently they used some photo material
that had been collecting dust for up to three years in the Council’s
files. The question posed by the designers: “Why on earth
print a catalogue showing fashion that is already long passé?” . A fashion designer cancelled
both of her fashion labels, Charo Ruiz and Moleke, (it was even
announced in the catalogue) as she discovered at the last moment
that a former employee of hers would be presenting at the show
for the first time with fashions that appear to have remarkable
similarities to her original designs. Proper monitoring, as is
normal with shows on the mainland, was missing; . The organisers neglected
to invite important clients, among them the Corte Inglés
chain store, who last year provided up to 50 percent of business
for many designers on the island.
Those responsible on the Island Council had some great insights
afterwards. They did admit that the criteria for selection this
year might have been less than optimal. There simply wasn’t
enough time. However, money was not an issue for 2004. The show’s
budget was about 300.000 euro.
back to the historic mill in Sant Antoní. The fashion students
at Escuela de Arte y Oficios, the fashion school, were the first
to be allowed to present their designs on the catwalk. They had
no complaints about the organisation. The ‘young wild ones’
were just happy to have the chance to present their ideas to a
large audience. As last year, they surprised everyone with unusual
Their motto: Bring across a touch of youth, break conventions,
experiment. During their appearance a little feeling of ‘cheeky,
fresh and free’ mixed in with the warm breeze coming off
the sea. One noticed that the prospective designers had a lot
of fun doing what they do. They were working weeks before the
show on their creations with their instructor, Maria Ferrer, to
prepare for their big moment.
Starting with the idea, moving to the designs and on to a finished
product, each develop their own personal style. Creativity, of
course, has no borders. The fashion students were only allowed
to participate on Ibiza, Formentera remained closed to them, but
that did not seem to bother them in the least, nor did the stress
of the backstage area before the show. What does it matter which
model is wearing which design just before they go down the catwalk?
The main thing is being there. “Opportunities must be taken
advantage of,” summed up instructor Maria Ferrer.
Ultimately, the audience of the Adlib show 2004 were a bit exhausted
by the lengthy show, but it was certainly colourful and amusing.
For many it was less about the fashion and more about seeing and
being seen. But the creations on display here are worth more than
just a glance. These were designs that produce excitement, with
fresh-cheeky or romantic-playful ideas. We will present them next
issue in the big fashion series in IbizaNOW.