Divinity and Sin: Juana Martin’s Andalusian Fantasy for Fall 2024

June 25, 2024

Text by Jesse Scott

Juana Martin took guests to her native Andalusia by weaving a rich tale of the decadent and the sacred - sometimes more similar than they are different - through her Fall 2024 Couture collection. The show marked a natural continuation of Martin’s trajectory through recent seasons, demonstrating her flair for achieving the dramatic through simple colors and complex forms. Long gloves, tall hats, and floral accessories highlighted a series of geometric and symmetric looks. Martin used the structure of her garments to highlight the duality of good and evil and how they bring balance and natural order to the world.

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“Pared de Cal:” Martin References Her Homeland through Dual Symbolism 

The collection was titled “Pared de Cal,” which translates to “lime wall.”  It was partially inspired by Saint Teresa, who famously said “from nuns to monks, lime and stone wall,” and by the whitewashed walls which have become an iconic motif of Andalusia. Much of the collection was a sartorial rumination on temptation, with Andalusian foods taking on symbolic meaning. Grapevines, a leitmotif for debauchery since the time of Greek mythology, were suspended on a silver choker-style necklace above a virginal white dress. They also were fastened to the hips of a model wearing a Chantilly lace top (extending into a head covering), and long white gloves that would be fitting for a late 19th century ball. Pears, a typical Andalusian treat, adorned a towering black hat, while a gourd featured as a handbag. In these ways Martin used the fruits of her homeland to tell a story of universal significance.

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Black Roses for Fallen Angels

Martin’s symbolism was not all subtlety; angels and devils were literally depicted on certain pieces. An ominous red devil sneered off the shoulder on one dress while the model stared down guests with an unapologetic air of defiance. Angel wings also appeared, but made of jet-black roses, the model’s deadly-red eye shadow offering a dare of lost innocence. Black roses returned for the final piece, which saw a largely transparent dress contrasted by a massive bouquet entirely engulfing the model’s head. An ominous symbol of decay, like the fish skeletons that were an omnipresent pattern in the collection, they both winked and warned.

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Martin described to the press the concept of “divinity and sins, white and black, at the opposite of each other, yet inseparable, hand in hand, walking in parallel.” There is but a thin line between them, one easy to cross, and this dress exemplified it. A powerful concluding statement to a concise collection that distilled complex concepts into just 25 looks, while staying true to Martin’s DNA, it left us already anticipating how the story continues next season.