Since 1940, Gratacos has been supplying the most prestigious fashion brands and young designers. Specialized in the production of top-quality silky fabrics, their business philosophy is based on entrepreneurial spirit, the concern for innovation, and above all, the passion for fashion.
1. Elaborating Color At Gratacos
When does the choice of colors come into play in developing the collections at Gratacos?
Color figures at the start of the creative process. You have to begin the development of the collection by constituting the color range. This creates a solid working base that lets us approach the season with a sense of confidence and stability.
How do you go about building your color ranges for Gratacos?
Constructing a range always starts with analyzing the previous seasons. Then we take into account the cultural, social and political context, to imagine potential future scenarios. This vision is what gives rise to the colors of the range. I start by gathering all kinds of material I’ve accumulated during the prior months: texts, images and ideas that I thought were relevant, whether in a physical or digital form. After establishing some guidelines, we start our work using a method that combines an intellectual thought process with a more intuitive and emotional approach.
Once the general range is defined on a chromatic level, we divide it into three or four palettes. Then come materials, aspects, decoration, and the combinations and harmonies start to emerge. During this process, the collections are a living thing, in constant evolution. The fabrics are always capable of modifying and improving upon our initial idea.
Do you adapt the range to specific markets or specific types of clothing?
We produce a unique color range that defines us and gives a certain coherency to a collection. But we can adjust a specific color depending on a client’s needs. We work with themes, each of which derives from the range’s various palettes. Each palette inspires different visual and tactile aspects, and different finishes. Colors are intimately linked to the material. Each shade in the range is imagined in a precise type of material, and conversely, a material associated with a color will trigger other expressive connotations.
Does the color influence the choice of materials? Or is it the other way around?
For me, color influences the material. But at the same time, experience tells us to prefer one color over another for a given fiber, to highlight its characteristics as much as possible. There is a fundamental non-verbal dialogue between color and material.
Each end product is a response to a concept, an idea, and underscores the communicative power of each fabric. Even if this information is not always apparent to those who see and touch our collections, we believe it conveys a certain emotion to the customer.
Do you think of a color range as a guideline or more of a working tool?
That’s a very good question. Actually, I think it serves both purposes.
The color range is a guideline, which helps you to project yourself into a collection. But sometimes, color is a tool that emphasizes the material, brings out the specific features of an item.
How are the textile designs developed?
The designs stem directly from the season’s concepts. We express these ideas very carefully up front, which allows us to develop the patterns very clearly afterwards. Color harmonies and variations are elaborated as the collection progresses. We conduct color and material tests, staying true to the initial range, even though the intensity of the shades can change.
In the past few years, have you seen a change in the way you work the color ranges?
For me the role of color hasn’t changed, it’s fundamental.
Today working with color has become digitalized. Personally, I need to work with physical colors. Mixing colors with brushes, getting your fingers dirty with pigments … One of the most incredible moments in my job is creating the color range.
How do you see fantasy and embellishment evolving in today’s fashion world?
We greatly value the fact that, in our market segment, the customer is always willing to include fantasy items in their collections.
What seems essential to us is that this fantasy is guided by professionalism and know-how. You can feel this rigor in the magnificent pieces that make up our clients’ collections.
Are you surprised by the work of certain designers?
I am consistently surprised by designers who create modern hybrids, delving into deconstruction, or using fabrics in unexpected and creative ways.
I’m also interested in designers who work with the handcrafted, a certain imperfect perfection. I also like designers who express their vision of the future through simplicity, a sense of reduction. A search for a timelessness offering peace and comfort.
What interests you about the use of decoration in collections? What do you find new?
This winter season, I was interested in creating a rich but controlled fantasy, with elaborate visuals but restrained colors. When working with tone-on-tone harmonies, the focus is on structure, texture, and the blend of yarns and techniques within the same fabric. My goal is to achieve a harmonious but never boring balance.
Does eco-design influence your choice of colors?
Unfortunately less than I would like. I wish I could say yes, but that would be neither serious nor accurate. I hope that in the near future we can integrate an authentic sustainable approach into our color research. But at the moment, in my field, that is just a project for the future.
2. The AW 24–25 Season
Where did you draw your color inspiration for the AW 24–25season?
For Autumn–Winter 24–25, I worked with the concept of “time”. The idea was to draw inspiration from the notion of timelessness, to create a really ambitious collection: long-lasting, date-free, unlimited. Textiles show the effects of the passing of time in an abstract yet tangible way. Patterns and colors also bear witness to time. In 1933, Walter Benjamin defined fashion as a “measure of time”. The color range of the season is made up of colors that represent beauty, an eternal harmony.
Three palettes were imagined:
The first color palette seeks to convey grace, vitality and serenity. Fluid, expansive, open and tenderly communicative tones. They are emphasized by very bright and intense color accents.
The second palette comprises intense tones, conceived to awaken darkness. Dense, spectral darks. Purples, browns and blues that are electrified by mineral reflections, crystal lights and unusual golds. A strange range in an experimental baroque vein. A deconstructed heritage, like a nod to classic couture. And lastly, the third palette reflects the vibration of colors. Colors express moods and emotions. This palette’s vibrations create harmonies that are freer, more awakened, more vital
Which color do you think is important for the Autumn–Winter 24–25 season?
For next season, there’s a lot of interest in greys. When paired with color, they’re calming—grey is a neutral that cools and softens harmonies. Greys also work beautifully with texture effects.
A purple violet, while not new, is, in this winter’s version, a very dark shade, which makes any color stand out. Sun also inspires tones that are full of life. Gold will be very important for us, both in an opaque and shiny version. Finally, blacks and whites in simple and radical harmonies, as a symbol of reunification between extreme and polarized opinions
What does the color ‘Yellow Clay’ evoke for you?
It’s bright but nuanced, tied to the sun. You could think of it as a new “camel”, perfect for playing with texture and organic textures.
How do you work with light, both in collections and harmonies?
Our collections are made to attract attention. We like to think that light has the power to fascinate people. We’re especially interested in gold this season, and how to work it more delicately. Also, the mineral luminosity of past seasons has changed.
it’s been transformed into a watery, biomimetic luminosity. It’s a shine that is less superficial, emanating from the very soul of fabric.
How is a “solar” inspiration expressed in colors and materials?
We envision the sun as an energy, a source of life, optimism, and of course, the future. Chromatically, it can be interpreted in many different ways. Obviously, all shades of yellow transport us to a solar dimension. But we wanted to go further, by associating the sun with joy. The use of a certain luminosity in the textiles brings this hint of “joie de vivre”.
There is a time of day in the Mediterranean, around 6pm in winter, when the sunlight makes everything absolutely beautiful. It’s a palpable beauty, and the perfect time to take pictures. We tried to capture that moment in our fabrics. By using different techniques, we focused on texture, and how materials react to light.