IT HASN'T FELT THAT BIG A SHIFT for me, moving to a city whose cultural roots resemble that of my own home town. Countless nuances prove present in both the people here and back home. Acquaintances I've made, traveling or relocating from more northern parts of the globe, have dubbed the city as "too crazy", only to hear me say I've seen crazier. Most of them have not been to Asia after all.
On to more exterior nuances, I bring up costume, or dressing style in Barcelona, which, so far, I have observed to lean towards bohemian throughout the warm and transitional seasons. No rigid pantsuits or pencil skirts here. For the ladies, clothes either flow out in breezy fabrics, skirts both barely there and floor-grazing. Or they stick close to the body with limited surface area, as in the shortest cutoffs or tops and dresses with back panels cut out. If there is a back panel at all. Bracelets abound, fringes, raw hems, pattern and embroidered motifs prevail, along with footwear in natural materials, as if to imply "I'm headed to a beach party." After this mid-day glass of wine. Or two.
Sweaty tourists aside, who promote their own distinct dressing style, what I haven't spotted amongst Barcelona locals is the sharp and minimalist aesthetic I increasingly adore. Tibi currently does it for me, leaving me drooling with every visit to the website, avoiding information as to whether or not they ship to my country. I'd rather not know.
But fashion must complement its wearer. And by all means, the women in this city would drown out any minimalism with their big, strong and sensuous personalities. That they continue to smoke, love sunshine and are fatigue-proof through fiesta season, modern purity will have to find a more delicate wearer.
Tibi Resort 2013, www.tibi.com