Within Barcelona, the streets of the old ´barrio´ of El Borne hold a sartorial secret with a style older than their undulating cobbles. The atelier of Natalie Capell rests here – an intimate space which is redolent of the workshops of the turn of century Paris and until now, whose secret seems only to have been spread by wistful whispers.
Her encapsulating interior at Calle de la Carassa is a testament to bygone romance. Exposed beams with heavy chandeliers gently illuminate a multitude of textures in the show space and its wares – which range from omnipresent blacks and deep Argento style reds with a gloomy but intimate 1920´s charm where a woman can rediscover her femininity.
¨As soon as you walk in, you are immediately transported back to the timeless twenties. The sound of Jazz dances softly across the heavy wooden floor and leaps through the voiles before it´s marriage with the heady scent of lavender captivates your complete attention then demands your deeper inspection. Like stardust scattered around the world, the clothes spread delicate light from her heart.¨ – Charles Daniel McDonald
Formed in 2002 after her graduation from the Shenkar College of Design in Tel Aviv, the Catalan designer uses this sombre space as a post Parisienne portal which acts as the omniscient protagonist in showcasing her exquisite combinations of fine dresses, velvet capes and jackets which are completed in silks, tulles and finished off with the most exquisite embroidery to endorse the delicate balance and feminine elegance across its darker and more muted colourways.
Despite her nod to nostalgia, Capell´s style is still somewhat contemporary, uniquely elegant, feminine and uncompromisingly romantic. Her custom made and ready to wear pieces offer a ´new approach to femininity´ which is based on her belief of the ¨inherent beauty of all women that emanates from each one´s way of being.¨ Her striking interplays, where translucent fabrics and transparencies meet hand finished embroideries, both respect and care for the female form ¨upon each dress, hangs my dreams and beliefs¨ she attentively added.
“I think any step forward must be based on a deep respect for tradition. There is a wonderful essence in our past that can be used today, honouring what we were to see within this evolution. Everything is a way.” – Natalie Capell
Since the creation of her first dress at the tender age of 14, Capell has dedicated herself to creating exceptional and highly feminine hand embroidered and tailored female pieces as a form of her expression. The brand of Natalie Capell embodies delicacy and strength at the same time and it was this comfort and elegance which achieved her the coveted National Handicraft Award in 2013 with her arrangement of pieces from a collection entitled ´Vent´ an offering which made up part of the Tel Aviv exhibition ´Dream Weavers´, where 16 internationally recognized designers exhibited their finest work to critical acclaim, across all four corners of the globe.
Despite her specific style, expect to see items here which can cater for every call of life – silhouette evening dresses, tops, bolero jackets, silk belts and not forgetting her magnificent wedding dresses. All the drapery on display is worked and dyed by hand in the workshop behind the atelier, from materials that Natalie personally acquired from specialised European markets and fares on her tri-annual travels.
As a further lasting memory, each piece of her collection is catalogued with a certificate and serial of uniqueness. A tangible testament to the authenticity of her craft, as if you really needed any more evidence.
Article: Charles Daniel McDonald
Photography: Natalie Capell