Palo Alto Market

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Palo Alto Market

Palo Alto Market Fest is a hidden gem of Barcelona that takes place on the first weekend of each month.
by Hebe Street

Palo Market Fest is a hidden gem of Barcelona that takes place on the first weekend of every month, in a unique space within Poblenou. This October, buried within the distinctive walled garden venue, a hub of creatives ate well and drank well, whilst both exhibiting and purchasing one another’s offerings. The food is undoubtedly the heart-beat of the Palo Market Fest, as the smell and sizzling of Argentinian, Mexican, Portuguese and even Japanese cuisine, ensnares the queuing public and maintains a steady pulse of visitors to the market.  The food stands, trucks, vans (and even caravans!) are retro and kitschy against the grandeur of the fever tree gin and tonic bar, and the lucent orange of the magnums of Aperol that are stood staring at the entrance, positioned to cajole passers-by. But, the eclecticism helps to strike the perfect note between casual socialising, and a more upmarket ticketed event, setting the scene perfectly for the diverse and offbeat selection of tradesmen and women lucky enough to secure a spot at one of Poblenou’s highlights of the month.

This month, among other startups and larger brands showcasing anything and everything from clothing to accesories, to homeware to art, Gina Cusachs made their home in the Concept Gallery among the more luxury exhibitioners. We drew interest from the steady footfall of customers, who browsed our products aptly with wine in hand! The vivid and lustrous colours of our newest collection certainly stood out in the concept gallery, catching the eye of many shoppers. And, the cupro and silks looked opulent and plush hanging delicately from the rail of samples, particularly our Aqua and Eden slip dresses that were complimented by many. 

Our neighbours were the brilliant team behind Albert Coll Jewellery, a collective consisting of a 94 year old grandfather. who began designing these luxury pieces years ago, and granddaughter Mireia, who has helped to reinvent and bring these designs to life. Their statement blue stones featured in the majority of the collection they showcased this weekend, and their pieces really bridged an unusual gap between statement, high-fashion jewellery, and delicate artesanal pieces. As well as being great company throughout both the Saturday and Sunday, and impressing us with their commitment to their craft as the elderly couple remained greeting and welcoming their customers all day long, we were also secretly keen to style some of our Gina Cusachs pieces alongside this jewellery…. maybe sometime in the future a collaboration is pending!

Another brand that stood out across the path in the design hall, was Feminitt Art. This brand creates designs and sketches that aim to speak out against the prejudices and difficulties encountered by women in modern day society. More specifically, Feminitt focuses on the taboos and criticisms often faced by female bodies, and a lot of the drawing work combines imagery of the female body with imagery about nature. Humour is also prevalent in the designs, and witty feminist narrations accompany many of the t-shirts and canvases. A truly niche and modern company, combining art, fashion and gender politics, Feminitt is certainly a company we would want to support and watch grow in the coming years. 

Finally, we were also intrigued by the store, PAKA, whose pink bright light sign stood loud and proud in the corner of the design gallery. This second-hand store was far from what our minds usually associate with normal thrift stores, instead the rails were full of glittered dresses, sequined tops and velvet jackets. PAKA shares the central message of Gina Cusachs, and discourages becoming a slave to disposable fashion. At Gina Cusachs we encourage re-wearing by creating reversible and versatile designs, and the girls at PAKA similarly encourage re-wearing, but by repairing and reforming statement pieces from the 70s, 80s, 90s until they feel wonderfully glamorous and luxury. Recycling and re-wearing truly is the next big thing.  

Open until 10pm, the verdant space of Palo Market Fest transforms from hip shopping arena, to casual boho drink spot, as the light darkens and the music grows louder. The street music experience is truly immersive, as different musicians perch on their own individual stages and begin to play collaboratively. The DJ works with the keyboard player, who is accompanied by the saxophonist, who keeps to the beat of the guitarist, who accompanies the jazzy tones of the vocalist…. but this isn’t a band. Speaking to lead vocalist Tonia Richii, we soon found out that the orchestration of this street music is rather flippant and laidback, she explained how they are simply a group of friends who want to play and create together, the rehearsal process is very limited, almost non-existent. This isn’t carefully curated musical entertainment, this is authentic music being created and developed in real-time, and this, as a backing track to the Palo Market Fest, reminds us of the ties that bind the attendees, and the love for creation, inspiration and art that is pertinent in the air. 

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