The bridal gown, the story of a dream

Victoria Marriagep3 The bridal gown, the story of a dream

A look back across the centuries confirms that in ancient times the bridal gown not only symbolized virtues and desires but also represented the social and economic status and family prestige of the future wife.

Bridal gowns in ancient Rome consisted of a white tunic, given by the bride’s parents, tied in a knot known as the ‘Nodus Herculeus’ which only the groom was allowed to untie. A wreath of lilies, ears of wheat, rosemary and myrtle, the symbols of purity, fertility, virility and a long life, crowned the bride’s head, which was adorned with six braids in honour of the six vestal virgins and also supported the saffron-yellow veil (velarium flammeum) which symbolized the fire of Vesta, the goddess of hearth and household.

From the 10th-11th centuries, the Catholic Church imbued the wedding ceremony with a more spiritual nature, turning it into a religious rite. Dresses from this period did not follow any particular rules: the bride wore the most sumptuous and elegant gown that her family could afford. It was almost always in warm, vivid tones because it would end up becoming the most important item in the young bride’s wardrobe, which she would continue to wear at other big events during her life.

The first white wedding dresses appeared in the 15th century. The first was worn by Princess Philippa of England, the youngest daughter of Henry IV who, on her wedding to Erik of Pomerania, King of Denmark, Sweden and Norway in 1406, wore a tunic and mantle of white silk edged in ermine. The thread of white wedding dresses was then lost until the nuptials of Anne of Brittany, who wore a magnificent white gown for her wedding to Louis XII of France in 1491. Much later, Queen Victoria of Great Britain wore a white dress for her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840, decorated with orange blossom and diamonds and with an exceptionally long and elaborate train, which from the 16th century was an essential element of the gown as unmistakable proof of wealth and social prestige.

Today, the bride’s outfit is still a key element of the ceremony and in spite of the economic crisis the budget set aside for the dress has remained stable, as there is no way that any young bride is going to give up her moment in the spotlight when she says “I do.” The latest trends in wedding dresses for brides of the 21st century can be seen next week at Barcelona Bridal Week.

(ES) Dime qué sientes y te diré qué compras

SOPA (ES) Dime qué sientes y te diré qué compras

Wool therapy, therapeutic crochet

Knitting  Wool therapy, therapeutic crochet

‘Yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, draw through loops. Yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, draw through loops….’ Journalist and knitter Inge Serrano, known in the Handmade community as LadyCrochet, has been giving crochet lessons for six years. Over time, she came to the conclusion that it is a relaxing pastime and it’s a form of therapy for her pupils, helping them to cope with stress, anxiety and depression. And it turns out she was right.

‘I started to investigate and came across a study of Stitchlinks and Cardiff University and a couple of books on the subject, published in England, where knitting is even used in hospitals as complementary therapy for patients with depression, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia and substance dependence’, Serrano explains.

The study revealed that the rhythmic movement of the needles and knitting for a minimum 20 minutes a day can lower blood pressure, aid the release of serotonin in the brain and leads to a feeling of physical and mental well-being. It concluded that knitting increases creativity, concentration, memory, self-esteem and self-confidence; it helps us concentrate on the present moment and better manage negative thoughts. It also helps shy people to socialize and is a good antidote to loneliness for elderly people.

On Saturday 25 April at 11.00 am, at Handmade Festival Barcelona, LadyCrochet will give a talk on the benefits of what crafty people call ‘wool therapy’.

Is paper dead?

Graphispack Is paper dead?

LCD screens, mobile devices, e-books, mapping… The way we read and communicate has made a 180-degree turnaround in recent years. While previously paper could hold just about everything, today it seems it is being pushed out by new technologies.

The graphic industry has had to adapt incredibly quickly to what they call the ‘technological tsunami’, immersing themselves in these revolutionary new materials and supports as Graphispag showed last week.

Some forecasts claim that 40% of everything printed in Europe by 2018 will NOT be on paper. So from printing only on paper the industry has moved to printing on everything else: walls, ceramics, floors, windows, canvases, furniture, domestic appliances, everyday objects, household textiles, clothing, cars, and much more. We’re entering the era of personalization.

At the same time, innovations are coming up with formulas for reinventing a business. Today, by combining traditional printing systems, functional inks and special materials, it is possible to manufacture solar panels, electronic circuits, self-illuminating packaging, alarm sensors and smart textiles. 3D printing is also making itself strongly felt in the creation of unique products.

Yet in the same way that previous revolutions incorrectly forecast the demise of newspapers, radio, film and TV, the relevance of paper is being championed more than ever. Indeed, according to a survey by CIS, nine out of every ten Spaniards cannot imagine their lives without paper, while eight out of ten think it is warmer and more accessible than other products and technologies. In addition, eight out of every ten Spaniards prefer reading a ‘real’ book and six out of every 10 newspaper readers opt for the hard-copy version. Meanwhile, experts have identified a return to paper and the printed product in the field of advertising thanks to its proven effectiveness compared to so much digital saturation.

Paper is more alive than ever and conveys a ‘poetry of sensations’ (smell, colour, texture, weight) – as designer Albert Isern liked to say – which computer screens or the internet have been unable to replace, at least until now.

What did the Fira guys study?

EstudisFira What did the Fira guys study?

These days Fira’s Montjuïc venue hosts the Education show, a place where many young people start planning their future: Doctor? Lawyer? Engineer? Event organizer? This gave us food for thought and we wondered what the staff of Fira de Barcelona had studied to work for an institution like ours.

On the Fira’s permanent workforce, around 40% of staff are involved in customer management, ranging from trade fair sales through to securing new events for the venue. Most of them have qualifications related to sales, negotiating skills, marketing, communications and business administration. But the trend is to seek a higher level of specialization, not just in terms of trade show knowledge but the specific areas of the fairs organized by the Fira, ranging from architecture and construction to chemistry, science, engineering, technology, fashion and tourism.

One quarter of the workforce specialises in product management and project coordination.In this case, their basic qualifications can be very different yet this is always complemented by planning, coordination and people management skills.

For an institution like Fira de Barcelona, promotional and advertising tasks are extremely important and 10% of the team specialize in these areas, with knowledge of the different on- and off-line communication channels and qualifications in advertising, journalism or digital marketing.

Catering, given the massive events organized and hosted by Fira de Barcelona, is also a very important area and accounts for around 10% of the team, with diplomas from hotel and catering schools or professional catering qualifications. We also need specialist staff to fill positions in the departments of ICT, finance, labour relations, legal services and protocol, amongst the other essential functions for the corporation.

Thus the range of professional profiles of the Fira’s staff is hugely varied, yet nearly all of them have one thing in common: knowledge of other languages, essentially English, is a huge asset, although other languages are becoming increasingly important.

Fira’s hidden treasure

Hidden deep among displays, filing cabinets, folders and….more folders, is a hoard of valuable material on historic European trade fairs. The guardian of this cultural and historical treasure is the Archivo General de Fira de Barcelona (AGFB). It is one of Europe’s most important repository for documents on this subject. Read more


MWCApp Mobilapped

Imagine landing at the airport and having you phone reminding you to pick up your pass for the Mobile World Congress before leaving or arriving at the Congress and having your digital badge popping up automatically. These are some of the features that this year’s MWC app has. You can plan the visit and set your own schedule (with maps, lists of exhibitors and conferences and the speakers that most interest you). You can connect your app to Linkedin, to see which of your top contacts are at the venue. Your device will remind you when lunch time it is getting close and it will allows you to order lunch and pick it up without waiting in queues. And finally, at the end of the day, it is automatically set up to tell you the fastest way of getting back to your hotel by public transport, with information on location and waiting times. This is GSMA’s My MWC Event App developed in collaboration with Fira de Barcelona for this edition of the event, a fully contextual app that will change according to the user, his/her location and the time of day, offering the optimal functionality for every moment, in order to receive the right message, at the right time, and in the right place.

The Oscars of Water Sports

Veler3 The Oscars of Water SportsAnd in the Family Cruiser category the winner is…

the Bavaria Cruiser 46!

That was the jury’s verdict at the European Yacht of the Year awards 2015, known as the Oscars of Water Sports, which took place as part of the German boat show boot Düsseldorf, which brings together the crème de la crème of European boat design and building.

Comprising 11 specialists, from 11 different European sailing magazines, this annual competition rewards the efforts of boatyards to improve production and quality, considering the added value of each yacht beyond price, design, manoeuvrability, technology, comfort and adaptation to its sailing programme.

According to journalist and jury member, Germán de Soler, ‘they’re the convertibles of the sea: sporty, innovative, ever lighter, faster and easier to handle’. For journalist Jan Briek, of Dutch magazine Waterkampioen, ‘this year’s winner is a very attractive yacht, with a lovely classic interior that’s very spacious’. Meanwhile, Italian Vanni Galgani, of FareVela says ‘This is perhaps the best Bavaria ever built; certainly the best of its generation.’

The European Yacht of the Year jury sail on each yacht nominated and put them through their paces in two sets of tests, in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, that end in October. They will be on display at major events worldwide, such as the Barcelona International Boat Show, one of the first where visitors can see them for themselves, easily identified by the European Yacht of the Year logo.

Paving a new path to the MWC

As the Mobile World Congress keeps growing in numbers (of both attendees and exhibitors) transportation means to access Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue become more and more vital. That’s why starting next year Barcelona, Fira and the Mobile World Congress will have a brand new infrastructure up and running for the Congress.

Silence, we are shooting!

These are Cinema weeks featuring the delivery of many awards. The Gaudís, in Catalonia; the Goyas in Spain and the glamorous Oscars. The relationship between cinema and Fira de Barcelona is closer than it may seem. We already know that the Montjuïc and Gran Via venues of Fira de Barcelona, in addition to hosting trade shows and congresses, are often the stage of films and adverts. But Fira’s cinematographic tradition goes back a long way, actually to its very beginnings.

And is that the Palace of Metallurgy, Electricity and Locomotion at the International Exposition of 1929 became, in 1931, the headquarters of Trilla-La Riva Film Studios. Created by architects Amadeu Llompart and Alexandre Soler i March, the rectangular shape of the hall provided the ideal conditions for housing one of the biggest film sets in Spain.

Founded by showbiz businessman Abelardo Trilla and sound engineer and one of the ‘fathers’ of Spanish radio, Adolfo de la Riva, Trilla-La Riva Studios were used for the sound tests of the Rivatón sound recording equipment invented by La Riva, which were the first to be patented in Spain. This explains why Trilla-La Riva Studios initially operated as a sound and dubbing studio, where the first voiceover professionals in Spain worked. Just one year later, in 1932, they shot El Abuelo Tartamudo [The Stuttering Grandfather], the first silent film produced by Trilla-La Riva Studios, and in 1935 they made their first ‘talkie’, El Secreto de Ana María [Ana Maria’s Secret].

Following the Spanish Civil War, film-related activities at Trilla-La Riva Studios were taken over by CIFESA, the main film producer of the Franco era in Spain, which led to an increase in the number of films shot. From that time and through to the 1950s, the studio had a variety of different owners and names. In 1956 the first film to be recorded using the innovative CinemaScope widescreen system was shot, entitled No Estamos Solos [We Are Not Alone].

PostCine Silence, we are shooting!

Years later, in the 1960s, the studio was closed down and the Metallurgy Palace became part of the Barcelona International Trade Fair, at which time the façade was renovated and still remains today.

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