Disruptive Pattern: A Peek into Valencia’s Underground Fashion Scene

Mariola Morera Catala is the creator and designer of Disruptive Pattern. It’s an underground fashion concept combining aspects of music, fashion, and multimedia art. The idea is to paint the picture of fringe Valencian styles and statements. In their most recent event, a collaboration of artists and movements converged at the Parets Forum Festival. Mercado de Tapineria is one of el Barrio del Carmen’s most unique venues. Daniel Hazelhoff reports. Pictures by Paul Knowles

We often speak of Valencia in terms of its historical relevance. Sometimes about the beauty of its architecture, both old and new. The tradition imbued within its very essence and the disruptive nature of innovation and progress into more sustainable systems. This city is in a constant liminal state. A state where growth and change are inevitable. So if we look closely, and lift up the rug, we can find the inner workings, and maybe even some catalysts for change.

Making a difference: Mariola Morera Catala © PAUL KNOWLES / VALENCIA LIFE

Mariola Morera Catala wanted to study fashion, however, her mother suggested she broaden her understanding of art through Fine Arts. Therefore she did a masters degree in Philosophy. She studied the works of philosophers such as Jacques Derrida and Walter Benjamin. And this not only influenced how she looks at life. She explains, it also showed her how philosophy affects art and fashion at its core. Then, after studying philosophy she transferred her methods of learning from the intellectual to the physical. She did this by attending a school of pattern and tailoring. 

Goodby to fast fashion, hello Disruptive Pattern

During our interview, Morera marked the importance of learning how to sew and hem by hand.

“It gives you the unique ability to know where your products are coming from,” says Morera.

For her, it can serve as a form of defiance against fast fashion. 

Disruptive Pattern is a mix of underground Valencian concepts. A mesh of different aspects of social life and fringe tastes.

“It started as three or four looks with my closest friends. We went to La Albufera where I explained disruption and patterns as a concept,” says Morera. 

“We created a book with four looks, and the project has just exploded from there,” she adds. “What we’re doing right now has no explicit function, it’s purely concept-based,” she clarifies. 

Putting theory into practice

And the most recent Disruptive Pattern event took place during the Parets Forum festival at Mercado de Tapineria. One gets the feeling that there are many cogs working simultaneously within a larger system. Clearly, the brand and event is more of movement and an idea than it is mere fashion.

Model at Disruptive Pattern
Model behaviour: Wearing a design by Mariola © PAUL KNOWLES / VALENCIA LIFE

At the beginning of the event, there was an interpretive break dance performance. It was directed by Julia Zac, and each performer doubled as a model. However, each “model” is not simply that. They also have their own projects going alongside, organically and symbiotically growing through the Valencian underground movement. 

One of the models, Ciberchico, is also a musician and performer of the ToxicPop collective alongside Leftee, Carlo, Rare and Popin’ Love. Modelocero audiovisual productions contribute to the movement by producing videos and includes Carlos Castelló, Elena M Silvestre and Javier. S. Linde. Other performative artists and entertainers and contributors include Samuel Godion, Goumba Kane, La Kitty, Somadamantina, Almudena Soullard, Gerard Bufi, Tarra, Joel Burges, Mark Yareham, Nemo Aguade, Indigo Kane and Maria Tamarit.

“The name Disruptive Pattern explains itself. It is an attempt at changing individuals. An attempt to develop their thoughts on art, fashion, and how they approach themselves,” says Morera. Through disrupting generic patterns of thought and function Morera intends to provoke thought within the viewer. And, through that thought, to ignite change. 

A change, she explains, is not intrinsically linked to the abandonment of tradition, but to development, scepticism, and learning. “If you are willing to change, to hold a constructive scepticism toward everything in life, you will become humbled by the world around you,” she says.

Underpinned by philosophy

Morera expands on how her studies in philosophy helped create Disruptive Pattern. Says Morera, “In Derrida, I found deconstruction. He questions traditional phenomenology and metaphysics and introduces a new way of conceiving the human sciences. 

“With Heidegger, what stands out most from his work, for me, is his concept of the work of art. The work and the artists are just a game within an institution. It is a market, with laws, and patterns that needs representation. 

“And this applies directly to the fashion industry in the same way,” she continues. This, she says, was the effect Michele Foucault had on her. 

Disruptive Pattern models
Let’s hear it for the boys: More original designs by Mariola © PAUL KNOWLES / VALENCIA LIFE

“I was influenced by Foucalt and the concept of devices,” says Morera. “We construct subjectivities according to the type of our society. They become an artistic work or a garment. Finally, the fashion device itself is capable of opening consciences. It has meaning, something greater than itself,” she explains. 

Finally, she speaks of Walter Benjamin. “He was the father of aesthetics. He opened the world through an understanding of image and visual representations as concept and meaning for me.”

She adds, “He also made me see how we must be aware of our ability to use aesthetics. To make them part of one’s own discourse.” 

Whether it be architecture, food, fashion or sustainable development, Valencia is home to – and breeds – the type of imaginative minds that make up the cultural foundation of the city itself. 

As people grow and change, so too does the city. Disruptive Pattern is a typically innovative Valencian development that underscores a vibrant city’s resolve to question and to change. 

Find out more about Disruptive Pattern here

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