'Beauty and the beast' on Custo Barcelona's runway

CLAUDIA TORRENS
Associated Press
This 2012 photo released by Custo Barcelona shows Spanish designer Custo Dalmau.  The Custo Barcelona collection to be shown during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Custo Barcelona)
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This 2012 photo released by Custo Barcelona shows Spanish designer Custo Dalmau. The Custo Barcelona collection to be shown during New York Fashion Week on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Custo Barcelona)

NEW YORK (AP) — Custo Dalmau, the face behind Custo Barcelona, has described the brand's newest collection as "beauty and the beast." On one hand, there's a feminine and sensual side, and on the other a more wild and opulent one.

The Spanish designer said the collection he'll show for fall and winter on Sunday at New York Fashion Week is a combination of the two.

"We are going to try to unite both extremes. We will create a language that flows from these two poles, the very beautiful and the bit beasty one," Dalmau said in a telephone interview from Barcelona.

He plans to send down the runway dresses, ultra minis and jackets of silk, wool and shaggy fur, with psychedelic prints and a metal shine. The hope, he said, is a fresh, renewed collection with Custo*s traditional bright colors and graphic prints.

Dalmau and his design partner and brother, David, started their careers in fashion in the early '80s, after a trip to California. They decided to sell graphic T-shirt interpretations of that state*s surfwear, and later expanded. They've been presenting at New York Fashion Week since 1997.

The loud Spanish label appeals to young customers and is more well known in Spain and Latin America than in the United States, with stores in Venezuela and Colombia. Based in Barcelona, the line is available at 3,000 locations, including websites, around the world.

In the U.S., Custo Barcelona has stores in New York City, Miami, Florida, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico and Los Angeles, according to the company's website.

Dalmau doesn't consider himself a fashion purist and said he doesn't follow what other designers do.

"We have never studied fashion design. I studied architecture and my brother studied art," he said. "We have tried to create a lifestyle based on a way of wearing clothes. That is our message."