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Move over Madrid and Barcelona, and make room for fashion diva Valencia. The city has a rich and vibrant fashion culture, and twice a year, in spring and autumn, the glossy Valencia Fashion Week (whttp://www.valenciafashionweek.com) sees catwalk shows from all the latest and greatest local and national designers. Valencia’s home-grown designers have made a splash in the international scene: look out for the flamboyant, gypsy-inspired pieces of Francis Montesinos; the sexy styles of Alex Vida; the urban look of Alejandro Sáez de la Torre; bold, geometric swimwear from Dolores Cortés; Higinio Mateu’s frisky dresses; and the avant-garde, flouncy threads of Tonuca. Shoes and accessories rival the clothes, with such renowned designers as jeweller Vicente Gracia, whose reinvented antique brooches have been worn by the Queen of Spain herself.

Where to shop? You can find both local and international designs throughout Valencia, from small boutiques to big department stores, particularly around the old town and city centre, including the Eixample (Ensanche) district, between Calle Colón and Gran Vía del Marqués del Turia; and Calle Jorge Juan by Mercado Colón.

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