Written by Staff Writer at CNN
A herd of sheep huddles down to cross the Madrileña highway at Bogarra Street in Madrid’s El Molino square Saturday. Credit: LORENZO BENAVIDES/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The Spanish country is no stranger to weird and wonderful design.
Zimmern carillon in Barceloneta is illuminated at sunset, but the lanterns aren’t fashioned from steel or brass but are instead embroidered with images of almond blossoms. , which was designed by French artist Didier Larrea, has its own long hulking generator.
Zimmern carillon was invented and inspired by wind whistling through the tree roots. Credit: Icon Touristico
Charmingly, it all started in 1937 , when an architect called Carl Zimmern built the Bernabéu soccer stadium in Barcelona, a palm tree-infused design with the world’s first windscreen.
Zimmern carillon was the first architectural marvel built during World War II. Credit: ROTA PRAVAIS/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
All of these architectural marvels at their most whimsical probably wouldn’t have been included on a Paris visit by Australian entrepreneur Glenn Stevens as part of the 25th International Tangled Kingdoms trade show, which he founded.
Thousands of ordinary people have since visited Tangled Kingdoms to ask Stevens, creator of the Tangled Kingdoms clothing line, which interesting aspect of their country they would improve. For Stevens, it’s clear that Tangled Kingdoms knows its country better than most.
Every year, his company holds workshops around the world, and encourages people to turn themselves into a warrior, lion or dragon.
It turns out, these sartorial creations are far more spectacular than he could have expected. According to Stevens, the hardest part of the experience for participants, who include dancers and singers, is learning to ride a horse, because what they wear to the event seems more important to them than the actual riding.
In addition to training for months to perfect a harem — that is, wearing an abaya, or a traditional black cloak — participants are required to don a full-face headscarf. They are also supposed to learn self-defense techniques like the “nail punch,” a training course inspired by Marvel’s version of martial arts characters, “Iron Fist.”
For Stevens, there are also aspects of the experience that draw on his own Australian experiences.
He created Tangled Kingdoms clothing with the help of his co-founder, Vince Carver. Credit: Oli Scarff/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
“A lot of people come to us dressed in womenswear as if they’re going to a high-end fashion show,” he said. “But they’re not going to a fashion show. It’s not like in fashion that you’re there to impress a feature photographer. Instead, they’re just there to enjoy the clothes. There’s only so much fashion shoots you can take over a week.”
This makes Tangled Kingdoms a growing family affair, with Stevens and co-founder Vince Carver running the business together. A portion of the profits go to local organizations like local charities.
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This year, they’ve partnered with SchoolkidsForward for their first ever collaboration collection, which includes — among other things — a pair of stout-looking rucksacks, dubbed Race-Boats, which include wording that says “We might not know everything, but we can sure hold our legs up.”
“We’re a small business and that allows us to move faster than if we had thousands of employees, so it’s been really important for us to find collaborations with the right people — who are doing great things and who believe in what we’re doing,” Stevens said.
Stevens’ advice for those who are starting out in his field? “If you have an idea for a product, just put it out there.”