The 46th edition of the Portugal Fashion Week held in the suggestive Alfândega do Porto Congress Center location has closed after the first day due to the risk of Covid-19. Despite this event this edition marked the 25 years of the event dedicated to Portuguese fashion set up in 1995 and the 10 years of the BLOOM, platform dedicated to upcoming fashion designers.
Throughout these 25 years, Portugal Fashion has showcased, nationally and internationally, 1,986 collections by 171 designers (national and international, renowned and upcoming designers), and 143 brands (clothing, footwear, and jewellery). “During Portugal Fashion’s 25th anniversary celebrations, we will inevitably evoke the history of the event and its important contribution to the promotion, enhancement and international expansion of national fashion.
But, above all, our purpose is to aim for the future, with a set of initiatives that highlight the potential of Portuguese fashion and show the strength of this sector as a catalyst for talent, creativity and innovation in different areas”, explained Portugal Fashion’s project director, Mónica Neto.
There are several examples of emerging designers who, after training in Bloom, have consolidated their careers and are now on the Portugal Fashion calendar, such as Estelita Mendonça, Hugo Costa, Inês Torcato, David Catalán or Susana Bettencourt. The first day of show was mostly dedicated to young BLOOM designers. On show the collection by Maria Meira, Unflower, Rita Sá, 09. 0.9 Virus, João Sousa, Carolina Sobral and ARIEIV, in addition to the 3 winners of the “Novos Criadores PFN” competition, Ana Campos, Diogo Van der Sandt and Maria Gaudêncio.
All these shows have been done with closed doors due to the threat of the spread of Covid-19. Among the designers showcasing at BLOOM, UNFLOWER showcased a collection inspired by the work of Lucian Freud who portrayed Celia Paul on canvas with great emotional power, insistently and cold-heartedly for her vulnerability.
The collection is inspire by these dynamics – strength and weakness -, alternating serge and leather parts overlaid on tight, structured knits, patched with overlapping stitching and seams, and satin showing frailty and the romantic involvement. Maria Meira collection explores the dualism of light/shadow and the creative process is revealed by the quest for possible shapes behind a projection; this generates an ambiguous vision of a universe where light and shadow become one and turn into a pictorial representation of themselves with a collection of casual dark items enlightened by touch of yellow.
Warm colors with intense shades of ocher and orange for the the men’s sports collection by Rita Rodrigues de Sá who plays with materials, colors and details, as well as in pieces divided between the right and the wrong side, which reflect a state of a decontracted fashion easy to wear. 0.9 Virus looks at sustainability focusing on water, a finite resource – a terrible waste of the source of being – and the ability of molten magma to recover.
The collection is made of mainly organic and recyclable materials – terry cloth, serge and denim in black and shades of blue, alluding to the power and exuberance of the resources. Black prints that distinguish the oil ripples on the crystalline water.
The collection of João Sousa is a tribute to his grandmother Belmira, the name “Bellamira” analogy is Bella (recalling the fantasy and all of that imaginary things) and Mira (the nickname of the grandmother). It represents all the struggles in life of the lady from the breast cancer to the loss of both legs because of the diabetes.
The fabric manipulation and the asymmetries symbolize the obstacles that rise when no one is expecting. The result is a unique assemblage of items for men and women where sophiscated constuctions and references are interwoven.
Carolina Sobral conceives a “complete wardrobe” for the modern-day woman. It consists of classic, casual and versatile lines, using timeless colours such as beige, green and black predominate, with touches of blue and yellow standing out.
While keeping to the aesthetics of label, “SHIFT” intends to present a functional, practical collection for sophisticated, contemporary women. BLOOM closes with ARIEV which has developed a series of unique and irreverent garments playing with over volumes and a punk mood for the clothing brand Lo Siento.
Among the designers to watch on the mail Potugal Fashion Calendar is the menswear line by David Catalán who revisits the universe of football casuals. Developed upon the wardrobe of the football fans of English teams, Catalan develops silhouettes that reflect the identity of the style football casuals, but with a relaxed attitude and joyful colors.
In the same urban mood is Maria Gambina who reinforces the brand identity with graphics and materials with innovative, sustainable and recycled finishes. Bomber jacket, Trucker, Duffle coat and Trench coat are reinterpreted and deconstructed details normally used in the interiors of the pieces are highlighted and played with false pieces in unforeseen layers.
Looking at more experimental fashion is “Overload” Susana Bettencourt’s manifesto that hrough her own material universe – Knitwear – she shows us how all the parts come together and give rise to hard shapes, a heavy structure and completely opposing universes. The designer is focusing on sustainable production and the “Overload” presentation is a way of fighting the mass, toxic production of fast fashion.
Last but not least, a name who is now also known internationally, Alexandra Moura took inspiration from the social neighbourhoods of Lisbon city. These cultural mixtures are a result of their coming to Portugal from Africa in the 70s and their adjustment to a different culture never forgetting their roots.
The collection mixes opposites, from the ” underground” with ethnical features, to the Hip-Hop with African influences. The classic of an antique generation contrasts the new generation’s streetwear, the traditional costumes to street art, creating contemporary and “retro” silhouettes.
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