Portuguese fashion en route to conquer the world
Portugal’s fashion scene received a boost this year when Pitti Uomo, the Italian menswear trade show, invited the country to be its guest nation at the January edition. The event gave Portuguese designers a platform to connect with new buyers and gain international recognition, but it was also so much more than that: it was a stamp of approval. Historically considered a country of industry and raw materials, Portugal is now emerging as a hotbed of design. And with the country now playing in the big leagues, its growing list of designers are promising an exciting future. FashionNetwork.com travelled to ModaLisboa to meet the nation’s top emerging designers.
First stop: Workstation. Held ahead of the 52nd edition of ModaLisboa, the platform composed of four emerging designers took place in the Carpintarias de São Lázaro. Created around fashion performances, its format was an alternative to the traditional catwalk show which would dominate the agenda over the next days at the Carlos Lopes Pavilion. Filipe Augusto, the winner of last year’s Sangue Novo award, which celebrates the country’s emerging talent, returned with a menswear collection that fully embraced his flair for local heritage and craftsmanship. His collection was crafted beautifully, featuring plaid and suits with feminine touches, whilst styling played with the idea of well-behaved boys from a catholic school.
As it does every year, Sangue Novo presented an interesting range of novelties and creations. Its new generation of designers are more aligned to art and the creative study of new materials and silhouettes than the commercial side of establishing their own label. Fluxo 19 presented perhaps the collection with the most potential internationally and its designer, British-born Archie Dickens, won the opportunity to sell its goods via The Feeting Room concept store in Porto and Lisbon. A knitwear specialist, the Chelsea College of Art graduate explored the fluidity of movement through knitwear, showcasing a collection which captured the interest of buyers.
But the best surprise of Lisbon Fashion Week was provided by Constaça Entrudo in an industrial site called The Warehouse. A graduate from the prestigious Central Saint Martins, the designer worked for Marques Almeida and Peter Pilotto, before launching her eponymous brand in 2017. She currently works in Paris for luxury house Balmain. With fabrics and prints made by hand and inspired by a visit to an old embroidery factory in Madeira, the unisex collection had a rebellious spirit and the freshness that comes hand in hand with emerging talent. Colours, and a 70s style inspiration defined the collection, as well as undulating shapes and a daring mix of materials.
Back in the Carlos Lopes Pavilion, which hosts the rest of the fashion shows taking place during Lisbon Fashion Week, young designer David Ferreira made a splash with his new couture-inspired collection, reclaiming an esthetic that has seduced many celebrities worldwide. Having worked for Iris Van Herpen, the designer showcased complex volumes and textures, resulting in a perfect combination of Marie Antoinette and Lady Gaga’s style. Meanwhile, rising from the ranks of the Portugal Fashion platform, men’s streetwear brand Nycole was inspired by the work of DJ Rival Consoles. With a strong sportswear element, combined with reinvented knitwear features, the brand saw its designer Tânia Nicole take centre stage after her appearance at Pitti Uomo last winter. Lastly, and a staple in the ModaLisboa calendar, designer Luís Carvalho showcased a mixed collection inspired by the work of digital artist Matthieu Bourel. Strong and mature, the range was designed with an international appeal. His talent and charm have earned Luís Carvalho the nickname “the Portuguese Jacquemus”.
Further boosting the city’s fashion credentials, a new and exclusive concept store titled Tem-Plate launched during Lisbon fashion week with a strong mix of big-name fashion labels and leading designers. The space is set to become a hub for luxury fashion in the heart of the Marvila district, which was once home to several fashion factories and warehouses. The store is another example of how the Portuguese capital is doing everything it can to build up its ‘cool factor’ whilst celebrating its local fashion scene.
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