go big or go home | portugal fashion

David Catalán

Whilst Lisbon celebrates fashion week at ModaLisboa, Porto takes the reigns at Portugal Fashion with four days jam-packed of designers, exhibitions and music. The 44th edition of the catwalk shows took place in the beautiful Alfândega this year, on the banks of the River Douro in Porto, and kicked off with seven emerging designers backed by the industry in the Bloom shows. The next three days showcased established talent, who chose Porto as their base to reveal their AW19/20 collections in front of buyers, press and celebrities. Demonstrating that co-ed shows work, several designers made complimentary his and hers collections, here are our favourites.

Is this the future of hybrid fashion? David Catalán’s collection of technical, outdoor wear, reminiscent of sleeping bags and puffa jackets merged with hoods, pockets, belts and mittens to create a utilitarian day to night wardrobe. Muted colours and oversized checks, give it a zing, along with a pop of burnt orange and yellow.

Hugo Costa

Comfortable and wearable menswear is what you might expect from Hugo Costa, a regular at PFWM.  For AW19/20, he showcased a well defined ‘go-anywhere’ collection, consisting of military-style twin sets with giant pockets, army style trousers, and laid back loungewear with the logo words 2Maybe We’ll Be Together Again,” written on a crumbling image of the Berlin Wall. This is perfect for the self-assured guy who is happy with his style choices and doesn’t need to shout to make a statement and appreciates technical fabrics.

Sophia Kah

Sophia Kah makes glamorous dresses for glamorous women — which already include Beyoncé, Keira Knightley, Nelly Furtado and Florence Welch — and has a RTW label alongside her haute collection. This marks the label’s second consecutive participation in Portugal Fashion, and her Tiger Souls collection doesn’t stray too far from her DNA — expect for plenty of lace, soft and flowy silhouettes and lace skirts and matching tops in gothic shapes in black and navy. All while using the tiger motif to represent strong, powerful, successful women.

Katty Xiomara

Even though her collection celebrates the 45th anniversary of Hello Kitty, Katty Xiomara’s designs are more dramatic than fluffy. With models stepping out in all muted colours, along with oversized bows, puff sleeves and a cape which you could wear three different ways, half of the show was theatrical. But this was counteracted with flashbacks to the designer’s childhood and flashes of bright colours in feminine styles with a prairie feel. Prim and proper with collars buttoned right up, juxtaposed with overlaid lace and transparent touches mixed a vintage vibe with a modern feel.

Luis Buchinho

Will a trench coat ever go out of fashion? Probably not, and if you snap up one of Luis Buchinho’s sexy leather ones, you will be investing in a classic. Offering the perfect winter wardrobe for the IT girl, Diogo Miranda and Luís Buchinho’s collection was inspired by Catherine Deneuve’s character in the film “Indochine”. The designers fused nautical and aviation themes, to create a wearable collection of structured lines, combining leather, faux fur, voluminous sleeves, button details and boleros in a collection that screams chic.

Maria Gambina

One of my favourite shows at Portugal Fashion week was called ‘Nancy,’ by Maria Gambina. Modest midi dresses with scarves and bibs which were inspired by retro influences in a ski resort. Muted colours of oxblood and taupe reminiscent are the predominant palette of the box pleats and quilted jackets, which reminded me of a school uniform; And high waist trousers and drop waist dresses looked comfortable and easy to wear. Yellows are punctuated by interesting knits and scarves, and all in one winter whites do not look out of place.

Marques ‘ Almeida

As a contrast to the mostly traditional collections on show, Marques’Almeida ramped up the meter with a British punk vibe; Taking streetwear to a whole new level, the duo mixed denim, leather and PVC in a complementary collection of pants, dresses and sweatshirts. The whole collection had attitude and was styled to perfection with studded jewellery and bags, and used snakeskin at every opportunity with boots bags, skirts and trousers showcasing the print. If you’re bold enough to wear in the day, or night, there after dark florals, denim jumpsuit and metallic gold mean you will always look cool.

Miguel Vieira

Trouser suits that make a statement in beige, ochre, curry yellow, sky blue, tobacco brown and navy blue with the addition of ethnic prints and sequins were the basis of Miguel Vieira’s “Um inverno em África” (a winter in Africa) collection. Taking inspiration from safari styles, he mixed corduroy, velvet, fur, sequins and quilted fabrics to create bold outlines in his suiting and coats, which had a softer touch with the addition of sequins. Geometric prints were complemented with pared down looks of hoodies and suiting, whilst his womenswear was undeniably glam.


Meam’s AW collection transports you to somewhere totally exotic, with a bold collection of ethnic, tribal prints. The colour palette ensured you kept the heat up, using a spectrum of red to bold yellow to peach and burnt orange. With functional maxi dresses to empower women, in flattering and practical cuts, you don’t need to try too hard to make a statement- legwarmers, woolly socks and clogs are optional!

Mara Flora

Suiting doesn’t have to be conservative, and Mara Flora showcased a collection of manly oversized trouser suits for women with impeccable tailoring. With the rise in popularity of sportswear, you don’t have to make a choice as you can dress these suits up or down to look effortless and stylish and not overly put together. Loose tailoring in sensible colours, put the suit back into the spotlight.

Find out more information about Portugal Fashion and the AW19/20 collections here.

words. Sara Darling


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