ModaLisboa, which celebrated its 25th edition this season, is now a firm fixture on the fashion calendar. The event, which combines catwalk shows, exhibitions, pop-up stores and talks, took place between 10th and 13th March in the hip Portuguese capital. Each edition adopts a different theme and, this time round, it was ‘KISS’, celebrating love, desire and sharing.
One of our favourite Portuguese designers, Alexandra Moura, certainly embraced the theme with her AW16 collection. Drawing inspiration from the romanticism of another era, she deconstructed classic silhouettes and presented them in weighty, luxurious fabrics. Models were cocooned in oversized blanket coats with dramatic flourishes such as enormous bows and pockets and both men and women sported opulent jacquards in gilded black, wine and midnight blue. A lighter touch was introduced using featherweight net and historical undergarments informed details such as ruffles and ribbon tied sleeves.
Pedro Pedro presented a collection of contrasts, which was nonetheless coherent and contemporary. Patent leather was teamed with crisp cotton, quilted leather with tartan, and masculine woollen coats were worn over fluid velvet dresses. A sober palette of grey, camel, khaki and black was countered with flashes of lime green and a variety of checks.
We were impressed once again by menswear designer Nair Xavier, who adopted a sportier take on tailoring this season with softer, less formal silhouettes. However, her signature – a subtle, but confident use of colour – was still apparent, this time incorporating claret, petrol blue, burnt orange, faded russet and bronze. Xavier graduated from London College of Fashion in 2011 and launched her brand in 2014. She shows in her hometown under the LAB initiative, ModaLisboa’s platform to support new designers.
More emerging designers were showcased as part of the Sangue Novo (Young Blood) project. Of the nine participants included this season, Tânia Nicole particularly caught our eye with a collection dominated by denim. Nicole was inspired by the garments worn by construction workers, and the upside-down architectural installations of British artist Alex Chinneck. Multiple denim tones were integrated within individual pieces and teamed with chunky knits or cotton jersey, while shapes were kept boxy. Meanwhile, it was announced that Patrick de Pádua, whom we saw win awards at Sangue Nuovo last year as well as at Maastricht’s FASHIONCLASH Festival, would be graduating to the main schedule at the next edition.
We’re looking forward to seeing what de Pádua and Portugal produces next season, but in the meantime, let’s just kiss and say goodbye.
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Words / Huma Humayun
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Images Courtesy of ModaLisboa.