noun: a popular or the latest style of clothing, hair, decoration or behaviour, e.g. “the latest Parisian fashions”
What is fashion? Some see it as a mere frivolity and others as the mirror of our times. Whatever your definition, it’s arguable that fashion does not exist in isolation, but is connected to art as well as commerce, entertainment as well as economics. The latest edition of Lisbon’s fashion week, ModaLisboa, took place earlier this month under the theme ‘multiplex’, the idea being to embrace the multipurpose, multidisciplinary nature of fashion. As well as around 30 catwalk shows, the event included film, photography, illustration, performance and debate.
As always, ModaLisboa continues to promote emerging talent via its Sangue Novo initiative, but this time the rules have changed, with the competition now held in two phases. In the first stage, the ten finalists show their collections at the October edition. Of these, six will go on to show in March, with 1,000 Euros each to support their next collections, before the overall winner will be announced and awarded a 5,000 Euro scholarship to attend the prestigious Polimoda fashion school in Italy.
The finalists included five local and five international designers, and the level of competition was undoubtedly high, Pu Tianqu from China and Rita Carvalho from Portugal impressed us with their accomplished and coherent collections.
Once they have graduated from Sangue Novo, the designers can still seek support from ModaLisboa in the form of the LAB initiative, another platform to promote young talent. Of the collections shown this season, we enjoyed Goncalo Peixoto’s modern take on femininity. Sheer fabrics, floral embroidery and pastel colours were countered with deconstructed silhouettes appropriated from street style, high shine metallics and shots of bright yellow and Fluro pink.
On the main catwalk, one of our favourite Portuguese designers, Alexandra Moura, returned to the ModaLisboa catwalk as part of a new partnership with Portugal Fashion, the country’s other major fashion week. Moura’s signature is to merge historic and classic references with oversized streetwear and denim and her Spring/Summer ’19 collection Heirloom was no exception, representing a city girl escaping to her grandmother’s house in the countryside.
Ricardo Andrez’s colourful collection also took its cue from the not so distant past, referencing a panic wave brought on by the millennium bug. High shine fabrics were emblazoned with slogans such as “I am coming” and alien emojis.
Vivid colour also featured at Kolovrat, the eponymous brand of Bosnian-born, Lisbon-based designer Lidija Kolovrat. Established in 1990, the label aims to be socially responsible with a focus on tailormade garments rather than fast fashion and, in line with the multidisciplinary theme, Kolovrat is also a prominent artist in Portugal, regularly exhibiting her video-art installations at galleries and museums.
From its prowess in producing footwear to the skill of its silversmiths, there are multiple reasons why Portugal continues to flourish, and it’s not it’s not just about the ‘latest fashions’.
All images courtesy of ModaLisboa. Find more information about the event here.
words. Huma Humayun