Portugal Fashion effortlessly shows why the countries textile and clothing industry continues to thrive and expand.
Portugal Fashion arrives at the end of the a/w17 fashion calendar, a few weeks after the shows in Paris. Unlike its Parisian cousin, the fanfare surrounding the event may not include spectacles akin to the launch of a Rocket ship but the excitement and anticipation for the four days of presentations and catwalk shows was highly evident – and with good reason.
While Portugal Fashion isn’t as well-known as the fashion weeks’ we see in New York or Milan, the country’s Textile and Apparel Industry actually exports 5€ billion annually to more than 180 countries around the world – making the industry responsible for about 10% of all of Portugal’s export sales. These large numbers means it’s no surprise to find that Portugal is also home to a wide range of fashion designers, who are setting their own trends and helping to cement the country’s standing within the fashion industry worldwide.
Following in the footsteps of the previous year, Portugal Fashion kicked off in Lisbon and then headed to Porto for the final three days – beginning at the Cordoaria Nacional Lisbon and ending at the Alfândega do Porto. This season was also an extra special occasion as it was the 40th event from Portugal Fashion since it first launched in 1995. This season the four days were an extensive schedule featuring 31 fashion shows from new and old designers, below are a selection of designers from the landmark 40th Portugal Fashion.
The designer to open the biggest fashion event on the Iberian Peninsula was Pedro Pedro who showcased a bold look with oversized silhouettes, a trend that was noticeable with a few designers this season. The designer states that his collection titled, La mer yu’on voit danser includes “items in a bizarre design, shapeless shapes, transfigured functions, an excess of details”. The use of exaggerated volumes seen in the coats and skirts adds a “honeycombed protective” feel to the collection, whilst the practicableness of the collection could be seen in the use of textile materials. Pedro goes on to say, “there is a predominance of technical materials, rubbers, waterproof and heat sealed finishes, combined with wax and merino wool”. But practical doesn’t mean boring, the asymmetric cuts and over the top finishing details in a rich palette of royal blue, white, black red and bottle green make for a unique and bold collection.
On the second day, the 40th Portugal Fashion event headed to the stunning city of Porto where the ‘Bloom Fashion Project’ showcased a day of budding young designers and their labels. Some of the designers had previously featured at Bloom and have gained slight visibility on the worldwide fashion stage, such as David Catalán. This season he delighted attendees with a showing that gave a slight nod to the 90’s, whilst also channelling spaceman chic, going on to steal the show with an oversized futuristic silver coat.
The third day saw more well-known Portuguese designers take centre stage, such as Katty Xiomara who held her fashion show at the amazing venue of The Portuguese Photography Centre. The palette ranged from enigmatic dark colours to pretty pale pastels, portraying the story of ‘The bull and the moon’, the designer explains, “the collection gathers inspiration throughout this mysterious universe of the forest and its creatures, in all drama of the night and the endless hope of day. By taking these logics to our garment everything seems to appear so magically, with a certain wild poetry.” Xiomara also amped up the whimsical factor with soft messy curls juxtaposed against bone-straight hair, the clothes followed suit – featuring a multitude of sheer ‘floaty’ garments alongside luxurious rich fabrics. “The forms are clean and purified, but with an undulating and natural volume.”
On the final day Luís Buchinho held his fashion show in the curious setting of an outdoor car park – the Silo Auto Porto. Fresh from his showing at Paris Fashion Week the designer unveiled his ‘This is the sea’ collection where the designer created “long silhouettes in a look totally constructed in layers, suggesting overlapping skirts and trousers portraying the fusion of male vs female”. The collection takes inspiration from the gorgeous Portuguese coastline and when asked about preferred materials for the collection the designer perfectly describes the collection, “silk prints with stone and clay motifs, elastic fabrics with graphic elements taken from fishing boats, wools with leather treatment and foil-coated lace and mesh”. Once again Portugal Fashion continues to show that there is a wealth of creative talent to be found in Portugal – established and up-and-coming.
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Photography courtesy of PortugalFashion