Monday, 21 October 2013

Moda Lisboa S/S14: Portuguese Labels to Love

Yes, I'm turning my attention to yet another Fashion Week around the world, and this time it's Lisbon that has managed to catch my eye. There are some really talented Portuguese designers out there, and I spent ages poring over their work on Portugal Confidential and the official Moda Lisboa website.

Here are six of my favourites, as captured by photographer Rui Vasco; firstly, three designers who relied heavily on blue as an accent colour, and then secondly, three designers striking out with very individual styles.

Moda Lisboa PedroPedro blue jackets
 [All images via Portugal Confidential and Rui Vasco]. 
Pedro Pedro's tactile collection focused on texture, right down to the glossy hair of the models.

There was an interesting clash of femininity (delicate layers, long hair, little satchels) and masculinity (flat grey caps, overcoats, the face as a blank canvas) in the clothing here. I feel that these are the kind of ensembles worn by a Burberry devotee who seeks something a bit more individual and pared down; something more authentic than the sleek trench coat.

Lisbon Fashion Week womenswear with pale blue coat and white waistcoat
 Ricardo Preto went for practical pieces emphasised by folds, with iridescent sheer layers underneath.

Unlike Pedro Pedro's bare models, the ladies at Ricardo Preto sported washes of gaudy eyeshadow in purple, blue and red, worn against a muted colour palette of blues, greys and greens in the clothing itself. I loved the different silhouettes created by the changing volume of the outfits - cocoon coats and slimline waistcoats vying for attention on the same catwalk.

Senegal inspired blue dresses and white top by Portuguese fashion designer
SayMyName had an Avatar-meets-Gaga feel to its S/S14 line.

According to the notes, SayMyName was inspired this season by the robes of a Senegalese brotherhood, but (to my untrained eye) I felt like there was a distinct note of Gaga to the proceedings. I loved the oily slickness of the dresses, clinging in places and glossing over the figure in others. There was a real sense of craft and playfulness that I couldn't resist.

Monochrome looks on the Portugese catwalk
 Nuno Baltazar made an impression in black.

How much do I want to be a Nuno Baltazar woman? She's like one of those effortlessly cool types that I always clock at Fashion Week, strutting through the courtyard at Somerset House in vertiginous heels, without a care in the world. I picked these black and white pieces to show you, but there was some colour in the collection, however my stand-out picks reflect the power of simple pieces to really make an outfit. Barbed wire print and clever drapery? Yes, please.

Banana print shirt and shorts on the catwalk
 Os Burgueses delivered a collection inspired by '1960s wallpaper'. 

The power of print was evident from Os Burgueses' range for this season. A humble banana became key to the quirk appeal of these outfits, topped off by punk-lite belts and precisely wrapped head scarves. These looks had the feeling of playing in the dressing up box at first glance, but you just know they'll be worn by fashion leaders who never put a hair out of place. I'm envious.

Yellow pinafore or dungaree dress with dinosaur print top
Ricardo Dourado's range was called Drop the City and blended simple street wear with intricate dinosaur prints.

If you're seeking something a bit more streetwise from Fashion Week, you can't fail to be impressed by Ricardo Dourado's vision for Spring/Summer 2014. His ideal customer seems to be a woman who isn't afraid of fashion's chameleon potential; she wants to be someone else and is happy to experiment with ballooning fabrics, off-the-wall prints and man repelling dungaree dresses. What's more, she's proud of the way she looks.

I've definitely been inspired by the work of these designers; Lisbon is clearly one to watch on the global fashion stage.

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