Young blood | KLAR

Minimalistic design, KLAR garments sounds like a manifesto spread by a combo composed by visual designer Tiago Carneiro and fashion designers Alexandre Marrafeiro and Andreia Oliveira.

Clearly the trio want to say many things about technology and sustainability and since 2012 their style has evolved. But it’s always extremely difficult to reinterpret in garment your universe especially when you are a young designer.

But what we saw during Bloom (Portugal Fashion week)  seems to be the beginning of a promising exploration. Wait and see.

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Portugal Fashion Week | Susana Bettencourt

Dear readers,

born in the Azores islands, Susana Bettencourt is one of the emerging designer of Portugal. The collection she presented last week during Portugal Fashion is lying between tribal prints and glitch design, between nature and digital.

The abundance of the prints and perhaps a sort of redundancy is offset by the various shapes and silhouettes the young designer has created. An urban and easy to wear set of garments for girls with sporty details (zippers, tech-fabrics…), large sleeves and long slitted skirts.

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Education

« My professors at Central Saint Martins told us that everyone can be a designer, so we need to bring something new. They show me where my strength is, mine is handwork, so they push me in. »

Inspiration

« My new collection is a closing of a cycle of 4 collections.

Since two years  i’ve been working on the contrast between nature and digital. For this collection I focus on the texture of the leaf, the trees, the sea, the waves… If you look on a digital point of view all colours have changed, the sea is green, the green turns yellow… »

Craftmanship and digital fashion

« I made all the work by myself from the handwork to the prints using digital softwares.

I try to bring back to life the craftmanship as it connect more with nature. There is a mix of techniques, the knitwear handwork, the embroideries and some very old technique used by old ladies.

Craft can be digital, but we still have a lot of years to go before everyone can understand that digital can be a lot of crafting. Some of my garments or some digital jacquards takes months to develop. »

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Menswear is completely different

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Susana Bettencourt in the backstages

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Portugal Fashion Week | Generations

Sous une température estivale, la saison des fashion weeks se termine avec la fashion week portugaise (Lisbonne et Porto).

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« You can find inspiration everywhere » est le titre de l’ouvrage que M. Paul  Smith à écrit il y a quelques années. « You can find creativity everywhere », tel pourrait être le slogan de toute fashion week, chacune réservant son lot de surprises à qui désire les chercher.

En cette période globalisée et mondialisée, la mode se crée aussi bien à Istanbul, Porto, Londres, Séoul ou Rio. Reste à se donner les moyens de le faire savoir et d’être reconnu, apprécié, distribué et… vendu! C’est ce que s’emploie à faire Portugal Fashion depuis 19 ans.

La crise économique sévère qui à touché le pays en 2010 à compliqué les choses et ralenti bon nombre d’investissements. Depuis le second trimestre 2013, la reprise qui a lieu semble aller de pair avec la nouvelle identité graphique de Porto, la seconde ville du pays. Présentée il y a peu, elle est en rupture. Très graphique, tenant plus du logotype d’une marque à la mode que du blason héraldique, modernisant les azulejos, elle semble témoigner d’un désir d’internationalisation, un désir de conquête tenu par l’ensemble des jeunes créateurs lusitaniens rencontrés pendant cette fashion week.

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Le Portugal qui à acquis un certain savoir-faire dans le domaine de la confection (bon nombre de marques font fabriquer dans la province de Porto) se considère comme un jeune pays de mode. La France à des maisons de couture plus que centenaires (Lanvin fête ses 125 ans cette année, soit plus de 4 générations).

La première vague de créateurs portugais menés par Felipe Olivera Baptista, Fatima Lopes et Luis Buchinho a obtenu, après plusieurs années, une reconnaissance internationale. Jose Neves, le fondateur de Farfetch, le site marchand réunissant des boutiques de modes indépendantes est lui devenu une référence sur le web.

La deuxième génération emmenée par Daniela Barros, Hugo Costa, Susana Bettencourt ou encore João Melo Costa veut aller plus vite. A peine sortis d’école (Modatex, Central Saint Martins…) ces jeunes designers pensent à l’international, la reconnaissance locale n’est plus suffisante. Soutenus par Portugal Fashion au sein du salon Bloom (réservé aux jeunes créateurs) ils multiplient les salons (Londres, Berlin, Paris…) les rencontres avec les acheteurs, les journalistes, ouvrent leur boutiques en ligne, etc.

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Portugal Fashion qui se déroule entre Lisbonne et Porto (sur 4 lieux) offre une vision élargie de la création de mode portugaise (des défilés d’école à ceux de designers établis). Le challenge est double, hisser la manifestation au sommet en terme de logistique et de visibilité et accompagner ces designers sur le devant de la scène.

Il n’existe pas au Portugal les nombreuses initiatives privés que l’on trouve ici (concours, partenariats, défilés, festivals, etc.) permettant de générer expérience, visibilité et aide au financement d’une petite collection.

Luis Buchinho et Fatima Lopes diffusent leur aura de part et d’autre de la Méditerranée présentant leur collection autant à Paris qu’au Portugal. Pour la jeune garde, les conditions sont plus difficiles. Leur priorité est de pouvoir répondre en terme de production or très peu d’entre eux, comme souvent quand on en est à ce stade, ont les moyens d’avoir un petit atelier, ni de s’offrir les services d’un bureau de presse. Ils travaillent souvent seuls ou aidés par des parents et quelques amis. Une situation qui peut devenir un handicap lorsque, comme certains d’entre eux, ils doivent transformer l’expérience du podium en réalité commerciale.

Mais peut-on demander à un jeune designer de ne pas créer de collection parce qu’il n’a pas les moyens financiers et/ou techniques de la produire? Ou au contraire ne faut-il pas stimuler l’initiative privée et publique? Il s’agit alors d’une décision politique culturelle et industrielle, un marché pesant plusieurs millions d’euros.

Teresa Abrunhosa, behind the scene during Porto fashion week

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Before the show at Bloom, a model concentrates deeply

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After the show, designer Teresa Abrunhosa, strike a pose

Fashion is a passion and Teresa Abrunhosa with her academic background slowly moved to this world. It’s only last year that she started studying fashion. Before she studied fine arts, then works as an illustrator and made some internships in various portuguese fashion houses.

Miguel Flor, coordinator of Bloom, offer her the opportunity to show her first collection during Porto fashion week.

Tight fitting, laser cuts showing the skin, transparencies that « reveal » but not totally are the main characteristics of The age of consent, a collection not as daring and edgy as the references Teresa gave me (the powerful women of Helmut Newton or Guy Bourdin).

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Porto fashion | Luis Buchinho


Fall-Winter 2012-2013

Luis Buchinho is a well establish designer in Portugal and lusitanian countries but seems to miss the point elsewhere (especially in Paris, even if he participates in the fashion week till 1998).

There is no competition between Luis Buchinho and Felipe Oliveira Baptista, perhaps the rising star of Lacoste is now overshadowing the path, or maybe journalists and bloggers keep their eyes only for the crocodile tamer…

I found similarities between the two designers, both have modern shapes, a geometric approche in the design of the clothes, all for realistic results, garments are not only for the show, they need to be sell.

In this collection inspired by urbanity, Luis Buchinho leave room for fluidity and pleats. The silhouette is feminine, strong and not aggressive. Cobblestones have become prints, imitating sometimes some mesh effects. Large pieces of fabric, in navy blue, black and color stone, sometimes crossing, are making vertical and horizontal lines on the outfits, very graphic!

« Simple lines and modern » more than « radical and edgy » this is the style of this collection.

Luis Buchinho took his fashion training at Citex, famous portuguese fashion school and start working as a designer till 1989, definitively a designer to watch.

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Meet Joana Ferreira


Joana Ferreira after the show

Porto Fashion Week, spring summer 2010-

For his 15th anniversary the Portugal Fashion week took place at Alfândega de Porto, a wide building, divided in two spaces for the week-end.

I used to work in Porto during 3 years, making little trips during the making of the collections. I really fell in love with portuguese language and the city during this time, it was a pleasure to get back in town then.

The first floor was reserved for the Portugal Fashion event, the big guns (Felipe Oliveira Baptista, Fatima Lopez, Ana Salazar, Katy Xiomara, etc.). The ground floor was for Bloom a special event organized (with Portugal Fashion) by fashion designer, former Martin Margiela, Miguel Flor.

Bloom is about discovering new talents. It’s for the young bloods only (from 3 selected fashion schools) and young designers. In this basement, a very urban place, the shows were informal, arty and sometimes more exciting than those we could see upstairs…

Portugal is well known for his fashion industries and it’s seems that dim the creativity, especially on saturday as a large part of the shows upstairs were industrial fashion (Red Oak, Lion of Porches, Vicri).

With designers as famous as Felipe Oliveira Baptista, Luis Buchinho or Fatima Lopes we expect more creativity and risk taking on the runways. According to Francisco Maria Balsemão, manager of the event, it’s what Bloom is for:

« … to bring these new talents from Bloom to the Portugal Fashion, to integrate them to the creative movement of the country. »

As i said below, saturday wasn’t a great day and I have to wait the last show of Bloom but one to found my favorite: Joana Ferreira.


At 20, Joana Ferreira have just finish fashion school, her collection is a mix of a school girl and an androgynous look.

It’s also all about skin and appearance, light materials for transparency and geometric prints like scarifications, « to protect and immune » she said on her blog (please Joana translate it in english please). The prints were inspired by the work of Leni Riefenstahl with the Nuba tribes in Sudan (see The last of the Nuba, The People of Kau), very edgy isn’t it?

She also like the work of Proenza Schouler and Kris Van Assche.

Shaded eyes, shaded look


I like this minimalistic and shaded look, Jil Sander wanna-like.

Shaded geometric prints, symmetrical like a Rorschach test

Shaded suit. Black the color of Portugal, the color of the Fado, a music genre which symbolizes the feeling of loss. Black but transparent for this suit (like the pants).

A very mature collection for this young ex-student who presented this year with Wolke Bos a collective of young designers. We really want to see more of her work.