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• In its edition in March 2016, Portugal Fashion had the largest program in its 21 years of history: a total of 37 fashion shows, with more than 20 designers and 14 fashion labels

• The 38th edition of Portugal Fashion: One of the biggest calendars ever: 21 designer collection shows, 10 young designer coordinates and six commercial lines of clothing and footwear brands

• A partnership with Mozambique Fashion Week brought the “Ideias a Metro” label and young Mozambican designers Omar Adelino and Shaazia Adam to the event

The 38th edition of PORTUGAL FASHION –which celebrated in the year 2015 its 20th anniversary – had a vast and eclectic line-up. It opened at the Beato Convent in Lisbon on 16 March and continued over the next three days in Porto, where the majority of the shows were hold. This 38th event showed designer fashion by well-known and emerging designers, commercial lines from the industry and coordinates by young designers in the Bloom project, which is dedicated to new talents. In all, there were 24 designers (22 individual designers and two duos), eight clothing labels and six footwear labels, 13 young designers (five individuals and eight finalists in the Bloom Competition) and three young designer labels.

Given this diversity of proposals, João Rafael Koehler –President of ANJE, the event organizer- believes that “the 38th Portugal Fashion presented a good balance between designer fashion, designs for the market and proposals from young designers. This has always been the idea behind Portugal Fashion, but I believe that the program of shows at this event realized our ambition to embrace the various aspects of fashion particularly well”, concluded the President of ANJE, the event organizer. This is, in fact, one of the biggest shows ever put on by Portugal Fashion, an event that celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. The 38thPortugal Fashion autumn/winter 2016-17 had 37 fashion shows: 21 designer collections, 10 young designer coordinates and six commercial lines of clothing and footwear labels.“Such a large number of shows, designers, labels and young designers is a sign of the vitality of Portugal Fashion and the Portuguese fashion sector”, is the assurance given by João Rafael Koehler.

In Lisbon, Portugal Fashion’s original catwalk inauguration was a first in the history of the event. At 6:30 pm in the Beato Convent, the event began with the presentation of the final projects from the students on the technical professional Fashion Design course at Casa Pia, in a collective show intended to reveal the talent of the young designers trained at the institute. Sponsored by Marco De Camillis, an Italian dancer and choreographer based in Portugal, the Arte Moda by Casa Pia project is in line with Portugal Fashion’s aim to discover new talents in Portuguese fashion and to support young designers starting out in their careers. In addition, this is a case of young people at risk of social exclusion, ”which makes the inclusion of the Arte Moda by Casa Pia project in Portugal Fashion’s program of shows even more commendable”, said João Rafael Koehler.

Next, at 7:30 pm, Storytailors revealed their new collection for the cold season, called “A Caminhada da Viúva Branca” (The Journey of the White Widow). As usual, the duo made up of João Branco and Luís Sanchez has designed their new creations based on a fable or a tale. This time, their choice was “Alexitimia”, the story of a smuggler… of creativity. For Autumn-Winter 2016-17, Storytailors proposed items both with a variety of patterns and materials (wool, burel wool, leather, velvet, satin, georgette, cotton and fibre), in order to “awaken a multitude of ideas and sensations”, and with “overlapping layers that transform the silhouette”. The highlights were the “textures, cuts and appliqué motifs that suggest shells, spirals and scales”. In this collection, the traditional Portuguese raw materials are combined with technological materials and finishes, while the colours chosen are whites, greys and blues.

Part of the Bloom project, the HIBU label presented once again its new inventive designs at Portugal Fashion. Developed jointly by Marta Gonçalves and Gonçalo Páscoa, HIBU markets ergonomic and innovative collections. The label combines the urban, commercial approach of Marta Gonçalves with the sporty, sombre and deconstructed lines of Gonçalo Páscoa. HIBU uses this method to transport a dark, sporty, urban style to a minimal and deconstructive setting.In this collection, the label uses materials such as wool, cotton, jersey, acrylic and technological materials. The colors used include black, dark blue, navy blue, sky blue, skin tone, pink and dark red.

Firmly anchored on the event’s main catwalk, emerging designers Susana Bettencourt and Estelita Mendonça, both of whom came to light through the Bloom project, put on a joint show at 10 pm. For her “Origens” (Origins) collection, Susana Bettencourt “took her inspiration from what will be a transformed perspective of the first contact by the human being, still a child, with art: the first coloring pencil, the first pencil sharpener, the first colored lines and the inherent freedom of these primary experiences”. This results in a collection that combines technology with knitwear made by the designer herself. Estelita Mendonça seeks to blend architecture and fashion, in a collection that reuses materials such as tents and Papa blankets (100% wool, handmade).“This collection works the concept of utopia in the struggle for ecology and sustainability in the form of refuge wear and intimate architecture in times of crisis. The construction, the shape, the materials and the actual concepts are aimed at sportswear items”, explained the designer.

The first day of the 38th Portugal Fashion ended with the Alves/Gonçalves show, which presented a collection that, according to the designers, “represents several contrasts: oversized vs. long-line, female vs. male dialect, simplicity vs. austerity vs. urban, order vs. disorder and dull vs. bright”. “You can see the lightness of more ethereal materials, combined with thicker ones and a warm, soft touch” in the duo’s new collection. There are technical details in the finishes, as well as natural fibres contrasting with fibres with artificial surfaces (foil, all over, varnished, iridescent films) on velvets, lace, crepes and wools. There are also pleats and prints inspired by Persian carpets. The predominant colours are black, grey, red and deep blue. These results in “a feminine, intimate and irreverent look interpreting the new codes of the present day” say the designers Manuel Alves and José Manuel Gonçalves.

Three hectic days of shows in Porto: The 38th Portugal Fashion continued in Porto on 17, 18 and 19 March, with shows at CEIIA – Centre for Excellence and Innovation in the Automobile Industry (Thursday), the Porto Customs House (Friday and Saturday) and the Tram Museum (Luís Buchinho, on Saturday). Porto was the venue for the presentation of the new collections from (among others) Alexandra Moura, Ana Sousa, Anabela Baldaque, Carlos Gil, Dielmar, Diogo Miranda, Fátima Lopes, Luís Buchinho, Luís Onofre, Miguel Vieira, Nuno Baltazar, Katty Xiomara, Pedro Pedro and Vicri.

In addition to these well-known designers and labels, there were proposals from emerging designers such as Carla Pontes, Daniela Barros, Mafalda Fonseca and Hugo Costa, who began by presenting their creations under the scope of the Bloom project who, thanks to the good quality of their work, are now on the main catwalk.

Besides that, eight “Bloom” shows were held at this 38th event (one in Lisbon and seven in Porto), with the same number of designers and labels. Of note is Maria Kobrock’s début. In addition, the “Portugal Fashion Bloom Competition” was also held on the Porto Customs House catwalk. The competition involved eight young finalists, being the winners “Amorphous” (Carla Alves), Inés Maia, Sara Marques y David Catalan.

Of note at this 38th Portugal Fashion was the return of Alexandra Moura, one of the most important Portuguese designers nowadays. She took part in Portugal Fashion in 1996 and, more recently, she was on the calendar with her collection designed for the Goldmud footwear label. Alexandra Moura already made her return during London Fashion Week, with the support of Portugal Fashion, where the designer had the opportunity to exhibit her autumn/winter 2016-17 collection, not only in showroom format but also through a performance open to specialised press and international buyers.

As for débuts, it is important to highlight the participation of Ana Sousa, a successful stylist with more than 50 shops all over the world, and the Pé de Chumbo label, which has already earned a reputation in the textile and clothing industry. Mention must also be made of the collective show by the Ideias a Metro label (a project by Carla Pinto, a Portuguese designer living in Mozambique) and two young Mozambican designers, Omar Adelino and Shaazia Adam, all first-timers at the event. The presence of these designers is under the scope of a partnership between Portugal Fashion and Mozambique Fashion Week, which is considered to be the most dynamic fashion week in Africa.

Portugal Fashion is a project under the auspices of ANJE – National Association of Young Entrepreneurs, in partnership with ATP – Textile and Clothing Association of Portugal, and is currently co-funded by Portugal 2020 – Compete 2020.

Press Release, 30th of March 2016

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