42nd Portugal Fashion: the celebration of portuguese fashion at Parque da Cidade
42nd Portugal Fashion: the celebration of portuguese fashion at Parque da Cidade
After opening in the new Lisbon Cruise Terminal on 17 March, the 42nd Portugal Fashion Fall/Winter 2018-19 continued in Parque da Cidade in Porto, from 22 to 24 March. The fashion shows was held in a real fashion city; a megastructure (a total area of 10,000 m2) was set up in the largest city park in the country, featuring two catwalk spaces, backstage, showroom, various social and leisure areas, press room, and more. Each of the two catwalk spaces has an area of 1,000 m2, comfortably accommodating around 1,000 spectators per fashion show. 

"At this event, we followed the organisational philosophy of the big international fashion shows, such as the London, New York and Paris fashion weeks, which favour holding the shows in large removable structures set up in nerve centres of the city”, explained Rafael Alves Rocha, Portugal Fashion's communications director. 

"In our case, we took advantage of the potential of Parque da Cidade in Porto, a space with excellent conditions for the organisation of events: size, comfort, good access, pleasant environment, etc. In terms of comfort and functionality, for both those involved in the shows and for our guests, it was a magnificent solution”, he added.

"It is also important to point out that Portugal Fashion likes to innovate in its selection of venues for the fashion shows. This time we built a real fashion city that reinforced the promotional capacity, the aesthetic language and the authorial outlook of designers and labels. This has already happened in Lisbon, with the fashion shows in the new Cruise Terminal”, he continued.

"Large removable structures lend comfort, functionality and informality to the fashion shows. For example, the existence of two catwalk spaces – White Room and Black Room – has made it possible to streamline the calendar of fashion shows, targeting audiences and making it easier for the spectators to move around”, he pointed out.

Very heterogeneous fashion show programme

As to the line-up, Rafael Alves Rocha claimed that there was "a very diverse fashion show programme, confirming the Portugal Fashion tradition. We had high quality designer fashion, both by well-known and by young fashion designers, but also commercial clothing and footwear proposals, something that has always been a must in this event”. For this 42nd Portugal Fashion, a total of 34 fashion shows happened, bringing together 18 designers, two designer duos, six young designers and one Bloom label, 8 finalists in the Bloom Competition, seven clothing labels and six footwear brands. 

At the new Cruise Terminal in Lisbon, proposals for the next cold season were revealed by Storytailors, Alexandra Moura, Susana Bettencourt, Pedro Pedro, Alves/Gonçalves, Carlos Gil and TM Collection by Teresa Martins. This was followed by another 27 fashion shows in Porto, kicking off the programme with the eight finalists in the Bloom Competition. Next were six young fashion designers and a label on the Bloom catwalk, dedicated to new talents. Still on 22 March, Anabela Baldaque, Estelita Mendonça and Júlio Torcato closed the evening.

Long coats and dresses in embroidered organza mark the new collection by Anabela Baldaque, entitled "Aurora”. The designer's winter proposals also include knits, with squares and checks, and elaborate sleeves, gathered, draped and pleated. Estelita Mendonça certainly brought surprises with unusual lines and materials, as he so often does. Celebrating 30 years in the business, Júlio Torcato presented a collection that allies classic cuts with sportswear. The designer chose technical fabrics, knits, furs, plain and structured, piqués, graphic stripes and nylon, while the predominant colours are royal blue, orange, beige, green and black.

On the third day of fashion shows, the programme beginned with the débuts of Inês Torcato and David Catalán on the event's main catwalk, after the experience they both gained as young designers on the Bloom platform and at international events with the support of Portugal Fashion. Inês Torcato focused on plays of textures in a graphic language, while David Catalán explored an aesthetic associated with scouts in his new collection.

Textured cottons and compact wools stand out in the new collection by Carla Pontes, another young designer who came up through Bloom. She was followed by the clothing label, Pé de Chumbo, with proposals where the urban is mixed with pastoral romanticism. Another ready-to-wear label, Meam, presented a collection where opposing materials and shapes are unexpectedly combined. Of note are the luxurious, original prints on simple items with architectural lines, as well as the touches of colour, elegant collars and shiny fabrics, contrasting with simple shapes and volumes.

Back from Paris Men's Fashion Week, with the support of Portugal Fashion, Hugo Costa  showed that punk is not dead. The collection by the young designer launched by Bloom shows this through the use of colour and combinations of more aggressive materials and coordinates in an unconventional manner. Then, Luís Buchinho brought us a collection made from resistant materials and protective shapes aiding mobility. Entitled "Night Drive”, the designer's new proposals are dominated by different shades of black, glossy and opaque. Raglan sleeves, defined and underlined waists, long ribbed wrists and shoulders, long yokes, ample patch pockets and matelassé quilting mark Buchinho's cold season.

Floating clothes, transparencies and daring cuts characterise the new looks from Micaela Oliveira. "Woodland” is the name of a collection inspired by the breadth and contrasts of nature, where the designer explores fabrics and laces that are reminiscent of the enigmatic atmosphere of dark woods. Closing the third day of Portugal Fashion, Miguel Vieira livened up the catwalk with rock & roll, the inspiration for his new collection, for which he designed slender silhouettes contrasting with voluminous shapes. 

After his participation in Milano Moda Uomo in January, with the support of Portugal Fashion, Miguel Vieira was back on the catwalk with proposals not just for men, but for women too, this time with voluminous items with defined waists and slender shoulders. Caviar black, navy blue, olive green and gold are the main colours in the collection, while the favoured materials are jacquards, fabrics with lurex, knits, flock prints on cloth, fake fur, sequins, Nappa leather, laminated fabrics and pleats. 

The last day of the 42nd Portugal Fashion opene with two big names: Nuno Baltazar, with a sophisticated, elegant collection, and Katty Xiomara, who focused on asymmetries and contrasts, with different textures and volumes. Then, six footwear brands (Ambitious, Fly London, J. Reinaldo, Nobrand, Rufel and The Baron’s Cage) confirmed the vitality of a sector that exports a large part of its products.

Four well-known Portuguese clothing labels, Concreto, Ana Sousa, Lion of Porches and Dielmar, took to the catwalk on the final stretch of the 42nd Portugal Fashion. In the new collection from Concreto, floral jacquards reinterpreted in neutral shades predominate. While Ana Sousa has reinvented clothing from different historical periods with contemporary, commercial shapes. Lion of Porches brings its relaxed, yet sophisticated casual wear to the catwalk and the new features from Dielmar for the cold season are wide lapels and pleated trousers.

At the end of the 42nd Portugal Fashion, Luís Onofre brought the elegance of his luxury footwear and leather goods to the catwalk. But it was Diogo Miranda who closed the event, with his haute couture proposals. Asymmetric cuts, volumes and plunging necklines define the designer's new collection, whose starting point was the crystal in a family chandelier. Diogo Miranda seeks to convey "an imposing, sophisticated, severe and austere image” with this Fall/Winter collection.

All that remains to be said is that Portugal Fashion – a project run by ANJE – National Association of Young Entrepreneurs, developed in partnership with ATP – Textile and Apparel Association of Portugal, is co-financed by Portugal 2020, under the scope of the Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation – Compete 2020, through funding from the European Regional Development Fund.