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Alexandra Moura
Alexandra Moura
London Fashion Week is a privileged stage for reaching new international markets. Last season, Alexandra Moura presented her SS17 in the underground bar of the famous London hotel, The London Edition, under the creative direction of Wonderland Magazine and with Portugal Fashion’s support. Now, she's getting ready to return to the most laboratorial fashion week of all European geography, on 20 February. We reveal the career of the designer, whose label is achieving expressive results on the Asian market.

Let's start at the end. Or rather, we'll travel back from now to the beginning of the new millennium, when Alexandra Moura had already exchanged her childhood dream, going from a career that involved telescopes, stargazing and mathematical formulas to devoting herself full time to pencil and paper. Astronomy was left behind, although the universe of fashion design gained a star. 

London calling

In September 2016, she flew with Portugal Fashion to her second consecutive presentation at London Fashion Week. At The London Edition, Alexandra Moura, the national designer who won the hearts of the British Fashion Council, "opted to dispense with the traditional catwalk, replacing it with a party curated by the well-known magazine Wonderland Magazine”, according to Expresso newspaper. In fact, this was an event that departed from normal collection presentations, with the models displaying the designer's looks on a small stage, a kind of improvised shop window that captured the attention of the buyers at the event. It was an artistic performance that also piqued the interest of all the other guests who, cocktail in hand, observed the garments and materials in a relaxed manner, and enjoyed the sound of the 1990s grunge music that was playing, as well as the music of New Yorker MAAD (wearing an outfit designed by Alexandra Moura). At the end of the day, this was a presentation that had the desired hype and that promoted the Lover’s Eye SS17 collection in a singular manner.

Confirmation that vibrant London is the Portuguese designer's favourite international showcase, Alexandra Moura considers "the preparation of the fashion show for her return to London Fashion Week”, on 20 February next, as one of the highlights of her career. In fact, it is there, where she has already developed a number of business contacts, that she is preparing an "out of the box" fashion show, regarding which, forgive us, we are not revealing more details as yet.

From science to the world of art

Alexandra Moura admits that her awakening to the fashion world came late. "I've loved animals, the sky and the stars since I was a child. I studied science with two aims: to do Marine Animal Biology (and venture into the ocean to study cetaceans), or to devote myself to Astronomy (imagining myself in some inhospitable desert, a telescope and me, studying what I love the most, the universe).

The change in direction came when young Alexandra discovered the work of fashion designers Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo, through her literary research, at a time when the Internet was still not so prevalent. She identified with these artists and concluded that she "wasn't that odd after all!” and that she could apply her sensitivity to aesthetics. That's when she decided to do a Fashion Design course and turned this profession into a solid career. Even so, there was still a long road to travel, because before she consolidated her own label, she worked in several studios and gave up on several personal projects.

The sun rises in the east

But the reward for this hard work of promoting Alexandra Moura's label abroad is plain to be seen. And it is in the Asian market that she has found the most business expansion opportunities. In fact, the "aesthetics, silhouette and details” in her garments have an oriental je ne sais quoi. And it is not by chance that the people "responsible” for Alexandra Moura's introduction to the world of fashion are two Japanese designers.

"Recently, our label was named one of the labels to keep an eye on, on a list drawn up by buyers and press on the Asian market”, the designer said, while adding yet another achievement: "its presence on the Opening Ceremony Japan website". In the near future, she aims to reach more concept stores. This has only been possible due to the continuous work done in the field "for quite a few seasons now”, she said.

Organised chaos

When she's in the studio, day-to-day routine seems to be the norm. "There is a methodology in work and, so that there can be organisation, first thing in the morning, we meet to see where we're at and what the plans are for that day". This can involve meetings, dealing with customers or developing the creative processes of the projects underway, whether these involve her next collection or other parallel projects.

At the same time, when she's not travelling, Alexandra Moura teaches twice a week at the Higher Institute of Applied Arts in Castelo Branco. As to conciliating these two worlds – design and teaching – the designer believes that "one complements the other”. She pointed out that teaching has helped her "to learn how to verbalise, which can be very complicated for many designers, not to mention explaining all of the aspects inherent to this profession”. In turn, her label has given her "know-how, a precious asset”, which she relies on in her interaction with her students.