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Bloom Space
Bloom Space

It is no news that Portugal Fashion has been supporting and publicising new talents in the fashion world through Bloom since 2010 (in fact this support was available before then, in a more diffuse way through competitions and other support campaigns), and there is no doubt that, from event to event, interest in these young designers is increasing, with most of them making their professional débuts on the Bloom catwalk. Following on from this new paradigm, some more news to take note of: another Bloom Competition final.

Carefully coordinated by Miguel Flor, the autumn-winter proposals at Bloom were daring and avant-garde, characteristics that immediately constitute a basic condition for selecting the young designers to be included, notwithstanding the "individuality and intellectual aspect inherent to each proposal”, the coordinator also confided to TENMAG magazine. At this event, the Porto Customs House played host to Paulo Mendes’ "After School” installation, the Bloom theme for this season. In fact, had it not been for the HIBU. label by the duo Marta Gonçalves and Gonçalo Páscoa, having put on its fashion show in Lisbon, it would be fair to say that all the young designers’ proposals were presented on a catwalk made from old school desks. The surrounding set design consisted of chairs piled up on each other, also reminiscent of the classroom. In fact, this concept perfectly portrayed for Miguel Flor the actual reality of Bloomers because, establishing a parallelism, it was also the first contact with the fashion world and the industry for the majority of the participants.

Although it is true that the natural route for these rising talents is the move to the main catwalk – examples of this being Hugo Costa, Daniela Barros, Susana Bettencourt, Estelita Mendonça, Carla Pontes and Mafalda Fonseca – it is also true that Bloom is an excellent opportunity for seeing them grow and moulding their character and personality as designers. Miguel Flor is no stranger to this and he assured TENMAG that he makes a point of being present throughout "the entire creative process inherent to the development of each one of the collections”.

This monitoring is also mirrored in the growing media interest in the platform, as indeed is clear from this article. In addition, the most recent Bloom Competition was just a little extra something in an already appetising dish. Eight finalists presented their collections after a careful selection process that included several qualifying rounds. At the end, only this preselected group had the opportunity to present their proposals at Bloom during the joint fashion show. The winner, Carla Alves’ Amorphous label, as well as the other three prize winners, Inês Maia, Sara Marques and David Catalan, will now have access to and the opportunity to present and publicise their work at Bloom during the next two events. To this end, they will receive financial, technical, promotional and strategic support aimed not only at supporting the development of their collections but also professional structuring for their activities, as was already reported.

But the news from Bloom is not limited to the competition. The 38th Portugal Fashion saw two new names being introduced to the catwalk: Maria Kobrock and Sara Maia. In addition, taking part in the project for the second time in a row (they made their débuts at the Portugal Fashion Celebration), Inês Marques and Tiago Silva’s [UN]T label were now given the opportunity to present their collections separately.

To find out more about what goes on behind the scenes at Bloom and about the young designers at this Portugal Fashion, click here (special programme aired by SIC Mulher).