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Portugal Fashion AW16
Portugal Fashion AW16
This event had plenty of media coverage. The line-up included 24 designers (22 individuals and two duos), eight clothing labels and six footwear labels, 13 young designers (five individuals and eight finalists of the Bloom Competition) and three young designer labels, and it had all the ingredients to attract the attention of the national and international media, as well as well-known fashion bloggers who, among the thousands of people who followed the fashion shows at the 38th Portugal Fashion, recorded the trends for next autumn-winter.

The first day of the event, which was at the Beato Convent in Lisbon, opened with the duo, Storytailors, whose collection was notable for its overlapping of layers, using different textures and cuts and the use of motifs. The HIBU. label opened the Bloom event. This event is especially designed for young designers, in a fashion show where the now characteristic androgynous look of the models reigned and where shades of pink, blue and flesh colour predominated. Susana Bettencourt and Estelita Mendonça, designers who began their careers at Bloom and now share the presentation of their collections, were closely watched by the international press attending the fashion show. Moments were captured by Elle and Vogue Italia, respectively. The experienced duo, Alves/Gonçalves, closed the first day of the event with a collection filled with glitter and pleats. It can be seen at this photo gallery. Also of note was the inclusion at the opening of this event of the Arte Moda, by Casa Pia project, which showed the proposals from five students of that institution.

On its way to Porto, Portugal Fashion travelled to CEIIA – Centre for Excellence and Innovation in the Automobile Industry for the second day of fashion shows. Porto native, Júlio Torcato, inaugurated the catwalk with proposals that included "denim and classic stripes, tartan, transparencies and wool”, while Pedro Pedro chose "oversized silhouettes and asymmetric cuts”. Young designer Hugo Costa, whose collection concept was developed around "Metamorphosis”, captivated Superior Magazine. Alexandra Oliveira’s Pé de Chumbo label made its début at the event with "wool, lace and transparency” and a wide variety of textures. This was followed by Anabela Baldaque who, after celebrating 30 years in the business in 2015, presented a surprising set of coordinates inspired by "A Vizinha” (The Neighbour) a figure recalling "the freedom we feel when we dream, like an open road for us to go wherever we want”. Finally, well-known Fátima Lopes closed the second day of fashion shows with her "Versátil” collection. According to the designer, the collection makes it possible to use the garments in different contexts, for formal or more casual occasions, depending on how they are mixed and matched.

On the third and fourth days, Portugal Fashion’s return "home” – to the Porto Customs House – was amidst a full schedule of fashion shows. In addition to the proposals from national designers, the programme also included one Mozambican label and two Mozambican designers – the label Ideias a Metro (from the Carla Pinto and Nela Avelar duo), Omar Adelino and Shaazia Adam, a result of the partnership Portugal Fashion made with Mozambique Fashion Week last December. More specifically, the third day began with two new débuts on the main catwalk, having made their transition from the Bloom platform. These were Carla Pontes and Mafalda Fonseca, who also recently presented their collections at London Fashion Week, through the Next Step project. This is an initiative aimed at encouraging internationalisation and exports by national designers and labels, with particular emphasis on young designers. Also of note was the first-time appearance of Bloomers Maria Kobrock and Sara Maia at the event. Their collections are on the "idea of movement and continuity” and the use of "natural, traditional materials such as wool and fabrics”. For the second time in a row at Portugal Fashion, but now with individual fashion shows, the proposals from Inês Marques and Tiago Silva’s [UN]T label made a buzz in the national press. Daniela Barros, whose past is also associated with the Bloom platform, presented coordinates with oversized construction and masculine details, based on blocks of colour. These were among the eight favourites elected by Brunch Magazine.

On a day marked by the emergence of new talents in the fashion world, emphasis must also be placed on the space set aside for the Bloom Competition, where the proposals from eight finalists were presented. The main victory went to the Amorphous label by young designer Carla Alves. However, designers Inês Maia, Sara Marques and David Catalan were also winners and, together with the first prize winner, will also be able to present and publicise their work at Bloom during the next two events, also receiving financial, technical, promotional and strategic support.

But it was not just young designers on the calendar on the third day of Portugal Fashion. The catwalk also revealed the "dramatic” proposals from Elsa Barreto, the vintage-inspired pleats of Carlos Gil, the feminism and elegance of Diogo Miranda’s silhouettes, the contrast marked by "Coração Selvagem” (Wild at Heart) by Luís Onofre and Miguel Vieira’s collection splashed with "Cor” (colour).

The final day of the 38th Portugal Fashion began with Luís Buchinho’s fashion show at the Tram Museum. Recently back from Paris fashion week, where he took part in the event’s international itinerary with Miguel Vieira, the designer’s coordinates were also a hit with the international press. The event then moved back to the Porto Customs House, with Nuno Baltazar presenting the first fashion show in the afternoon. The collection, on the theme "Circus”, was aimed at taking a closer look at the "dark side of women”. This was followed by footwear proposals, with fashion shows by the JJ Heitor, Ambitious, Fly London, Nobrand, J. Reinaldo and Dkode labels and by the industry, represented by national labels Mad Dragon Seeker, Concreto and Cheyenne. The Bloom catwalk bade farewell to this event with proposals from Eduardo Amorim, the K L A R trio and Pedro Neto, young designers who were also chosen by the selective TENMAG.

Returning to the main catwalk, for the first time ever at Portugal Fashion, Ana Sousa is a good example of longevity in the industry, which was shown on the RTP1 TV channel. There is also the futuristic romanticism of Katty Xiomara, observed by Harper’s Bazaar Argentina; Alexandra Moura’s return with a dramatic and theatrical collection where the basic silhouette was classical and the details were inspired on bygone times; Dielmar’s masculine proposals with versatile coordinates influenced by the clothes worn by the great male classics of the 1970s and 1980s; "urban British Rock” from Lion of Porches; and, finally, the sobriety of Vicri at the service of the bohemian and sensual man.

The event also had another plus: association with the Cuckuu app, a social network that brings users together by sharing alarms and which caused a buzz among the public present. 64 alarms were created from the interactions released by the Cuckuu team. These were followed by almost three thousand people, of whom around two-thirds were given access to exclusive content. 

In short, a line-up that included well-known designers and young talents, that allied the concept of creativity to the reality of business and which united national and international critics around a single statement: Portugal is in fashion!