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Portugal Fashion in Milan for the second time with Carlos Gil and Miguel Vieira
Portugal Fashion in Milan for the second time with Carlos Gil and Miguel Vieira

On 28 February next, Portugal Fashion will be producing shows by Carlos Gil and Miguel Vieira at Milano Moda Donna. The designers are returning to what is one of the most famous fashion weeks in the world to present their autumn/winter 2016-17 collections. The shows will be held at The Mall at 4 pm. Having being accepted in September 2015 by Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana to be one of the international names on the event calendar, Portugal Fashion is returning to the official calendar for Milan Fashion week, confirming its intention to keep this important market on its regular itinerary of international presentations. This itinerary, after London and Milan, will end in Paris, with Luís Buchinho and Diogo Miranda. 

For the president of ANJE – National Association of Young Entrepreneurs, João Rafael Koehler, this itinerary shows that "Portugal Fashion is a project that has had a global calling since it began, but its international impetus has never been so strong, dynamic and projected. We are in contact with the main players in the most important markets. We are present in the main international fashion capitals. We train our participants through complementary mentoring projects and every day we help our designers and labels develop, not only as references in design and creativity, but also as brands and companies with structured businesses”, the president added. 

"Cheered by the results recently achieved in our two-pronged approach at London Fashion Week, and before ending on a high note in Paris, a show we have been taking part in since 2000, we are heading for Milan with the confidence that this European triangle will be a safe bet in the long term. Portugal Fashion gained the confidence of the demanding Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana and taking part in Milano Moda Donna is undoubtedly a communication and marketing campaign with a strong impact on the business performances of the entire Portuguese fashion sector in its various areas of activity and business”, João Rafael Koehler also said. 

From the combinations of Carlos Gil to the magic of Miguel Vieira 

At what is also his second show in Milan, Carlos Gil will be presenting a collection whose starting point, in his own words, is "eclecticism”. "Without prejudice, the Eclectic mixes, collects, appreciates and combines, in the same way that this collection is a blend of patterns, colours, textures and styles, giving rise to a new way of looking at elegance. Unusual combinations, with a vintage touch, clean cuts and sporty details define a bold, chic and elegant sportswear look”. This is the designer’s view of his work for the next cold season. 

On the catwalk, this concept will be seen in "blazers, coats, long shirts, sweaters and wrap over skirts, glittery, worked fabrics, laces and patterns”. The designer from Fundão, who was awarded the Order of Prince Henry by the President of Portugal in 2015, promises that on this trip to Milan he will be showing "the new must-haves” for the season: "sleep dresses, the glitter and the textures”, revealed "in a pyjama party atmosphere”. 

On the other hand, Miguel Vieira looks at winter 2016 through the "magic of colour”. "It has innate properties and transmits energy. It influences our state of mind, creates stories, awakens memories, recreates moments and aromas; it tranquilizes, saddens, provokes, overwhelms, impassions”, explained the designer from São João da Madeira. So, the now usual palette of black and white – the signature of Miguel Vieira – is joined by "the serenity, loyalty, wisdom and confidence of dark navy blue”, as well as "the optimism, joy and energy of mustard yellow”. 

In addition, the woman presented by Miguel Vieira at Milano Moda Donna has a silhouette consisting of "informal, structured lines, voluminous lines that do not hide her femininity, long and extra-long heights, loose, purist fit”. The designer, who has already had shows in places as varied as São Paulo, Istanbul, Paris and Madrid, also aims to make a difference through the use of "voluminous hand knits”, "dropped shoulders and structured shoulders”, as well as personalised fabric and leather appliqués. 

Commercial side complementing fashion shows in Italy 

Deemed to be the second most important fashion week after Paris, the Milano Moda Donna Fashion Week is held between 24 and 29 February. Gucci, Prada, Max Mara, Moschino, Versace, Bottega Veneta, Roberto Cavalli, Giorgio Armani and Elisabetta Franchi are just some of the well-known names on the calendar for the Italian event. Along with the fashion shows and presentation events, there will also be showrooms and speciality shows. Carlos Gil will also benefit from the synergies in these events. Through the Next Step project, promoted by ANJE, the designer, as well as designers Pedro Pedro and Hugo Costa, will be taking part in the White Show between 27 and 29 February. An integral part of Milano Moda Donna, this show is markedly commercial, attracting around 20,000 buyers, representing the most prestigious labels in the world, as well as plenty of media coverage with almost one thousand accredited journalists.

Next Step is a multidisciplinary programme for the international promotion of "made in Portugal” and fashion is a sector that cannot be excluded from its plan of action. But the multidisciplinary nature of this project merely reinforces what was already a strategic belief of ANJE in supporting fashion projects: designers and labels must be monitored not only through promotional means but also through the entrepreneurial component. In this first quarter, the project is supporting national designers and labels through concerted campaigns at the most important fashion weeks: Milan, London, New York and Paris (where it will be present for the second time this year, from 4 to 7 March, with Luís Buchinho, Diogo Miranda and Carla Pontes).  

Recently back from London, where it inaugurated a more performance-oriented promotional strategy, adapted not only to the characteristics of the local market, but also to the profile of the designers supported, Portugal Fashion is now reaping the first rewards of this international tour de force: on the one hand, the visibility attained through the press attending London Fashion Week and the contacts made with buyers and, on the other hand, the honourable mentions received for the installation produced for the International Fashion Showcase (the coordinator of Bloom, Miguel Flor, won this distinction in the category of best curator and young talented Estelita Mendonça won it in the designer category). 

Portugal Fashion, co-organised by ANJE – National Association of Young Entrepreneurs and ATP – Textile and Apparel Association of Portugal, and the Next Step project, an exclusive ANJE’s project, are co-financed by Compete 2020 – Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation, under the scope of Portugal 2020 and the EU/ERDF – European Regional Development Fund.