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Portugal Fashion returned to Italy for its second consecutive participation in Altaroma
Portugal Fashion returned to Italy for its second consecutive participation in Altaroma

This Altaroma was Portugal Fashion's third campaign on the international fashion itinerary in the first quarter of 2017. The return was in charge of young designers Estelita Mendonça, Susana Bettencourt, and Pé de Chumbo label. In fact, of the participants, Estelita Mendonça was the only one to take to the catwalk at the Italian fashion show for the first time, with exclusive creations for the menswear segment. On the other hand, Susana Bettencourt and Alexandra Oliveira, designer and mentor of the Pé de Chumbo label, returned to Altaroma after their première in July 2016, with the support of Portugal Fashion. The presentation of the autumn/winter 2017-18 collections happened at the Guido Reni District culture centre, on 27 January, in a collective fashion show format, thus consolidating Portugal Fashion's internationalisation strategy in Italy, which is a major influence on the panorama of the world textile industry and, therefore, an important focus for the promotion of the "Made in Portugal" label.

"If we recall that the kickoff to this new season began with Portugal Fashion's début at the Milan Fashion Week Menswear, we can confidently say that the consolidation of the Portuguese fashion internationalisation project on the Italian market has climbed one more step this season", according to Portugal Fashion's communications director, Rafael Alves Rocha. "Three points on the return to Altaroma. The first, with regard to the début of young designer Estelita Mendonça at the event, coming on the heels of a year when he clearly consolidated his presence at various international events, including the honourable mention he earned at the International Fashion Showcase in February 2016 and his participation at London Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week, in showroom format. Then, highlighting the role of Altaroma in the promotion of young designers from all over Europe, and our pride in being included in the restricted Fashion Hub programme”, adding that "As Italy is one of the main world centres of the fashion industry and Altaroma is one of the main events on the high fashion circuit, it makes perfect sense for international Portugal Fashion to establish a fruitful and long-lasting collaboration with the Italian fashion project”. He also said, "at the end of the day, it is important for Portugal Fashion to understand that it is playing an active role in stimulating this emerging sector of the Portuguese economy, giving it visibility and business opportunities on the international scene”.

Three collections, one fashion show and the trends for next winter unveiled

Young designer Estelita Mendonça, taking Rome's catwalk for the first time, once again uses his coordinates to transmit a social, interventional message. Continuing to spotlight the refugee crisis, a recurrent theme in Estelita's more recent collections, the designer's menswear collection reinforces his focus on the use of recycled materials: "the blanket-capes were developed from waste cotton and the sleeping bags were reprocessed”, by combining various materials, in an attempt to instil an idea of constant movement and travelling. For the autumn/winter 2017-18 collection, Estelita Mendonça worked with designer Eduardo Vascov to create various logos, seen on several items, symbols of other crises plaguing the world: "Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, the social and political crisis in Russia and the impeachment of the president of Brazil”. Transporting all of these themes to his coordinates, the aim of the young designer is to awaken civic and social awareness in his contemporaries. To this end, Estelita Mendonça's silhouette takes on the "street style", in a freer, more relaxed version, aimed at young audiences.

Establishing a link with the preceding collection, the new proposals from Susana Bettencourt were inspired by her playground as an adult: Instagram. For WEAR’ART, the young designer has established a fruitful partnership with instagrammer @alyssarosev, taking her along new roads "in the design of a new, geometrically impactful world”. The domino effect of this social network led the designer to explore other Instagram accounts and to discover new artistic movements such as "Elliptical Field, Site of Riverside Destiny Park”, in Tokyo, and "Dick Bruna’s House”, in the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. Then, it's the turn of Susana Bettencourt herself to create a new artistic trend through her collection which, once again, features her love of knitwear, allying technology with the handmade, a fundamental trait of the label.

For the next cold season, Pé de Chumbo, by designer Alexandra Oliveira, developed a collection that revolves around three different colour themes, becoming a diverse palette: "from black to beige, through blue, green, aubergine and shades of camel”. For a party look, there is a subtle gleam in the ruffled lace. And, completing the trinity, "thick wools in a weave of colours and stripes, mixed with baggy knit jumpers and dresses for lazy days”, are the proposals for the casual theme.

Portugal Fashion 2015-2017, a project run by ANJE – National Association of Young Entrepreneurs, developed in partnership with ATP – Textile and Apparel Association of Portugal, and financed by Portugal 2020, under the scope of Compete 2020 – Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation, with funding from the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund.