Portugal Fashion. A tide of emotions, a familiar after-sun and a militaristic safari. Bloom welcomes summer – Observer
After Aissa Aida, the first African name to step onto Bloom’s catwalk, a platform dedicated to new fashion talents, it was Vítor Dias’ turn to make his debut earlier on. The 26-year-old, born in Famalicão, won the Eco Design award this summer and this Wednesday presented 15 coordinates for men and women. “Getting to Portugal Fashion was one of my goals”, he tells, after the parade, to the Observer.
Still “breathing with relief” behind the scenes, Vítor Dias has been working in this area since he was 18 and is now experiencing a moment of validation. “I started by making wedding dresses in my garage, but then I got fed up with the most ceremonial wave and bet on the streetwear, which is what most consumption. Today is the culmination of eight years of hard work, I feel there is a validation of my work after hearing so many no’s and that gives me more confidence. ”
The collection developed in just one month, where pockets, flashy buttons, fluid fabrics and main ones with large flaps reign., is a bow to “people’s struggle to be themselves in society”, with the young creator mixing safari and military styles, mixing male and female traits, lighter and heavier structures and lighter and darker tones. “There is also a floral print that, although it doesn’t look very delicate, I wanted to show it in a more camouflaged way”, he adds.
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Its eponymous brand is from slow fashion, works only by order, but that does not mean that Vítor leaves aside his concern for finding sustainable materials. “I tried to use materials that do not need much washing or much care with the iron so as not to waste energy”, she explains, explaining that her options fell mainly on organic fabrics, such as cotton, t-shirts, lyocel, dresses, or hemp fiber in some coats. “The brand has no waste, everything that is left is reused for other pieces or collections”, emphasizes.
The designer from Famalicão has worked mainly for the female audience, but he is always surprised when men also want to dress like his clothes. “Here I worked both genres, let’s see how it goes in the future.” The pieces signed by Vítor Dias are for sale online and in physical spaces in Porto, at the Scar.Id store, and in Coruña, Spain, and the feedback on his work is different in both parts of the world. “I sell a lot of basics in Portugal, but in Spain I can sell more collectibles mainly for women, such as coats or dresses.”
Sílvia Rocha, the name behind the Ahcor brand, was a finalist in the Bloom contest last year and this was her first fashion show with an audience attending. She presented “Maré”, a women’s collection that mirrors various emotions and states of mind, where there seems to be no room for coherence or predictability. “I tried to pass the ecstasy and sadness in pieces that were too tight or too wide, in absences of color or in very strong colors”, explains to the Observer.
The young designer explored contrasts and overlaps in brushed pieces of pink, red, lime and orange, where the fabrics functioned as a “starting point”, having been the “dead stock” of some factories in the north. Textures, sparkles, transparencies, drapes, ruffles and tails filled the eye. and the bunches of dyed dried flowers, the head scarves, as mixtures of different patterns and the details with pearls in accessories, made us dive into this tide. Until now, an Ahcor sells essentially online, through its social networks, but from next year it will have its own address in downtown Porto, a space that will function as a work studio, but also as a point of sale on open days regular.
Rhyming with summer was also “After Sun”The new men’s collection by Huarte, the young Spanish designer who arrived in Porto in 2017 on a ride on the Erasmus program and stayed here after graduating in fashion design, in Matosinhos. We found him backstage, after the show, clutching one of his favorite pieces from this collection: jeans printed with a laser to imitate the waves of the sea and a belt made of rope.
“This is a disruptive collection, which contrasts with everything I’ve done so far. It was a challenge because I bet a lot on color and I had never tried working with such lively cores”, he tells the Observer, guaranteeing that he enjoyed the experience. “After Sun” it has a direct connection to the summer, but also to the memories of the Mediterranean vacation that Victor Huarte spent with his family. “After a day at the beach, my mother always passed after the sun on our backs when we got burned. I think it’s an optimistic collection that reflects well this return to normality in which we can already make plans together, like going to the beach, for example.”
Whelk necklaces that hang sunglasses, sailor berets, jeans, knitted, crochet, knits to imitate Beach towels used in shorts and hoodies or striped patterns reminiscent of typical beach bars are some of the summer notes that Huarte wants to have.
Rita Silva, the engine of the Rita Ibs brand, launched in 2019, once again had a mystical and esoteric side to her creative process, inspired by the illustration of one of the Tarot cards: the Tower. “This image has as symbolism the distribution of our external defenses to create something new and better, almost waiting for the unexpected, which in a post pandemic period made perfect sense to me”, he explains to the Observer, as he fixes one of the its five female coordinates of the charriot.
During this journey through the world of creation, a young designer from Lisbon lived in the skin of limitations caused by the pandemic. “I thought of the entire collection in one way, I ordered materials and was a victim of this thing of the world to stop. Not much of what I had asked for arrived, which forced me to make or finish pieces by hand”, he recalls, creating that, despite the initial frustration, he liked the process and, of course, the final result.
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Between silks, fine meshes with shine and fibers from recycled plastic bags, Rita has once again proved her preference for materials with the least possible environmental impact, combining comfort, elegance, tradition, but also technology. In their proposals for the next season, there is no lack of openings, tears and asymmetries. “The idea was to create beautiful and coherent sets, with some openings, as if something new wanted to enter.”
Until the summer, Rita Ibs has launched her online store, where she will have for sale unique pieces that were paraded by Bloom, some replicas of the coordinates used and other commercial variations adapted to the day-to-day that she promises to already be working on.
The day ended with the fashion shows by Maria Carlos Batista, who presented her collection at the Paris Women’s Fashion Week, Marcelo Almiscarado and Ariev.