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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fashion Rio: Day 4

By Pia Catton...

They do breed 'em tall here. Tall, thin and beautiful—so much so that Brazil could legitimately claim models as a main export. With so many Brazilian models in their own country for Fashion Rio, it might as well be Old Home week. The line-up at Cantão—one of the more fun and energetic shows—brought together a Brazilian beauty-fest: Isabeli Fontana, Aline Weber, Daiane Conterato, Ana Claudia Michaels, Bruna Tenorio and Gracie Carvalino. Of course, there's buzz on all of them: Ana Claudia is back—from the '90s—and looking good; Isabeli is here, period; Aline also opened the Printing show; Daiane and Bruna are as bewitching as ever; and Gracie is in rapid ascendance.


Why is it that Brazilians dominate the runways? Sure, it's in the mix of cultures—German, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Dutch—but there's more to it than just genes. "To be a great model, it's not enough to be pretty," says Vogue Brazil's fashion editor Maria Prata, who shoots Brazilian models almost exclusively for the magazine. "Brazilian people have an allure that people all over the world recognize. They're easy-going. You have to always be in a good mood."

For a model, it's usually a quick step from Vogue Brazil to the international scene. But when Fashion Rio calls, these girls toss their quilted Chanel bags on their shoulders and strap in on the first flight home. After all, they've got the beach and parties at The Week, plus they are the envy of every little girl in the country.

And now, a moment for personal style. In the same way that French women can tie a scarf just so, Brazilian women have a way of making the maxi-dress and an armful of bangles look utterly natural. When New York women try it, the whole thing just looks too misplaced, too Long Island. I thought about trying it out down here, but why be a poser?

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