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Monday, June 22, 2009

Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Day 5

—Franklin Melendez

Like a true fashion editor, today I refused to take off my glasses, but mostly because I’m dreadfully hungover, so much so that I have the shakes. Jeremy is faring a bit better, though he still dons industrial-sized shades. Hovering between the living and the dead, I drag myself to the shows. Thankfully, I'm immediately perked up by two of the best collections so far. The first homerun comes courtesy of Neon designers Dudu Bertholini (a legend in Brazil) and Rita Comparato. The show, staged outside, included a live band playing a medley of James Bond themes. Fittingly, the show served up resort wear in the truest sense of the term, all caftans and turbans—the kind you'd see on Peggy Guggenheim in the 40s, lounging on a Riviera yacht, or perhaps Lou Lou de la Falaise in the 70s, reclining poolside with Yves in Morocco. There might be a little with Mrs. Roper thrown in, but I'm not one to judge, and the result is still lush and chic. The crowd went bananas when a particularly nubile model stomped out in a full-body flouro thong—now that's Brazil.


Neon

Next is Ronaldo Fraga, who is the polar opposite. He falls somewhere between the Brazilian Junya Watanabe and Henrik Vibskov, but like all the best shows so far he takes culturally specific references and twists them into his own rich, sexy idiom. With Day of the Dead paper decorations as its reference, the collection offered a strong point of view, blending an unmistakable Latin flair with a conceptual edge. Highlights included woven fabric crosses, cutout paper skirts and hammered-tin necklaces.


Ronaldo Fraga

The rest of the day is a blur, but a bit of fashion grit shamed me out of my torpor. Allegedly, one overzealous Russian editor walked nose first into a glass door at the hotel, fracturing her Slavic schnoz on the spot, much to the dismay of the PR crew. Asked if she’d like to go to the emergency room, she simply shrugged and said, “Mmm…later?” And there she was, front row, in five-inch Lanvin pumps. And that, my friends, is dedication.

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Day 6

By Pia Catton...

Sao Paulo Fashion Week ended with an homage to the days of modeling past. Instead of a runway show, the designers of Neon sent out models two by two and had them strike poses from Paris couture houses circa 1954. But it's fair to assume that nothing this bright—the kaleidoscopic prints were trimmed in black beading—ever swanned its way down the Avenue Montaigne. And at the end of a long week, this vogue-a-thon was a welcome change.


Neon

In the category of Things That Make You Go Hmmm, several shows here incorporated the brand's sponsors in ways that wouldn't fly in New York or Paris. At Gloria Coelho, the collection (long on texture and intricate detail) was preceeded by her uniforms for Mercure hotels. And at Andre Lima, the show started with a model eating a Magnum ice cream bar at the end of the runway—holding the foil package so no shot could miss it. Crass commercialism? Maybe. But it's also a sign of an economy with some buzz and creativity. Brazil's consumer brands are trying out new ways of partnering. And they're spending money to do it. (Plus free Magnum bars—yum!)

When it's all tallied up, there must be some hefty bills from Sao Paulo Fashion Week. Just the props and set designs alone included snow machines above fake trees, plus runways lined with treadmills, balloons, sand and life-size surrealist puppets. (And everyone tells me this was tame compared to years past.) Not only that, the big denim brands spend big on top models: Gisele at Colcci, Agyness at Ellus.

But let's not overlook the designers doing an honest day's work. Alexandre Herchcovitch turned out collections for men and women that combined creativity and real life. His raincoats for men might be the hottest ticket in town, and those fur shoulder coverings on the women's suits are all about a power surge. Isabela Capeto was one of the few designers who really seemed to capture a sense of Brazil-in-winter: colorful and fully accessorized. If I had my way, I'd import Do Estilista, Huis Clos and Uma Raquel Davidowicz pronto. But for now, I'll settle for heading back to New York and ducking into the Osklen shop in Soho when I need a Brazil fix.


Isabel Capeto

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

São Paulo Fashion Week: Amapo, Neon, Fabia Bercsek

Three more fave collections...




Still pics from Amapo, available in São Paulo at Surface to Air...

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