Fashion not only lives in São Paulo, Brazil, the largest metropolis in South America, it thrives with a fierce independence. Last week, in the massive Oscar Niemeyer-designed Simón Bolívar auditorium in the center of the city, the group show Casa de Criadores (House of Designers) took center stage, showcasing the most original local talent. Over three nights, young and established designers presented their men's and women's fall 14 collections to an enthusiastic public.
Some commercial, some conceptual — and all promoted by TexBrasil (an outreach of ABIT, the country's equivalent of the CFDA) — these collections represent the breadth of Brazilian talent. Conceptualists 2 Dois sent out woven leather men's outerwear topped with futuristic jousting masks; Arnaldo Ventura presented knit separates worthy of the finest department stores anywhere; the duo of Gralias played with a laser-cut Rock Paper Scissors motif (following their sensational theme from last season, an imagined brawl between Anna Piaggi and Iris Apfel, with black-eye prints and all); and designer Nathan Henrique de Sousa of Nosotros, winner of the BtoBe contest, who wowed with contrasting colors of camel and crimson to near gothic effect.