Portugal Fashion

Text: Cláudia Pinto
Photos: Tomás Monteiro

Following a presence at the main international fashion weeks, it was in Porto that Portugal Fashion ended its series of introductions. After 45 editions, the event brought an “ambitious and diverse” programme of shows to the Alfândega do Porto.

Presented at the riverside from 23-26 October were the spring/summer 2020 collections by some of Portugal’s leading creators, as well as the commercial lines from the clothing and footwear industry and the disruptive proposals from the young designers at Bloom.

In total, there were 30 collective and individual shows at the event, including by six fashion schools, 11 young national and international designers, 21 national and international creators and brands, eight footwear brands and four children’s clothing labels. “We had more conventional shows and more entertaining performances; designer labels and ready-to-wear fashion, footwear and kids’ wear; emerging and established national and international creators; fashion schools… All this without losing our focus on the quality and originality that distinguishes Portuguese fashion”, said Mónica Neto, Portugal Fashion coordinator.

The first day began with the presentations of Bloom, the platform to promote young Portuguese talents, which, in this edition, had the participation of Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (National Chamber of Italian Fashion). The day ended with a crowded presentation of Katty Xiomara’s After Now collection, at Tipografia do Conto.

The main happenings of the second day were from Carla Pontes, who presented Instalação da Pausa (PAUSA Installation & Market), associated to the new concepts of Slow Fashion. Estelita Mendonça e Inês Torcato were next, who literally painted the main Portugal Fashion catwalk in blue during the presentation of Stray, a genderless sustainable collection with organic, natural, vegetal recycled materials. The day ended with Nicolas Lecourt Mansion, following the presentations of David Catálan and Luís Buchinho.

The third day started with Nycole. Right after, came Diogo Miranda, who made the audience go to the riverside to see his proposals for the coming warm days. Afterwards was Sophia Kah, followed by the sustainable footwear presentation from Bolflex, Hugo Costa and Pé de Chumbo. The night ended with Miguel Vieira.

The last began with the amazing gardens from Casa de Serralves as background for the duo Marques’Almeida. Right after, Alfândega do Porto was filled with light and colour from the presentations of the kids brands’ promoted by ModaPortugal.

Afterwards, came the presentation of the collection Gadidae, from Alexandra Moura, a tribute to the codfish fishermen. Later on, the collective fashion show Shoes&Bags went on the main catwalk to present the proposals of eight national footwear brands.

The day ended with a brilliant duo presentation of Alves/Gonçalves.

The ecological approach of Portuguese footwear industry

The footwear sector was involved in a number of activities as part of the 45th edition of Portugal Fashion. The aim was to present a sector that, from its beginnings, has promoted sustainability and the circular economy. To start, the exhibition “Not everything in the net is fish” presented the proposals from three companies specialising in collecting plastic from beaches and the sea. It is estimated that 22 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the oceans every year. Aware of this, AsPortuguesas, Skizo and Zouri are engaged in gathering this waste and then reusing the raw materials to develop collections that are as surprising as they are sustainable. On the third day, the stage belonged to Bolflex, a company that specialises in the components sector and which designs, produces and supplies shoe soles.

Finally, eight of Portugal’s leading footwear brands took to Portugal Fashion’s main catwalk on Saturday night. Eureka, Fly London, Gladz, J.Reinaldo, MLV Portuguese Shoes, Nobrand, Rufel and The Baron’s Cage each have a common denominator: they are all specialists in the production of footwear (and leather goods), using a raw material that is food industry waste that is then recycled on an industrial scale and placed back into the production chain.

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