Portugal Fashion FW 20/21

A future that never leaves the past

Words: Cláudia Pinto
Photo: Tomás Monteiro

“Until today I was always future”. I would love to say these words were mine. But they’re not. They can exist in our subconscious in another form, but never formulated in Almada Negreiros’s perfect syntax. He wrote them in his poem, Rosa dos Ventos (Compass Rose). An inner epic of one who has always lived for the future and not in the present. For those who reach the end of a journey in which they have always walked forward and lived before their time. For those who always want to arrive first, regardless of the now. For those who live in tomorrow.

But there are tomorrows that never arrive. That dream, only. Tomorrows that are designed in our minds and which gain shape, colour, smell, faces, looks, names. But at the end of the line, even when they reach boiling point, they don’t happen. Tomorrows that stay frozen in time. Tomorrows on which the sun never rises.

The world reached this past March without knowing what tomorrow held. The questions piled up; dreams were put on shelves to gather dust as the long wait continued with no apparent end in sight. Suspended in a collective sigh. In March we did not see the dreams of dozens of creatives taking to the catwalks, because the future was put on hold. Proposals that involved days and weeks of work came to naught. It was as if Saramago’s Death at Intervals had stopped being fiction. Not just for a short time. Just stopped. Like he just decided not to get up that morning in March. And the next day… the future did not happen.

Portugal Fashion was a future that never was. An imprisoned future, but only for now. Because this is not a future of strikes, or of abrupt stoppages, or of undefinitions. Not even of emptiness. It is a future designed in dreams and then created. On the catwalk, in the faces, in the items, the shoes, the people.

Tomorrow we are future.

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