ModaLisboa: And Now What?

Photography: Tomás Monteiro

30 years. And now what? Post-pandemic. And now? Where to now? This was the motto for October’s edition of ModaLisboa. With the Estufa Fria and the Capitôlio as a backdrop, national fashion returned to its normal format after a break in March 2021.

“The return of an in-person Lisboa Fashion Week could not be a return to pre-pandemic normal. We will never pretend that we are at the end of the desert, nor shall we deny it ever existed, because its consequences are too profound and too structural to be ignored. We have begun a healing and recovery process — economic, social and emotional — together,” stated the ModaLisboa association.

The event invaded the capital from 7 to 9 October, bringing the collections of 34 designers in 21 shows. The first was at the Estufa Fria. Cravo Studios and Saskia Lenaerts of Workstation set the tone. Soon afterwards, the platform for young talent, Sangue Novo, took the spotlight with shows from ten designers.

The second day, the show moved to the Capitôlio. The day began with suggestions from Workstation designers like ARIYAKI, Federico Protto and OPIAR. Then it was the turn of Carolina Machado to present a summer uniform that used deadstock from past collections and natural fabrics like cotton and linen. Right after that it was the turn of BÉHEN to present its summer 2022 collection, Liberdade É Nome De Mulher. This is a collection that “speaks of a female artistic identity under a dictatorship.” Joana Duarte listened to the accounts of 15 people who had experienced the Portuguese dictatorship. This is… “about a daily revolution.”

The day finished with Luís Buchinho’s return to the ModaLisboa catwalk. Another Hope Feed Another Dream (the lyrics of the song Propaganda by the group p:Machinery) was the theme of an ode to seduction and to women.

The third, day kicked off with the designers of Workstation Fora do Jogo and Filipe Augusto. They were followed by Duarte, who literally gave the stage to his pet dog Tadão, who is presented in this collection as a guardian of the world whose mission is to combat man-made environmental problems while also keeping the world safe. Once again, Duarte’s show was in partnership with the Exceed Shoe Thinkers footwear brand.

Then came Ricardo Preto with Sommersault. Change, emotion and discipline are just some of this designer’s watchwords for the upcoming summer season. Constança Entrudo was next, followed by Carlos Gil and his collection Life — a portrait of s free and sophisticated woman who is concerned about nature. The designer presented colours that reflect life on land and in the sea. Then came Ricardo Andrez with a virtual world. For the coming season, this designer suggests pieces that are inspired by video games and 3D modelling.

Luís Carvalho closed the third day with Ride, a collection that invites us to breathe and which transports us to a dual universe where the urban and the classic confront one another.

Valentim Quaresma opened the last day at the Capitôlio with the Perdido do Tempo collection. Next up was Buzina with WHIM, a whimsical collection with themes of extravagance and desires. Pinks, blues and yellows are the colours for the coming summer season. From the world of women we jump over to the male universe of Nuno Hama. The inspiration for Resilientes is the calm paradise of the Alentejo, and this collection transports us to the authenticity of that place. In his collection the formalism remains untouched, but is now optional, set against new and more relaxed influences that inspire free movement.

After the streets of Milan, Alice we will meet in Wonderland took the limelight at ModaLisboa. In this collection, Gonçalo Peixoto returns to his grandmother Alice’s trunk, with hopes of a reunion. The floral patterns, silhouettes and fabrics that are typical of the designer’s childhood stand out.

After Aleksandar Protic and João Magalhães, Nuno Baltazar brought things to a close with a remarkable show. White, on a white page. This was an “exercise in recording visual and emotional narratives.”

We missed national fashion, we missed normality, the confident steps on the catwalk, the embraces that were almost shared. And now? Now we continue.

Focus on footwear

Footwear was once again the focus at the SHOEStainability exhibition. There are many ways to write the word “sustainability”. None is better than other, none is bigger than any other, and it is only when they all pull together that we will achieve an industry that is completely ethical, clean and responsible. This is the story the exhibition wanted to tell: the story of a Portugal that is a leader in the development of sustainable solutions.

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