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fashion: the circuit




Tiago Espirito Santo returns with his report on Lisboa’s most recent fashion week, and previews 2007


NO OTHER PLACE would have been a better ambassador to Lisboa's fashion week then the Electricity Museum.

"Energy" being the theme for this season, you could not get better than a whole museum as big giant catwalk-especially one of the most emblematic buildings in the riverside area of Lisboa.

A spectacular event in a 1900s building, views overlooking the river, sunshine all through the four days, great catering, glamorous people and-did I mention there were some runway shows in between?

Well, there were! This is a fashion week that gets better over the years. In this 27th edition, 24 designers were invited to exhibit, 40,000 guests made their way through tight security, national and international press were going crazy for a seat in the press room and VIPs were everywhere.

Lisboa's fashion week has become one of the hottest national events and has had an increasing international exposure over the years because of the quality of the junior and senior designers.

What was seen on the catwalks was in line with international trends. What exactly distinguished the Portuguese designers were textiles and details.

Fashion is translated into creativity, energy, a way to expand and expose oneself but, it's also about 'money, commercial viability and … money'. A designer has to be a creative genius but also a merchant.

And the trends for 2007 are…
It's official! The 1920s look is back for 2007, along with a '50s twist and a futuristic approach. Confused? So was I, but that's what happens when you cram 24 runway shows in a four-day agenda.

It felt as if I'd been thrown into balloon world. Everything seemed balloon-shaped: dresses, pants, sleeves and even shoes!

What happened to sharp, edgy shoes? You can put them back in the closet because you're not going to be needing them for some time.

The look you'll want to adopt is girly. Everything is possible, even bandanas are in. Colours have somehow gone away, giving space into creamy pales, mixed with black, silver and gold.

Besides getting your colour palette right, you'll have to go one step further: layering.

Filipe Faísca, a promising and irreverent designer, presented a new approach to business wear mixing formal textures with a mocking party scenario. Cool cuts, deep openings and a Mohican look are the most assertive adjectives for this men's and women's collection.

As for veteran Miguel Vieira (www., a monochromatic collection is always a must. Whether summer, winter or just about any other in-betweens, black and white set the perfect mood for fashion lovers.

Adored by fashion followers, Katty Xiomara (www., above right), just like Miguel, is no stranger to Lisboa's fashion week. White, cream and sky-blue dresses are a must for this Oporto girl that has well portrayed the 1920s. The only thing that might have been missing were the pearls and the jazz of Bessie Smith or Duke Ellington.

If jazz was missing in Katty's show, then Osvaldo Martins made up for it easily! Actually, it's always a thrill to get into his show because, believe it or not, he exceeds fashion and expands his perception of clothes through great performances. This year, male models were surreally taken from a futuristic car shop in their swimwear.

In Martins' world, after a hard day’s work, mechanics will all put their petrol-blue clothes on and be ready to hit a night on the town.

Last but not least, the duo Alves–Gonçalves (www., right) have made it big once again! They presented a great feminine, evening gown collection.

Keeping it simple and clean, the duo's perception for 2007 is a classic look, based on the feminine silhouette from the early years. Nevertheless, the provocative touch is always present, assuring tight curves, long legs and deep cuts. •


Filipe Faísca

Miguel Vieira

Katty Xiomara

Osvaldo Martins


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Photographed by the author