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Lucire: Fashion

The circuit



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Alves/Gonçalves’ elegance and style

Keeping an eye on Portugal’s fashion

Lola Saab travelled to Portugal to view all that fashion week had on offer for autumn–winter 2013–14, fabulously staged in the historic buildings of Lisboa and Porto
photographs courtesy Portugal Fashion

The eagerly awaited Portuguese fashion week opened on March 20. Portugal has a reputation for providing an upbeat atmosphere, attracting numerous talented designers. The beautiful city of Lisboa provides a stunning backdrop to the exciting collections on display to invited guests and the international fashion media. Lucire was there to see the autumn–winter 2013–14 collections at the event’s 32nd year. The theme is Vibe, fitting nicely with the amazing vibrant energy which this fashion week creates.

The early evening was dedicated to ‘Bloom Space’. This concept was established in 2010, a time for emerging designers to introduce their collections in a more casual slot. Stylist Miguel Flor is responsible for the selection of the new designers; his practised eye and hands-on experience provide them with a well thought-out fashion show. From the long list of designers who have previously “Bloomed”, I see names such as Luis Buchinho, Fátima Lopes and Felipe Oliveria Baptista.


Susana Bettencourt

The Carpe Diem Art and Research Space presented a fabulous venue: the immense interior with its secret garden and breathtaking views would be difficult to surpass. The first of the Bloom collections was Susana Bettencourt’s Fragmented Oxidation. The pieces were fun, vivid and chic with an elegant overview of a young contemporary woman; they embraced tight, hip-hugging pieces with larger tops to accompany the tighter ensembles. The geometric and accurately “fragmented” prints came in various shades of grey and light brown, incorporating a hint of spirited blues to add a dab of colourful allure.

Prior to the show, we spoke to Bettencourt who provided us with a passionate point-of-view of the collection: ‘The thoughts that you have come from where you are living.’ The collection has looks that young women may easily wear on a daily basis, from tight leggings to simple black one-piece looks. When I asked the young designer about her international outlook, she recounts how, having lived in London for over a decade, and presenting at the Paris international fashion trade show, has given her good international exposure. The make-up for her how was dark and mysterious; shadowy shades at the contours of the eyes fully exemplify a piercingly confident look. The hair was simply brushed back with interior curls to reveal a chic and elegant young woman.


Hugo Costa

From womenswear, we divert to Hugo Costa’s menswear. His elegant collection consisted of various colour tones from dark, glimmering black, to beige and white ensembles. Costa is a young designer who discovered the fashion world in his late teens. He constructs pieces that create a chic man, emphasizing masculine features. The young and talented designer began his fashion journey with shoe designs. His current designs provide a layered effect with a stylish mixture of unusual fabrics, emphasizing a charmingly self-assured look with an original feel. The high-ankle trousers perfectly balance the long, large-fitted sweaters and jackets.



Alves/Gonçalves presented a sophisticated women’s collection staged at the equally impressive Brand Gallery. The design duo, Manuel Alves and José Manuel Gonçalves, form a stunning collection that appeals to the majority of elegant women. The clothing exudes elegance and grace.

The first collection that Alves and Gonçalves presented was in 1987 and two decades on they still passionately contribute to the fashion world. The guests lined up in anticipation of a stunning presentation that showcased dozens of expressive, eye-catching structures. The designers emphasized colour, creating flowing effects: shining red on black formulated a three-dimensional effect, whilst the purple on black implied a fashionably confident wearer. Finally, the array of original creations in black appealed to the more discreet woman.

Fátima Lopes

The final night in Lisboa concluded with the internationally recognized label, Fátima Lopes. Following on from her Paris Fashion Week display, she returned to the beautiful Convento do Beato to present her new season ready-to-wear collection. This former convent provided an excellent backdrop for the Lopes collection. The purple and dark blue fabrics used in the garments contrasted with the historical stone walls, exemplifying a creatively bold and daring collection.


Katty Xiomara

We left Lisboa and moved to the magnificent city of Porto, sometimes to referred to ‘Cidade Invicta’. We had three days surrounded by Porto’s history, beauty and everlasting grace: the city is recognized for its delectable port wine, delicious fish and aromatic soaps. Our time here was dedicated to absorbing the stunning fashion which appealed to people of many ages. There were over 26 shows with so many pieces and looks, with colours ranging from dark black to warm and shining yellows. The beautiful fashion headquarters of Alfandega do Porto was ready to welcome thousands of guests into its historic space. The venue, with its high ceilings and long hallways, was divided into three separate rooms, each one ready to expect numerous attendees.

Katty Xiomara’s new-season collection opened fashion week at Porto; her look was evocative with stunningly vibrant and pulsating looks in orange, blue and peach; these were in contrast, but sometime overlaid with, the blacks and whites of the collection. Skirts, dresses and pants flowed creating a relaxed fit; chic motifs provided an original aspect to each ensemble. Designs featured creative inserts of fabrics, chic fur and short jackets; beautifully portraying an elegant and fun woman ready to conquer the world. Large, dark, squared sunglasses matched the looks: each pair of lenses had floral designs adding a dash of the unique, giving the overall look of an originally fashionable woman. Some of the designs were reversible.

Diogo Miranda

Diogo Miranda revealed the elegant feminine silhouette in his autumn–winter 2013–14 collection. Miranda’s colour palette of light shades of white, deep sea blue, sky blue and grey complemented his marvelous, simple creations, highlighting the refined beauty of his open-back designs, high collars and tucked-in look. The dark red lipstick and barely-there make-up symbolized a chic woman.

Luis Buchinho

Sticking to the theme of feminine beauty and classical features, what better than the famous Luis Buchinho knitwear? Seductive ensembles of dark burgundy accompanied by black evoked a hint of mystery. An interesting combination of elbow-high gloves and leather boots of all styles were colour-matched, or sometimes contrasted, to the garments. Buchinho was consistent in expressing femininity, often revealing her form. The new collection includes various materials, including leather, viscose jersey, cotton jersey and diverse knits.

Felipe Oliveira Baptista

Felipe Oliveira Baptista, a Paris-based Portuguese designer, founded his own label in 2003. His collections are sold in large, internationally renowned stores such as Collette and Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Having previously worked for names such as Max Mara and Cerruti, Baptista presented beautiful, simple pieces, where cut and colour were everything. A ripple effect bounced off of each fabric as the light glistened on the material. Soft colours accentuated a natural creativity; dresses, pants and tops revealed the midriff. Lips were lightly glossed and the light make-up created a natural effect, that was the icing on the cake.


Designers constantly look for new ways to project a seductively elegant woman who must fulfil roles from party-girl to businesswoman; likewise menswear is evolving toward a fiercely masculine form. Vicri was founded in 1986, developed by Pinho Vieira and Sergio Crivelli. They transformed it into a luxury clothing brand dedicated to men's stylish looks. The collection targets an elegant man ready to be the star of the evening, or express his chic persona during the day. •




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Lola Saab is Paris editor of Lucire. Linden Sprunt contributed to this story.