The five-day fashion week presented interesting approaches to youth style, debuted some new names, and of course indulged attendees with several beachwear options. Labels Blue Man and Salinas managed to reinvent beachwear sex appeal by betting on one-piece swimsuits with deep cleavages and much creativity
with regard to asymmetric shapes and sexy cut-outs. David Azulay of Blue Man presented hard-washed stretch denim one-piece swimsuits juxtaposed with tiny printed bottoms (a sort of double
bikini) inspired by the drawings of British botanist Margareth Mee. The more classic Salinas, a label worn by 10 out of 10 young girls on Ipanema beach, conjured memories of Carmen Miranda.
On a runway decorated with four tons of bananas, vintage Brazilian icons such as Copacabana’s wavy sidewalk designs, tropical fruits and flowers, and Carmen Miranda herself became prints and were put together, along
with dots, stripes, and madras, on halter necks, low-waist bottoms, and shapes vaguely inspired by 1940s swimwear. At Lenny, chic beachwear prevailed with simple shapes decorated with elaborate details such as
plissées, gold bead chains as straps, yokes made of lace, floral motifs fully embroidered with beads, and macramé mixed with onyx gems.
Away from the beach, Redley‘s debut presentation became “el sumo de verano” (the taste of the summer), a slogan written on several of the t-shirts that came down the runway. The former surfwear label from Tommy Simons has moved on to focus on a lifestyle range of hipster suits and Bermuda shorts, colored by Latin references such as vintage Spanish
advertisements and tropical arabesque motifs. Accessible shapes including cargo pants, classic five-pocket denim jeans, and loose asymmetric dresses were standouts due to the use of handicraft and print techniques. Spray
paint, patchwork, handmade embroidery, and post-assembly printing elevate Redley to a hip label standard that could easily share the same stage as Diesel
and Dsquared. Another name to watch is OEstudio.
Composed of seven designers, the label is inspired by the world of games. Male and female models paraded the runway with joker’s smiles, wearing slim suits and polo shirts buttoned to look like Tetris‘ geometric pieces, shorts and t-shirts with many pockets in unusual places (presumably a metaphor for playing video games where you have to catch and keep all those extra energy supplies), and suits made of naval war game prints. Eighties childhood flashbacks appeared on t-shirts with ironic prints that mixed classic game
elements such as chess pieces and standard deck cards symbols with video game favorites such as Mario Brothers, Doom,
and Pac Man. Danielle Jensen showed different kinds of spheres — rolling and bouncing and presented in double versions of
black and white (printed on a special Xerox machine) — and colorful prints on loose, asymmetrical jersey tops. A whiff of streetwear appeared on hooded sweaters stretched by thin patchwork constructions.
Brazilian designers continue to find an identity, and the future looks bright.
-Flavia Mendonça and Eleonora Alves
Photos: Blue Man s/s ’06
Salinas s/s ’06
Redley s/s ’06
Oestudio s/s ’06