As if in a psychedelic dream of his past shows, Alexandre Herchcovitch juxtaposed textures and prints on a runway decorated with huge acrylic red flowers, mushrooms, strawberries, unicorns, and other fairy tale icons. Herchcovitch sent some complex yet delicate proposals down the runway: tulip-shaped, high-waisted skirts and dresses with floral and black-and-white, op-art prints punctuated by madras trims and edgings (inspired by pinafore designs) were only some of the offerings. Sartorial cropped jackets that ended just below the breast paired with large, pale leather belts rounded off the hyper-visual assault of prints and challenging silhouettes. Former St. Martin’s student Ronaldo Fraga opted to look into his own past through the eyes of Nilza, a seamstress who has been working with him for the last 15 years. Elements from Fraga’s past collections appeared on clownish silhouettes for men and on delicate peasant dresses for women. Traditional finishing details such as back padding on suits and silk trims on trousers were placed on the outside of the garment rather than the inside to create a sort of Werkstatt effect. Fraga likens Nilza’s essence to that of a good bath, which explains the soapish color palette of blue, rose, and light yellow, plus the naive illustrations designed by Fraga of naked couples and mermaids that are used as embroideries and prints on most pieces.
Bruno Basso and Christopher Brooke presented a preview of what will be shown in September in London. The duo brought to the runway all the feminine tools necessary to reach everyday beauties in a show titled “the cost of beauty.” Lipstick, mascara, bows, and hilarious dog-face caricatures of female celebrities were transformed into digital, neo-psychedelic prints and displayed on ’50s-style day dresses, pin-up hot pants, and halter tops. The palette of vibrant colors plus the excellent styling from Namalee Bolle gave the impression that every look was a different female character. The duo’s show was a standout of the season.
Revolutionary echoes from the ’70s and strains of Mad Max were cues for Maxime Perelmuter, from British Colony, to deliver a surfwear collection based on the contrast of organic and synthetic. On a catwalk that read “F**k Pollution,” 25 male models with bleached hair paraded wearing board shorts with asymmetric cuts that mixed graphic foliage prints on cotton with transparent plastic chops. Such eloquent asymmetric patterns also appeared on neoprene body suits with an eye-catching mix of psychedelic and camouflage prints, accessorized with chunky necklaces made of natural shells, plastic trash, and colored espadrilles. Perelmuter also invested in the concept of mutation, showing sleeveless polo shirts transformable into twin sets and silky striped Bermuda shorts shaped as dhoti pants. Black, white, grape, silver, pink, and yellow comprised the palette. Cavalera’s menswear also relied on streetwear mutants to charge their collection. A mix of motorcycle boys, Apaches, Vikings, and the cangaceiros; cruel robbers that lived in a very dry and poor area in Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil lead the label to invest in dusted and destroyed denim trousers, shorts, and overalls worn with motorcycle gloves, leather jackets with arabesque details, and even horse saddles. The hard-rock attitude was balanced with extremely delicate hand-labored lace shirts with floral Bermuda shorts and silver Converse shoes. Cavalera’s ironic t-shirts, their signature, were shown with slogans that mock the rural culture, such as “goat heat” in heavy-metal font and profane prints with saints and bi-color portraits of famous Brazilian cangaceiros.
Rosa Chá by Amir Slama and Água de Coco stood out with democratic shapes and wicked used of prints on swimsuits. Rosa Chá, known for sexy cut-out shapes, announced a partnership with Naomi Campbell to create “Naomi Campbell made in Brazil by Rosa Chá,” set to launch next season. Slama sought out inspiration in the colonization of Pernambuco by the Dutch; a period during which culture blossomed and that is part of many northeastern folk traditions; all displayed as multi-colored prints and crochet on Rosa Chá bikinis and silk caftans. Agua de Coco opted for a cruise through many different islands, mixing pop and chic references on bikinis and clochard shorts made of denim and Lurex, one-piece bathing suits with plastic chain details, sarongs with undersea life prints, and itsy bitsy shapes decorated with semi-precious stones or straw hops.
-Flavia Mendonça and Eleonora Alves
Photos: Alexandre Herchcovitch s/s ’06
Ronaldo Fraga s/s ’06
Basso & Brooke
British Colony s/s ’06
Acqua de Coco s/s ’06
Cavalera s/s ’06
Rosa Cha s/s ’06