The Brazilian über model was Lila Colzani’s Colcci superstar in a show that reworked cotton dresses — the biggest summer hit in Brazil — with a 1900s immigrant mood reflected in the dusty vintage palette of white, grayish blues, and blacks. Colcci scored with the styling of super-slim denim paired with oversized smocks and trapeze dresses full of crafty details using lace, crochet, frills, and broderie anglaise.
Another enthusiastic spectacle was presented by Cavendish. Designer Carla Cavendish brought structure and straight necklines to the runway and punctuated a new waistline: ’60s-inspired black cotton dresses, falling just above the knee, nipped in by thin black belts fastened three inches below the breast. This season, clothes suggested a clean, sober mood. Strong belting is a pervasive trend that never reads as fussy.
Mara Mac captured the minimal movement more subtly. Inspired by the ’20s, the designer created dropped-waistline dresses featuring black cotton belts and sparkling with Art Deco-style embroidery of pearls and sequins. As lovely as these were, Mara stood out when she turned her focus to the masculine ’20s silhouette of high-waisted, oversized black pants paired with plain white shirts — an example of the tuxedo influences for women that we’re tracking among a number of designers. Here, the look was softened by a thin layer of silky tanks with very low necklines and black buttons in the front.
Dayse Soares’ Drosófila proposed an across-the-board return to black. An interesting mix of textures and differently-sized floral prints, the collection featured ’50s-style dresses covered by a layer of transparent black silk or tulle, leaving only the hemlines visible. The label, which sells in Europe and Japan, focused on almost hidden details: sparkling sequins peeked out from the interior of pea coats and from the bottom of voluminous skirts that had bubbled; contrasting hemlines dueled in velvet (big everywhere) and satin, sometimes at once. But let’s not forget it’s Rio: the desire for sensuality is almost genetic. In a way, the sober atmosphere induced designers to focus sex appeal in the back part of their designs. Walter Rodrigues mastered it with sheer silk tops in midnight blue (the alternative to black); they were completely covered in the front and totally backless. Rodrigues also presented floor-sweeping jersey column dresses with strong gusset work. Transparent fabrics (mainly chiffons) also harnessed the sexiness factor. Andrea Marques’ Maria Bonita Extra explored pale, see-through blouses with golden buttons complete with canary yellow cotton bras and pleated black miniskirts. Tulle and lace used by Carmelitas and Animale, respectively, constantly reminded us that women can play the new minimalism game and still look sexy.
Carefully handmade details and prints were also a hit during the five-day fashion extravaganza. Redley used strong craftsmanship in its neo-Crusoe collection, "the Island." According to creative director Tommy Simon, these "voluntary castaways" represent people who want to reconnect with nature. This manifested in unique pieces that mixed different weights and textures in an anti-fit silhouette with prints inspired by nature. In many cases, manufactured details such as abstract wool embroidery, felt appliqués, tea-dye, and hand-painted prints were united organically, not attacking the eye with too many references. For men, the return to nature was evoked with neo-camouflage pants with golden embroideries and organically printed parkas styled with striped shirts, scarves and knits. Maria Fernanda Lucena also turned up the volume for craftsmanship, sculpting unstructured dresses that were highlighted by unique stained sequins embroidery plus manual dyes in hues of indigo, faded pink, malachite green, and red wine. At Melk Z-Da’s collection, the 28-year-old designer was inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett‘s The Secret Garden, creating dreamy, Edwardian shapes that were both structured and flowing. Small details, such as organza chrysanthemums applied to hourglass-shaped dresses and silky tops, added to the delicate mood. But Melk’s natural vision wasn’t limited to flora and fauna. According to the designer, "new shapes are created by unbuttoning different sections of these pieces: a hemline can become a ruffled neckline, and so the whole transformation cycle seen in the garden continues."
TNG searched for inspiration in the universe of ’70s athletes, presenting proportions that blended elasticity and flexibility in a fluid and comfortable silhouette full of ample sleeves, puffed pants, and marked waistlines. Attention-grabbers included oversized, sweatshirt dresses with geometrical cutouts and strong patchwork colors. This loose shape, with lowered shoulders and voluminous sleeves, rang the bell for an ’80s-style reawakening with a Brazilian twist.
Even if the cheer for covered bodies seems appealing on most runways, the scheme for winter still keeps sexiness as important as "Ronaldinho."
Colcci a/w ’06
Animale a/w ’06
Cavendish a/w ’06
Mara Mac a/w ’06
Drosófila a/w ’06
Maria Fernanda Lucena a/w ’06
Redley a/w ’06
Melk Z-Da a/w ’06
TNG a/w ’06