were hits here, but in a spirited, sensual incarnation. For s/s ’07, imagine summer’s innocence in a sizzling, vibrant palette,
jazzed up with hot prints and charmed with Gisele’s unpretentiously sexy attitude. Designers in Rio were thinking big with
a fashiontainment spectacular, which awed over 90,000 spectators during a seven-day event, and transformed the city’s major
tourist spots, such as Marina da Glória, Sugar Loaf, Arcos da Lapa, and Horto into fashion runways.
It’s spring in Brazil, and beachwear rules. David Azulay’s Blue Man, and Jacqueline de Biase’s Salinas each required over 750 extras to create live mise-en-scènes
for their shows. Azulay kept his beachwear shapes simple but striking. The best pieces were plain white bikinis made of embroidered
jersey mixed with crochet and styled with groovy golden necklaces sporting "samba king" pendants. A manufactured mood will
breeze onto beaches this summer, just as Salinas and Lenny Niemeyer perfectly captured it, using natural and industrial materials, respectively. Today’s ethno-global spirit led Salinas towards
a juxtaposition of black and white Indian basketry graphics and colored madras. De Biase decorated bikini briefs and X-shaped
halter-tops with rustic materials, such as tiny colorful raffia fringes and braided straw or fish skin details, and accessorized
them with an armful of handcrafted bangles and cute feather crowns. With one of the best female castings of the season, Lenny
Niemeyer went Gucci for beachwear and championed extra-low necklines, controlled by zippers, Grecian-style ruching, or geometric
metal chains. Attention is called by a one-piece crafted with chunky acrylic beads at the side — definitely a hot piece for
martini sipping by the pool. Meanwhile, rising fashion beachwear designer darling Luiza Bonadiman hooked viewers with ’80s sportswear in her first solo show, and gave bathing suits new hype with strapless one-pieces with
pockets and new length statements by way of high-waisted briefs, paired with multi-colored bras.
Away from the sea, electric palettes and strong prints seemed to be on the rise. So it was declared at Maria Bonita Extra‘s standout collection, made of feminine mini hot dresses — some tapered at the waist, others romantically loose, with low
necklines revealing a striped bikini top underneath, and styled with neon gladiator sandals. Jumpsuits, a must-have in many
shows, appeared in Extra’s collection in a cute print of hearts morphing into leopards. Animal prints were also a constant
in other designers’ lines. Sommer mixed zebra and feline prints on bubble dresses and tanks with thin neon linings in a safari
catwalk, and Animale used snakeskin on collars and squared-chain belts. Redley‘s Tommy Simon went psychedelic for prints paired with a vivid palette of the purest yellow, red, blue, white, and black.
The much-hyped surf lifestyle brand commanded attention with an ’80s-inspired oversized silhouette for menswear in knee-length
shirts layered over colorful striped tunics and paired with ample sweatpants. The collection was full of a new vibe that will
perfectly satisfy those bored with today’s global color sobriety yet in love with re-examined proportions. At Cantão, Simon’s feminine line, the ’70s style of Jodie Foster’s Taxi Driver character is woven into a collection punctuated by optical effects created with a patchwork of prints, high-waist denim,
and slim minidresses. The label’s accessories made a statement with a new vision of maxi-platforms — Cantão’s heels came in
acrylic filled with butterflies, and were paired with urban glass-squared bangles, cool straw visors, and plaited rustic leather
usually reserved for bags and large belts. Alessa, who always presents inventive shows (usually in offbeat locations like grocery stores), took her presentation to the top
of the Sugar Loaf, showing frayed-edge micro-suits and printed summer dresses with matching shoes. Also tuned to the ’70s
reading on the trend-o-meter, Animale wisely merged sex appeal, opulence, and Greek draping, resulting in fully-pleated halter
jumpsuits and shift dresses with sensual draping at the sides. Summery golden embellishments were everywhere, from zippers
to buttons, in Animale’s show.
Another summer statement is the anti-fit silhouette. Lila Colzani’s Colcci and its favorite girl, Gisele, set the volume for the season with relaxed, billowy trapeze dresses. Colzani worked this shape
with asymmetric cuts, multi-pattern patchwork, and tulle transparencies at the back. Colcci’s cool summer feeling is illuminated
by neon cross-stitching and naïve bird-shaped embroideries, always contrasting over a tranquil sandy and light gray palette.
Mara Mac and Maria Fernanda Lucena also turned out ample silhouettes, but with a minimalist approach. Mara went for a monochromatic, immaculate white collection
textured with wrinkled tanks, squared laser cutouts and silicon neon white prints. Lucena played with textures by lightly
inflating forms and mixing tulle, cotton, and linen, and Rita Wainer’s Theodora gave a light, tactile sense to wide-squared jersey tees colored with multilayered prints with large sparkling beads and pieces
of silk here and there.
A promising member of the new generation of Brazilian designers, Melk Zda‘s short but strong presentation showed off precisely what a chic summer is going to be made of: light bubbly minidresses
and intense textures. The designer stacked thin layers of organza, lace and silk, and patchworking lace, embellished some
pieces with his signature organic embroideries, and sprinkled white paint over vintage colors of white, blue, and butter.
Another precious name to drop is Liliane Rebehy’s Coven. It’s pure pleasure to see the designer mastering knitwear. For this summer, she created graphic compositions, working with
striped knits, and mixing pure colors in Kokosalakiesque shapes. It is beginning to feel as if Rio is becoming more than just
a summer style camp;
it’s a nest for talents to come.
Blue Man s/s ’07
Salinas s/s ’07
Lenny s/s ’07
Luiza Bonadiman s/s ’07
Maria Bonita Extra s/s ’07
Cantão s/s ’07
Alessa s/s ’07
Colcci s/s ’07
Coven s/s ’07