For the coming Brazilian summer season, brands were very clear about the sources of their influences at São Paolo Fashion Week. Several labels tuned into Africa, showing tribal prints, large-scale tunics, indigenous knot details, and one-shoulder dresses. On the other hand, romance was in the air, commanded by soft colors and precious, simple shapes (the mini-dress was a constant). In street wear, new tropics emerged, juxtaposing today’s re-examined proportions with tropical graphic references and more relaxed silhouettes.
Alexandre Herchcovitch is flexing his designing maturity. This collection, he restrained himself on the mise-en-scène, instead training our eyes on the clothes, which were inspired by the African Ndebele tribe. Cloaks with chunky silver metals in the hemline, asymmetric, cropped trench coats in solid green and red, tribal prints on narrow suits, and pleated skirts over leggings accessorized with marine caps, aviator Ray-Bans, chubby tribal belts, and heaps of bangles and necklaces comprised the busy and forward layers. In evidence was Herchcovitch’s return to a punky aggressiveness, seen in ethnic prints on short t-shirts, suits, and leggings — in most pieces, the print was completely embroidered in tiny beads, and on even closer look, it’s possible to discern the razor pattern doubling as camouflage.
In his menswear collection Herchcovitch sought Rastafarian and Jewish religious images to create his inspired and androgynous clothes. He showed pinstriped tunics, exquisitely pleated shirt-dresses, and smooth overalls in a mix of prints. The highlight was the pairing of stripes and savanna illustrations, plus wooden Star of David necklaces, showed with mini-bags made specially to fit cigarette lighters.
Ethnic was the vibrant beat in Andre Lima’s collection as well. The designer presented short shirt-dresses, with structured puffed sleeves, in contrasting geometric tribal drawings. Lima’s usual hits — long floor-sweeping printed dresses — captured the spirit of summer’s never-ending ’70s-styled glamour, as did Dudu Bertholini and Rita Comparato’s Neon, with their voluminous jersey dresses with Afro-Brazilian and peacock prints.
Romanticism also made an appearance on Brazilian runways this season. Isabela Capeto‘s idea of romance rests in common desires such as love, luck, "saudade" (feeling of yearning), and peace. All of these words were displayed in prints, delicate embroideries, and cute silver pendants. Capeto’s soft-toned palette of pastels was a good fit for the slim skirts and shirt-dresses, A-line jumpers, and strapless rompers. Such simplistic shapes worked as canvas for Capeto’s meticulous embroideries and appliqués, as it did for Patricia Vieira with her expert work on leather. Vieira used the same classic, feminine silhouette to create subtle but strong details, on the tulip skirt with denim-textured leather, ladylike dresses decorated with baroque flower appliqués made of piping, or tulle blouses textured with tiny stripes of chamois.
Even usually sartorial-shaped Danielle Jensen’s Maria Bonita went for the simple silhouette to deliver a collection of feminine suits matched with long skirts, tank tops, and jumpers. Attention goes to the camouflage effect, created with layered tulle pieces in nude hues, silver thorns applied on lapels, and the designer’s work with Xerox prints. This time she photocopied folds and created a trompe d’oeil effect on mid-length jersey dresses that featured delicate aquarelle prints of flowers.
Love was the theme at the SPFW debut of the designer collective OEstudio. With a remarkable multimedia presentation wherein the models interacted with a huge panel on the runway, the label presented a strong collection of fading colors in multiple tones — another big trend — and pixel flower prints, in addition to drop waist bubble skirts, and dresses controlled by multiple strings for women, and wickedly sartorial details on pockets and flies of menswear bottoms.
Brazilian streetwear labels like OEstudio, Cavalera, and Maxime Perelmuter have been gaining territory since they started to push their collections toward a more refined style. Perelmuter managed to merge his easygoing spirit with a new desire for challenging silhouettes that started last season. His collection showed the deconstructed tuxedo’s metamorphosis that started with stiff, monochromatic tailored suits and finished with relaxed, oversized suits with tropical-inspired prints in details like pipings and yokes. Cavalera menswear explored a more casual silhouette composed of Bermuda shorts, sweatpants, and sweaters enriched with fetching African batik prints, rich embroideries, and handcrafted laces with golden details. Also on the deluxe path, the sportswear from Osklen proposed short, minimal shapes for women and a slim silhouette for men. The label elected black its ruler for summer, and glamorized sportswear with ensembles made of tuxedo-inspired shirts paired with Bermuda shorts and leather sandals, or utilitarian pants accessorized with suspenders. Shift dresses with back yokes made of latex were the collection’s sensation, and the tropical lifestyle was shown in graphic imprints of abstract scribbles of white and green and dual-toned, palm-leaf designs.
1-2 Alexandre Herchcovitch s/s ’07
Neon s/s ’07
Isabela Capeto s/s ’07