Attendees understand the strength of the Brazilian spring collections (the bodies and the bikinis), but Fashion Rio has established itself as more. The big national brands see it as the showcase for doing big business (regardless of season), and there’s the media maelstrom to support it all, making the country, for a few days, high on the runway. Overall, it wasn’t a season of great triumph; designers, many of whom work best with indigenous references and tropical textiles, went for layered, avant-garde clothing, much of it in shades of gray.
The mixing and matching of fabrics made for inventive trompe l’oeil layering at Marcia Ganem. A single cocktail dress contained a sheer, long sleeve, leather belt, and Swarovski-studded netting. Deconstructed handiwork mixed with short modern shapes is just the Brazilian thing we go for — if only the bulky seaming and "hairy" fabrics didn’t challenge the execution.
It was at Mara Mac that everything went gray. In an elaborate mise-en-scène where models pushed black cars down the catwalk, Mac showed Danskin-like gray leggings, long, diaphanous skirts, drippy knits, and shrunken blazers — all layered in a variety of combinations and in step with the current cool-girl uniform. Where there was gray, there were layers.
Graca Ottoni channeled the moody early-century works of the Seeberger Brothers, working dark and neutral gray chiffon skirts, some shown with multi-layered camisoles and tattered cardigans. Eliza Conde’s brief-belted jersey dresses, long cardigans, chiffon tunics, and baggy trousers were equally sober. While Ottoni and Conde leaned Belgian in their layered choices, newcomer Virzi‘s shiny pantsuits, black miniskirts and gold accents were all Italian. The chic label served up one of the week’s best looks in a short gold tunic worn over a white long sleeve and drop-waist pants. Permanente worked around playing with flat gray layering with a gorgeous bright light coming in the form of a golden parka (an essential item in almost every collection).
Another essential is the mini: witness the knee-skimming, flapper-inspired pieces at Cavendish and the pretty pale gray and yellow babydolls with intricate embroideries at Melk-Z D. Maria Bonita Extra, who fits the Marc by Marc Jacobs bill, will please her growing legions of female buyers with her printed bib-front tops and a slew of gray babydolls sporting girly ruching and light furling.
The shiny and metallic movement, a puzzling worldwide trend at the moment, was represented on these runways as well. Somner was futuristic in silver leather jeans, galactic printed hoodies, and spaceboy-chic cutoffs. At St. Ephigenia, it was pailletted tank dresses and skinny, matte silver pants. At Animale, it was lemon- and papaya-colored shift dresses in shiny patent leather. Eliza Conde’s frilly, metallic miniskirt and gold lamé dress brought life to her otherwise subtle looks. Everyone made sure to hit the trend, but are they leading or following?
It’s a valid question for the happenings in Brazil, but it’s understood that, for the big brands, their clients will follow wherever they go, as in the funky shapes in Cantão‘s washed-out denims, Redley‘s chunky knits, TNG’s parachute dresses and treated denims, and the colored denims worn by Gisele at Colcci.
Redley a/w ’07-’08
Cantão a/w ’07-’08
Permanente a/w ’07-’08
Virzi a/w ’07-’08