Fashion designers in Rio and São Paulo have dedicated an impressive amount of work to incorporating textures and creative surfaces into their winter collections. Materials such as metallic yarns, felt, wool, plastic, neoprene and even fur, were put into the spotlight on the catwalks this season, creating quite a bold statement for a season that is not traditionally as eye catching as the summer shows.
Knitwear continues to conquer greater grounds every season. Liliane Queiroz’s Coven underlined the use of metallic yarns paired with military references, while
steadily mastering the best mix-and-match of colors and leveling the material to complex constructions. After working with Sid Bryan—knitwear master that develops for Prada and Alexander McQueen—freshman designer Lucas Nascimento brought his knitwear expertise from London, hoping to expose Brazilian fashionistas to the possibilities of its color compositions and textures. Off the runway, Gig displayed luxurious knitwear pieces at high-end fashion fair Casa Moda, held in São Paulo’s Unique Hotel. Designed by Gina Guerra, the brand has been following the same steps
as Coven, signaling a growing niche in Brazil that should be watched closely.
By contrast, both Claudia Jatahy’s Animale and Oskar Metsavaht’s Osklen chose felt as the ultimate fashion texture to work with this season. While Metsavaht used the wool variety on structured monochromatic pieces with cubic shapes, Jatahy delivered a refined Gagaish style using weathered wool felt added with spiky embellishments and recycled cassette tapes as fringes. Animale also pushed the material boundaries with untreated suede and leather
printed with nano-colorants.
Brazil’s textile agenda also includes ecological and social-friendly fabrics and treatments. At Rio-a-Porter fair—which happened parallel to Fashion Rio—buyers could take a closer look at e-fabrics, a project sponsored by Osklen that focuses on ecological fibers in tune with both the biodiversity and cultural traditions of the country. Other than organic textiles, e-fabrics also showcased a singular texture from fish and frog leather taken from skins that would have otherwise been discarded. In the same fair,
Minas Gerais, Dois Elles (from Danielle Joory) and Raquell Guimarães presented wool knitted pieces in partnership with male prisoners from a prison in their town. The resulting pieces had a rustic feel in pale colors and delicate yarns that offered a feeling of hope for the artisans.
Redley introduced neoprene fabrics, creating a sophisticated texture on its tuxedo meets surfers outfits for boys and girls. Espaço Fashion, meanwhile, used the same material to sex up its body hugging pieces and give a more structured feel to the frilly details on its dress shoulders. In
São Paulo, Jefferson Kulig laser cut neoprene to develop innovative styles of lace.
The “textile season” in Brazil was further enhanced by the debut of Premiere Brasil, a Latin American textile event organized by Premiere Vision in partnership with Fagga Eventos. Different from the fairs promoted by Premiere Vision in New York, Moscow, Beijing and Tokyo, the Brazilian version of the fair focused on exhibitors from Latin America along with a few European partners. Almost
half of the pavilion was occupied by denim producers (a big market in Brazil) with innovations mostly concentrated on ecological weaving and washing processes. According to Jacques Brunel, the managing director of Premiere Vision, this is just the first step in a major strategy to align Latin American countries with the international textile calendar. “The market is very strong and the textile sector is booming. For foreign exhibitors, Brazil is a huge opportunity market,” observed Brunel.
With so many things revolving around the textile business this season, the biggest trend appears to be the designers’ surface experiments and, in turn, consumers’ surface experiences. Brazilian fashion right now is turned to sensorial concepts, you just have to feel it.