All eyes are on Southern America in fashion industry, lately. A few weeks ago we had Chanel nailing frivolous dresses in Cuba; yesterday, Nicolas Ghesquiere presented one of his best collection to date for Louis Vuitton, in Rio De Janeiro. For resort 2017, the house chose another vacay-fit destination with an arty edge – after Monaco and Palm Springs, Brazil was the next stop for Nicolas during his Vuitton journey. Staged in futuristic Niterói Museum of Contemporary Arts, the utopian construction was designed by Oscar Niemeyer in the 90s. The erratic structure of the museum perfectly matched the modern attitude of Ghesquiere’s newest creation.
The concrete runway, surrounded by water, was as spiral as the high-tech cuts on the dresses; sporty windcheater coats and studded, “deconstructed” dresses oozed with athletic vigour and breezy softness. But even during his far-fetched travels, Ghesquiere always stays the same guy from Paris. The collection was filled with colour and flesh-exposing details, yes, but Parisian elegance was present in these cool, black pants, corset-tops and ecru blazers. Unconsciously (or not), the designer brough some old, good ideas back from his cult Balenciaga-era. If you look through Ghesquiere’s Balenciaga time-line, and then see his latest Vuitton outing, the defiant, yet very feminine aura is alive. I missed it for the last few seasons, and now I’m very happy it’s back in form of unconventional flats and layered looks.
Moreover, resort 2017 at Louis Vuitton is an important beauty statement. Forget the rule of “same hair for every model”. It’s all about the personality – from Tamy Glauser’s boyish cut to Natalie Westling’s untamed, ginger curls, Nicolas and Ashley Brokaw (model casting director) prove that Louis Vuitton girl is all about beautiful diversity. I respect them for that every season, honestly.
Collage by me
Scrolling down the feed and filtering Instagram can be sometimes a good thing – and surely, when you are about to discover new, fresh designers with their unique vision! My latest find is the remarkably talented footwear designer, Lane Marinho. Lane is based in Sao Paulo, which currently experiences a kind of fashion renaissance. After working for several, big shoe companies in Brazil, Marinho decided to start experimenting with natural materials (like sea-shells and local natural stones) in order to make her ideas and old dream come true. She created her own label, which focuses on hand-made shoes and the heritage of artisan craftsmanship. As you can see on the photographs of Henrique Gendre, who is Lane’s collaborator since the beginning of her fashion adventure, the brand’s signature pieces are meticulously embroidered sandals. All of them are cut, sewed and hand-painted by the designer herself, which marks that all of the exemplars are one-of-a-kind and produced in very small quantity. Currently, the Brazilian designer has three collections under her belt, and all of them look equally impressive – and the shoes presented in bold, still life aesthetic (styled by another collaborator of the brand, Renata Corrêa) add warmth to this gloomy, rainy day.
More on Lane Mainho’s site.
After Phoebe Philo, the creative director of Celine mused about her inspirations behind AW15 collection, one thing became a statement – latinos are in fashion. And Philo addressed them with a collection that, by her own way, was a very Latin American. “The blood is hotter,” she said. “The approach is more dramatic.” The warm colours, frivolous dresses (they are perfect for dancing) and the new feminine attitude were certainly helped by Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso whose tune was on the soundtrack, and the venue that had the flavor of Argentinian streets, with wood-grain pillars and terra-cotta tiles. And the trend continues. Resort 2016 is on, and three major New York-based labels trigger their collections in a steamy-hot atmosphere: Proenza Schouler‘s designers, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, present a suntanned presentation of shoulder exposing dresses which appeared in Proenza boys heads when they had their vacations in Cuba; Altuzarra is all about Panama and the country’s traditional beading techniques; Rachel Comey brings on the noise of Kingston, Jamaica, with her vibrant look-book in which the models dance in her clothes. To make you feel the vibe of Latin America in even more effective way, here is the Vogue Italia editorial from 1989 starring Linda Evangelista, shot in Cuba. Caliente!
Rachel Comey Resort 2016
Altuzarra Resort 2016
Proenza Schouler Resort 2016
Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto has joined forces with shamen, artists and plant masters from the Huni Kuin, an indigenous tribe from Peru and Brazil for the Aru Kuxipa exhibition at Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary in Vienna. The result is a ethereal “site of healing”, that lets audience discover the lives and spiritual practices of a smal group, over 8000 kilometres away from their lands. Neto, one of Brazil’s leading contemporary artists, is known for his huge installations of “amorphous“, pod-like hanging sculptures, or “fabric stalactites”, as he calls them. Soft and made of polyester filled with rice or sand, his work is playful and sensual, his pieces invites viewers to touch, lie on, and even smell the work. “The Huni Kuin had to create a new culture because they were previously forbidden to exercise it – the rituals, dancing, singing, speaking in their own languages“. Now, their culture is alive in the heart of Vienna.
After winning the LVMH Prize, Marques Almeida quickly updated their brand schedule, by introducing a new season to it – Resort. And for their first Resort, Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida went to Brazil with their muse, Sofia, to photograph and present it. The effects? A collection of wearable clothes, which have a very specific MA signature. Special denim tops with ruffles; grungy silhouettes; bold colours. And lovely dresses which were styled in unusually elegant way. Loose-weave light knits were slashed and knotted just like their tattered T-shirts, which came reinvented here as beachwear. Digital jungle-print silks and florals were a clash of femininity and the typical rawness Marques Almeida has in its codes. It is worth to mention, that going to Brazil was worth it – the clothes looked really laid-back and the lookbook will definitely catch your eye.