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São Paulo Fashion Week

  • A season ahead


Latin America's biggest fashion parade is still growing, and it's already cons­i­dered the fifth most important Fashion Week, after New York, Milan, London and Paris.


From 31 March to 4 April all eyes were on Sao Paulo. After stints in the four fashion capitals – New York, London, Milan and Paris – the journalists, buyers and models were doing their respective thing in Brazil's largest city. For good reason! A must on the runway-show calendar since 1996, Sao Paulo's Fashion Week draws more people every year and is more important than Rio's. A season ahead of the West on the other side of the world, 30-odd designers presented their spring-summer 2015 collections. In the meantime, their winter collections were walking off the rails.


Chic streetwear and controlled bling
So what are the trends? Brazilian designers have figur­ed that to make their mark on the international scene they have to differentiate themselves from Euro­pean and American designers. So year after year they refine their signatures, some key elements being colourfulness, chic sportswear, sophisticated bikinis and a gene­ralis­ed injection of the country's joie de vivre. Gisele Bündchen opened the ball for Colcci, whose nylon and denim made for a decidedly casual-chic silhouette inspired by the Nineties – micro-shorts and tracksuit trousers unabashed on city streets. Runway star Reinaldo Lourenço's models inspired by French styling mixed Eighties graphic design with Jazz Years opulence as he played with luxury clichés such as gold, leopard skin and ladylike handbags. The Osklen label led by artistic director Oskar Metsavaht channel­led the topical in the form of a football-focused collection: match-kit top and skirt, leg warmers, sports bag, shorts, cropped top etc, all in shimmering shades. Alexandre Herchcovitch's more dramatic collection referenced the Victorian era, as in wool, cotton voile, cash­mere and leather reinventing vintage nightdresses.
Gloria Coelho went for a quasi-futuristic urban silhouette while Juliana Jabour delivered her take on streetwear, in neoprene or fleece with silk, viscose and embroidery adding sophistication.

A passion for shoes
Shoes are another local speciality, so their designers missed no opportunities to showcase their new collec­tions. From acid-drop flip-flops by Havaianas and Ipanema to Veja's ecological trainers touted as "sustainably developed", there's something for everyone. Generally speaking, Brazil's accessories sector stands out for its ethical attitude as innumerable brands combine style with a social conscience. A mention too for Melissa, which calls on top-rank designers – Karl Lager­feld, Vivienne Westwood, Gareth Pugh, Jason Wu – to reinvent its recycled-plastic models. Lastly, Carmen Steffens, praised to the skies by American stars for its shoes and it-bags, has made the black & white trend its own; fashionistas will fight for these heels, especially the ones with graphic stripes, the perfect finishing touch for a sophisticated look.