Tuesday, 25 October 2011

ModaLisboa Day 4: a +1's Point of View

Workstation: Arlindo Camacho for Associação Moda Lisboa

Those of you who read my post ModaLisboa Day 1: A +1's point of view know that I made some slightly harsh and cynical judgments regarding the Portuguese so-called VIP Fashionistas. Their trends were boring and far too calculated, just as if they had been copied and pasted out of a style section. Except the style section used as a reference was about a year old... 

I believe the word I used was posers. Now according to our very dear friend The Urban Dictionary, a poser is very promptly:  "One who attempts to appear to others as something they are not, especially by their manner of dress; a charlatan." 

Three days and about a dozen collections later, I'm of the same opinion: So-called VIPs: 
  • About 10% of you have potential;
  • 20% of you are Fashion Victims;
  • And the rest of you are still posers.


While it remains immensely entertaining to critique the "flora and fauna" binging on the free Absolut Vodka in the VIP Lounge, that should not be the focus of any fashion week, or of this blog.

VIP Lounge: photographs property of ModaLisboa Transfusion Backstage by João Bacelar, Joana Van Hellemond and Sal Nunkachov 

Fashion should not be futile. My aim is to prove to readers that it is an interesting enough topic to be discussed on a daily basis, and not from a "Hi fans! This is what I'm wearing, today! Go like my outfit on Facebook and share it with all your friends! Love you guys, you're the best fans ever!xoxo!". 

No. We do NOT do that here at Fabulous Letters from Lisbon. (But for those of you who have read the the letters, shared them, loved them and liked them on  our  Facebook Page):
Thank You, from the bottom of my heart. You're the Best:

I've made it more than crystal clear that I'm not sufficiently instructed in the more technical aspect of fashion to evaluate the collections, but I have sufficient enough notion to write about the collections that stood out and that deserve our respect... and a WOW. 

Remember the WOW? I asked for one, and ModaLisboa was kind enough to perpetrate more than just one out of my electric +1 pink lips:

Here are my personal picks of WOWs from Day 4, let's get down to business:


The collection is based on the 80's movie Blade Runner:

"Ive seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-Beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die."

Here's the thing: I've never seen Blade Runner (gasps!), making it extremely difficult to understand whether or not there is a link between the film and the collection. 

Important details about Blade Runner: 
  • Action movie set in 2019;
  • Depicts genetically engineered organic robots who look like human beings;
  • Harrison Ford is sent on a mission to "get rid" of them.  
Here are the few images from the film I managed to download that depict some sort of design concept:

It's simple. Very simple. Correction: it looks simple. Three colours: White, Red and Black.
Now lets take a look at the collection: 

The shoulder lines are very shaped, like that of armour. The cuts are rigid and the shoes very space age. The pieces have a clear futuristic element.

The red lace is fantastic (I told you it would be a trend.) It's sexy and somewhat gothic. The combination of leather and lace provides a strong contrast. Layering is also an important element.

The black leather is very matrix. Or Blade Runner, unfortunately I wouldn't know because I haven't seen it. Nonetheless, it's dark and the combination of the black leather and sharp shoulders emphasizes the element of combat and perhaps violence. 

I may have not seen Blade Runner, but the elements of a Sci-Fi Action movie are certainly present in the main visual aspects of the garments. And I cannot repeat enough, the red lace leggings are beautiful.

Apparently movies were a huge source of inspiration this season. Ricardo Dourado creates images of street gangs, essentially dressed for the purpose of statement and combat, like those seen in Larry Clark's Wassup Rockers. 
It's about Violence and Attitude. (And in my opinion, a hell of a lot of style). The name  of the collection couldn't have been chosen more appropriately:


The first thing to notice is the caps. They're not really caps, they look more like protective  fashionable head gear for the modern-day gangster. Also, the trousers. Hers look like normal jeans, yet their embellished with leather. His? Well it looks more like a black plastic rubbish bag was wrapped around his legs. The point is that the above is classic streetwear, but it is all put together with immense attention to detail to ensure the right statement is made:
It's street, it's cool, it's simple yet noticeable. 

Love the pattern. The cut of the dress is amazing. The way it stood up created the idea of a barrier, protecting the model from outside interferences, yet giving her a feminine touch. 

I think she is looking very Gangster Chic

Glossy black is amazingly sexy. The cut of both the shorts and the top is rigid. Very street wear, very don't mess with me. And don't forget to check out the accessories. 

Is he FIERCE or what?
Protect Me From What I Want, isn't that any gangster's secret inner desire? To be protected from the urge of creating disorder and violence in society? To be protected from the consequences of his day-to-day activities that bring so much despair to others? 

Ricardo Dourado

An absolutely brilliant concept. It's simple, easily understandable and  clear and coordinated throughout the collection. Streetwear has become increasingly important in modern-day society, and who better to show us how to pull it off and make a statement of it than the gangsters? 

Ricardo Dourado, thank for bringing chic patterns and materials to the gangster look without desecrating the overall violent and distant attitude of this so-called societal stereotype. 

"The Testoscrats of last season are now reaching their peak, approaching their moment of glory: Summertime!"
The evolution of this Bohemian citizen or Partizen (Party + Citizen) in Contemporary Transnationality:

"The wardrobe is reduced and becomes more objective, making the suit and necktie the stars of the season. Impécable.":

"The feel, the cut and the comfort mark the difference in this collection, in contrast to the usually unassuming pieces adorned during this season":

"The cotton and finishing techniques of extreme sophistication, shed a bright light on this season's New Look Dandy. The accessories refine this cosmopolitan elegance of a silhouette, slimming it, appealing to the indiscreet pleasures of the skin, revealed through cleavage":

"Despite the current conjecture, the beauty of tanned figures is revealed in multiple celebrations of this wonderful adventure and life":

"The strong appeal made in name of the eroticism of skin plays a strong part in this Zeitgeist melody": 

The text describing the images above is taken directly from Nuno Gama's summer synopsis. It's  poetic and romantic as if it belonged to a novel of the 1900's where men ruled all and spent their time riding horses, sipping tea and traveling through Europe. 

Except in those days, men weren't ostentatiously as open about sex, being tanned was considered a sign of poverty and nobody walked around in what would be at the time considered perverse swimwear. 

The collection is beautiful, especially the silks which are exquisite however, the cut is extremely tight. Of course this is part of the overall concept as part of evidencing the models' sexuality through the exposure of their body parts and muscles.

The overall conclusion to be made is exactly what I confided to Matilde the moment the first swimwear model walked onto the catwalk:  

"This is a collection for the Gays, not for us. These man have largest breasts than we do, and far more sculpted bodies than any straight man we know."

One could go as far as to compare the gays in the audience to the ladies of the 20th century actively fanning themselves in a vain effort to bring down the increasing temperature the "Testocrats" and their high levels of testosterone were provoking in the overcrowded venue. It was all very homoerotic. 

GQ's very own Rita de la Bletière and Eric Ribeiro by João Bacelar for ModaLisboa Transfusion

Nuno Gama sure knows how to bring about the heat, especially during Autumn/Fall's Fashion Week:

The Contempory Boho Citizen himself, Nuno Gama. 

And finally we come to...

"Because times change and new behaviors follow orders and systems, create trends and styles" for the SS 12 collection, Dino Alves reinvented four key styles and trends in fashion history :  

Romantic, Chic, Folk and Sexy.
  • Romantic: Calculated, Austere and Geometric
Chic: Simplistic, dependent on attitude

Formal version of Chic...

  • Folk: Mixtures and Excesses

  • SEXY: A Play on Transparencies

Possibly my favourite collection. The transparent lace prints and embroidery are exceptionally beautiful and well executed. Once again, the concept is very well conceived, especially from a visual point of view. The untrained eye can easily identify which piece belongs to which style. And the idea of recycling historic fashion styles...well, what a wonderful way to end ModaLisboa.

After all has been sought and seen, here is the only correct conclusion: 

If words were palpable, things you could actually touch and feel, I would be the first to eat them. Yes, the time has come for me to eat my words, one my one and digest them slowly. I questioned our national desiginers' capabilities and level of originality. One would rightfully presume that admitting one's capacity of erring is a difficult and humiliating process. But in this case I have to say, the words I ate couldn't have tasted sweeter. What an immense sense of pride (and relief) it was to conclude that some of the collections I witnessed during those 4 enlightening days at Moda Lisboa satisfied me more than a Big Mac with Extra Large Fries, why? Because those collections were based on formidable concepts and brought to life with great attention to detail and exquisite execution. 

 Photographs by Rui M. Leal Workstation for ModaLisboa Transfusion

So in the words of Dino Alves:

"Fashion thrives on novelty. Designers are expected to create something new each season, even if there are those who say that everything has already been seen and done - that is an idea that I, as a designer and artist, can never resign myself to."

Photographs property of ModaLisboa Transfusion Backstage by João Bacelar, Joana Van Hellemond e Sal Nunkachov  
Pedro Sacadura Workstation for ModaLisboa Transfusion
Photographs property of ModaLisboa Transfusion Backstage by João Bacelar, Joana Van Hellemond e Sal Nunkachov 
Matilde and I at the Fashion TV ModaLisboa Transfusion Party by João Bacelar.




  1. i LOVE your shirt in the picture at the bottom of the page - amazing!

  2. Palmalina: The top is from American Apparel! I love it! :)


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