SAO PAULO--While Pedro Lourenço, Reinaldo Lourenço's 19-year-old son might be getting all the international buzz lately, having shown two critically acclaimed collections in Paris last year, his father Reinaldo reigns as one of Brazil's best and most well-known designers (so does his mom, Gloria Coelho, who shows today). In fact, Brazilians have been pretty bemused that I knew of Pedro Lourenço's work but not his father's.
After seeing Reinaldo Lourenço's show yesterday, it's easy to see where his teenage son got his skills. Called "Diamonds and Dogs," Lourenço's spring 2012 collection was a tribute to Liz Taylor. He was inspired, according to his line sheet, by "beasts and delicate waists, the enhancement of the sparkle diamonds, the America of baby boom, the sex appeal of the Golden Years, and fancy poodles, as a luxury accessory." And while there was plenty of diamond-like sparkle (on sheer pinstriped blouses) and diamond shapes (comprising the skirts of floor-length gowns) and "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" set the soundtrack, there sadly weren't any dogs. Happily, though, there were cats, inspired by Taylor's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The bra cups of pale pink and black evening wear were cat heads. There was a good deal of emphasis on the bra (the show was, after all, dedicated to the voluptuous Liz Taylor, though there wasn't a curve in sight on the runway). Madonna-like bra tops were worn over sheer button-down blouses, deconstructed bra cups were the tops of silk evening dresses, and leather corsets were paired with slim cigarette pants to contrast the girly-ness of the pale pink shimmer and diamonds.
Lourenço might have his roots in Brazil, but his attempt to portray a distinctly American 1950s feminine ideal was a success. While his influence was clear the construction and silhouettes of his looks were entirely modern.
**All photos: © Agência Fotosite/Zé Takahashi via FFW.com.br
*My travel and accommodations for Sao Paulo fashion week, courtesy ABEST (Associação Brasileira de Estilistas).