I went to Sao Paulo fashion week to learn about Brazilian fashion, and I was surprised and impressed with what I saw. (I was also tickled by some extreme looks that came down the runways--extreme looks are de rigueur on the runway and most folks don't get to see them--and so I wrote a lighthearted humorous post about them. Some folks were amused, many were not. So it goes.)
Brazilian fashion, I learned, is much more than colorful printed beachwear and bikinis (though Brazil does both those things exceedingly well). Here are five Brazilian labels that should be on your radar. There are, of course, lots more to know about but here's a start.
*My travel and accommodations for Sao Paulo fashion week, courtesy ABEST (Associação Brasileira de Estilistas).
**All photos: © Agência Fotosite/Zé Takahashi via FFW.com.br
Osklen One of the best collections of the week by far. The silhouettes were delicate but structured; materials were light and natural; and colors moved from neutrals to metallics to deep blues and red. All of it was covetable.
Pedro Lourenço It's hard not to be blown away by the talent of this 21-year-old. His first two collections shown in Paris were met with critical acclaim, and for resort, his first collection shown in his native Sao Paulo, he wowed as well. His resort collection moved away from the dazzling leather work of his past two collections to show silk separates with parrot and palm tree prints that ought to be more pleasing to buyers, while still pulling out tricks on dresses made in resin that zipped and flipped back, fastened by magnets, to reveal bright embroidered pattens on tweed underneath.
Reinaldo Lourenço Like father, like son. After seeing the elder Lourenço's collection, it's easy to see where his son Pedro's talent comes from (easier still once I saw Pedro's mother's collection as well). Reinaldo Lourenço's tribute to Elizabeth Taylor and the '50s delighted with blush toned evening dresses and bra cups made to look like cat heads, a la Cat on a Hot Tine Roof (as per the line sheet). References to diamonds (they are, after all, a girl's best friend) were cleverly made in intricate dresses comprised of diamond shapes.
Gloria Coelho It's all in the family. Gloria Coelho, Pedro Lourenço's mother, showed a sleek futuristic collection despite cryptic references on her line sheet to "the year X-men" and "Pokemon colors."
Maria Bonita The clothes were good but the accessories were really good. Especially the custom oxfords. Gimme.