PARIS--The word wunderkind is often attached to Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenço--and for good reason. Though he's only 21 and has just shown his fourth ever collection, his designs show a depth and maturity far beyond his years. It probably has something to do with the fact that both his parents are established designers in Brazil and, according to his father Reinaldo, he's been sewing since he was three years old. But I digress...
This spring he told me he was inspired by the idea of a toy soldier army and green architecture. They might sound like wildly disparate sources of inspiration but it worked on the runway. "I was interested in eco-architecture and the idea of mixing woods with leather and jute and linen," he said. "They are materials that are very urban but they also make for haute couture fabrics and shapes." You could see the eco-influence in the soft muted color palate interrupted by bright pops of grass green fringe and shimmering silvers as well as the materials. "It's a little bit like carnival too," Lourenço added, acknowledging his Brazilian roots.
As for the toy soldier army part? Lourenço molded high looped leather collars and epaulets onto intricately paneled leather vests that recalled army jackets. They felt a bit Samurai when paired with awesomely oversized modern obis, resting over low slung trousers.
I've been singing Lourenço's praises from the get-go. But if you were looking for a surer endorsement of his talents, Olivier Theyskens was sitting front row and "thought it was great." "I'm very curious about Pedro's work because to me he's always exploring new things. Every season has lots of potential for new things--new materials, new volume--I like that."
**All photos: Imaxtree