SAO PAULO--Reinaldo Lourenço is one of Sao Paulo's most established and respected designers--and also one of the only ones that showed offsite this week. Instead of the Fundação Bienal, which is sort of like an oversized Milk Studios, he showed in a grand church-like building at FAAP, Sao Paulo's fashion school.
While Lourenço, unlike his buzzy 20-year-old son Pedro (who shows in Paris), is far from the education level, he's schooling fashion fledglings in Brazil's first installment of Project Runway, called Projeto Fashion, where he's a judge. However, compared to his American counterpart Michael Kors, his aesthetic is a little on the experimental side. He takes risks, and whether it's cat boobs or, in this case, speed boats, they're always calculated, well-executed and elegant.
The inspiration for Lourenço's collection (and many others this week) was boats, the spirit of summer and a Mediterranean lifestyle. I actually saw footballs and/or baseballs, as there were big exposed stitches down the sides of dresses and curved along the seams of skirts, but maybe that's just me being American. Though several models were carrying Kor water bottles (a sponsorship) as clutches, which added to the athletic vibe.
Nautical elements were there as well in the colors--a lot of blue and white--and dresses that, in an abstract way, do look a bit like duchess satin and silk jacquard speed boats. There were even a couple of looks dotted with tiny speedboats that felt Jeremy Scott-esque. With those two exceptions, most looks could be described as chic, expensive-looking, ageless cocktail attire with a nautical twist.
That he managed to get that message across without a single anchor or sailor stripe, and at such a high level of sophistication is a true testament to his talent and experience. To top that off, MAC senior makeup artist Fatima Thomas made the girls look like they had fallen asleep in the sun (perhaps on a boat), but in a pretty, elegant way where the sun hits you in all the right places and there's no burn. More on that later, but for now, click through to see all the looks.