When the velvet ropes unraveled in Lisbon on March 21st, the international fashion community took their seats and took diligent notes on the world’s emerging powerhouse, Portuguese Fashion. Merely 15 years ago, Portugal was inaugurated into the international lineup of fashion weeks, and only recently has the country captured headlines and stepped out of fashion infancy onto a prestigious pedestal.
At the forefront of cultural iconicity, a cult of designers with unwavering ambition are touting the paradigm for budding fashion embedded in the wealth of their nation’s history and trademark decor. Although this land rich in narratives and lore is seasoned with designers, this year marks barriers overcome in global competition, economic binds and international modernism.
Lisbon Fashion Week F/W 2012-2013, served as a theatrical celebration for introducing fashion’s most curious work in a lineup of innovative glamour by leading designers as Miguel Vieira, Diogo Miranda, Luís Buchinho, and Alves/Gonçalves. Climactic Paris Prêt-à-porter collections ran the gamut from graphic-fused vinyls, penetrating modern sporty-glam by Felipe Oliveira Baptista (former artistic director for Lacoste), to the daring squares and high volume cuts of loud dresses and deep contrasting shades by Fatima Lopes.
Ricardo Preto seized the crowd in his collection of spray-painted coats, fringe, and couture leg warmers. The show grew further popular at the onset of the men’s collections as Júlio Torcato introduced a live owl with his ultra urban collection of teals and blacks, followed by a shoe revolt via Cohibas and Sílvia Rebatto.
Lessons learned from Lisbon Fashion Week this year? Watch out. For all things fashion-forward and for the sharp chops of innovative glamour from a pocket full of riveting, committed, Iberian designers. Catch the video review on catwalkyourself.