Runway News

LONG OVERDUE

Article courtesy of stylebubble.typepad.com

I wasn’t always the useless lemon that I’ve become these days due to work overload.  Despite only getting three days in Sao Paulo last month, I felt it would have been pretty demented and wrong to turn down the offer of visiting a Brazilian designer’s studio.  Lucius very kindly emailed me after finding out that I was indeed randomly in Sao Paulo and asked if I was up for being interviewed for a project he and his boss Walter Rodrigues were in the process of working on. 

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Walter Rodrigues is one of the most renowned designers in Brazil with an enduring career.  At one point he was showing at Paris fashion week.  I felt very nervous for some reason beforehand, something to do with the fact that I’ve only really met newer designers previously, and also because I am generally a wuss about these things. 

Silly fears really, as Walter was really really sweet and was kind enough to show me around his studio and workspace, introducing me to his staff.  Seeing as I had done two nights of solitude in a hotel room, with nothing but Fox News (quite possibly the most hilarious news channel on the earth…) to keep me company, I was just grateful for any sort of decent human interaction.  He asked about my Topshop gladiator sandals, first asking if they were Sergio Rossi or Balenciaga to which I sheepishly answered ‘Umm…no…Topshop…’ and he said ‘Ah…but you make them look like they are Balenciaga.’  Awww…shucks…

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Here are the details I picked up from his ‘Audrey Hepburn goes to China’ S/S 09 collection which was shown at Rio fashion week back in June, but the catwalk images are actually are far superior in demonstrating the detailing and craftsmanship that Rodrigues puts into his clothes. 

As the title of the collection suggests, elegance abounds, and so does sophistication – two things that people have said I distinctly lack.  Oh well, I can appreciate it from afar anyhow even if those two things are out of my reach.  Scroll down and you shall see those two things don’t have to necessarily mean something instantly forgettable, which to me means there’s some hope for me yet (I’ll just put it down to my misguided youth)…      



Walter also gave me a sort of retrospective book of his collections which, alas, is in Portugese but thankfully has many images that need no text to explain the links between the various historical epochs and cultural references he has used over the years and then translated them into his collections…

Samurai suits and 17th century armour in one of my favourite Walter Rodrigues collections A/W 02.

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The shapes of the dresses together with the accessories are somehow regal and edgy at the same time.

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The volume in Japanese kimono gets pared down into simpler shapes for S/S 00.

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Peruvian traditional costumes inspire prints for A/W 01

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The jingly gangly coin/metal embellishments of the Hmong tribe in Thailand get transplanted onto floaty dresses for S/S 03.

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Again, the decorative wear of the Hmong tribe gets revisited for A/W 07, this time with an emphasis on embroidery. 

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Remember that black sequinned PVC fabric which I was so enamoured with?  As somebody pointed out, yes it was indeed especially made for Walter’s S/S 09 collection and I love the way he has used it in the draped dresses and tops… no mean feat to get it to look fluid…   

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The texture of this metallic threaded elastic is quite interesting…

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I was in fringing heaven when Walter showed me these dresses as he had somehow made it look less messy than my own fringed garments by fixing them into these beautiful curves on the dress…

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The black-grey-pale pink ombre effect is really stunning…

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Why doesn’t it surprise me that my favourite dress of the collection is this feathered number?  Try as I might but I can’t quite banish my feather fetish just yet… the small and fine feathers are attached onto larger frayed scallops of fabric so together they give the appearance of an enlarged feather…

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This is long overdue, but thank you Walter and Lucius for giving me something to ponder other than why the Fox news channel is so overly enthusiastic in its news delivery…