ModaLisboa gives emerging designers a boost via Sangue Novo
Portugal understands that boosting the national fashion industry means protecting and expanding local manufacturing, and supporting emerging talent. To this end, the country no only helps bridge the gap between industry and design through the creation of partnerships, but also nurtures and promotes the new generation of designers. A case in point is Sangue Novo, a platform for emerging designers which was held on Friday 8 February as part of Lisbon fashion week.
Now in its 52nd edition, the latest fashion week took place in the Carlos Lopes Pavilion, a stone’s throw away from Avenida da Liberdade. Taking centre stage in the programme of events on the first day was Sangue Novo to host the second phase of his design competition. After trialling a biannual format, the platform has opted for an annual formula divided in two phases, with the aim of providing designers with more support for a longer period of time. A panel of judges composed on national and international experts such as Miguel Flor, creative director of Portuguese fashion magazine Principal; Awaytomars design Alfredo Osório; Cláudia Barros, fashion director of Vogue Portugal; and American fashion critic Diane Pernet evaluated the collections and selected the winners.
“The collection is based on sculpture as a process, starting with a block that is fragmented to the last silhouette. All details are inspired by sculpting tools and the process of sculpting,” said designer Carolina Raquel, who won best national designer for her collection titled ‘A complex form’. A graduate from the London College of Fashion and former employee of Alexandra Moura, Christopher Kane, Roksanda and Simone Rocha, Carolina Raquel presented an elegant collection where volume, asymmetry and structure were combined with carefully designed details such as resin applications and buttons made from stone. For her craftsmanship and talent, she has received a scholarship to study an MA in design at Florence’s Polimoda, as well as a cash prize of 5,000 euros from ModaLisboa. “I still have a lot to learn before I can create my own brand,” the young woman said, adding that she will use the resources for her next collection.
In addition to creative talent, it seems that the line-up of designers taking part in Sangue Novo shared another common trait, in that creating their own brand is not a priority. Italian designer Federico Protto, who won best international designer for his collection titled ‘Muses 2019’ is also keeping his feet on the ground. The designer, who presented an irreverent unisex collection with elements of punk, sees his work as a form of artistic expression, rather than a business. He does sell t-shirts with graffiti prints, but he says he is more interested in the creation and the performance component of his designs. This approach has ensured his return to Lisbon, with the award granting him a space in the Workstation platform during Lisbon fashion week in October.
Perhaps taking the event on a slightly more commercial route, without compromising on creativity, was knitwear designer Archie Dickens. The British designer presented ‘Fluxo 19’, an outstanding collection of unisex pieces which examined the movement of water through the use of wool and knitted fabrics. Dickens won the distribution award, and his garments will be sold via the Feeting Room, a Portuguese concept store which has two branches in Oporto and Lisbon.
The rest of the brands helped maintain a high level of creativity and craftsmanship. Young Lisbon artist Rita Carvalho explored mythology with ‘Floragora’, bringing a naive flair to her collection by deconstructing elements, introducing extra long sleeves and crafting floral applications from tulle. Portuguese designer Artur Dias from the Opiar brand, studied the baroque with ‘La petite mort’, showcasing a collection of scenographic inspiration in which women wearing orange veils walked the runway with brocade coats and embellished dresses. The Co.Re, a design duo formed by Rachel Regent and Inês Coelho, also took part in Sangue Novo. The brand presented a neon colour palette where futuristic elements were combined with striped prints and fringes.
The fashion week continued with acclaimed designers such as Luis Carvalho and Ricardo Preto, demonstrating its strength early in the programme. This season, the event underlined the vital relationship between youth and creativity, two qualities that work well together when combined with a cornerstone of support.
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