MODALISBOA: AN OASIS IN THE AGE OF ANXIETY

@lisboafashionweek

In the near-wake of the pandemic, our world has become deeply troubled with war, waves of isolation, inflation, imminent climate change, all hitting us hard and causing widespread feelings of anxiety around the globe. We, human beings, certainly remain social creatures, eager to connect with each other, in a place where we can feel inspired and get a sense of hope. And that’s what OASIS, the 59th edition of Lisboa Fashion Week, was intending to feel like and definitely did. We were thrilled to be able to experience this unique event, where Art, Culture, Technology, and Sustainability are not only words put together, but a real focus on the program. 

From October 6-9, ModaLisboa, In co-organization with Lisbon’s City Council, gathered fashion lovers and creators at Lisboa Social Mitra, the new social innovation space at Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, and was baptized OASIS, to remind us of a refuge, while crossing the desert we go through as a society. We had the privilege to attend and dive into the vibrant world of Portuguese fashion and transdisciplinarity; On top of the shows of more than 20 emerging and established portuguese designers “sharing intensities and points of view”, we were granted a great program filled with exhibitions, performances, educational talks, as well as a popup store featuring an exclusive selection of Portuguese designers.

On the first day, MODALISBOA invited us to celebrate authentic BEAUTY, the one that has no age, with Santa Casa Misericórdia Lisboa‘s “Beleza não tem Idade” (Eng: Beauty Has No Age). Breaking social representations and stereotypes with this special show, MODALISBOA was the stage for inclusivity. We had an overload of joy watching older models bring their wisdom on the runway; A great reminder to embrace the imperfect.

Opening also on the first day of Modalisboa, the #SQUATby @cabanamad gallery showcased the performance, MIRAGE – about the fluidity between independent artistic practices.

On the second day, our attention was riveted on the future: The Young Designers Competition ‘Sangue Novo’ (young Blood) in collaboration with @seaside.oficial and @showpress.pressoffice. These new talents unleashed next level collections with a high dosage of creativity, transdisciplinarity and experimentation. Take a look at some of the 5 winners who, in March 2023, will compete for the ModaLisboa x @ied_official and ModaLisboa x @tintextextiles awards.

Despite missing some of our favorite {female} designers this year (BÉHEN, Constança Entrudo…) we still enjoyed…and how could we not? The level of skills and creativity was simply mindblowing. Saturday and sunday showcased a succession of established Portuguese designers. We especially enjoyed the shapes of Buzina, the absolute creative mind of Kolovrat, also Duarte and her uplifting colorful designs, the exquisite glamour collection of Gonçalo Peixoto….A special mention for the exciting first presentation of Luis Borges‘s “Call Me Gorgeous“, a celebration of beginnings through a sexy runway show, but not only: we also were spoiled with a stunning contemporary dance performance radiating passion and artistry. Loved it!

Despite missing some of our favorite {female} designers this year (BÉHEN, Constança Entrudo…) we still enjoyed…and how could we not? The level of skills and creativity was simply mindblowing. Both saturday and sunday showcased a succession of established Portuguese designers. We especially enjoyed the shapes of Buzina, the absolute creative mind of Kolovrat, also Duarte and her uplifting colorful designs, the exquisite glamour collection of Gonçalo Peixoto….A special mention for the exciting first presentation of Luis Borges‘s “Call Me Gorgeous“, a celebration of beginnings through a (sexy) runway show, but not only: we also were granted an amazing dance performance choreographed by Miguel Nunes Esteves, radiating passion and artistry. Loved it!

By being permeable to everything that surrounds it, Fashion feeds itself and feeds its context. This is the core engine that Lisboa Fashion Week has communicated for 59 seasons. But the material side of the industry needs to be discussed, thought about and debated.In this journey that we make together, we arrive at our oasis so that we can find a place of refuge that becomes a place of solutions.

EDUARDA ABBONDANZA – PRESIDENTE DA ASSOCIAÇÃO MODALISBOA

Also we had a lovely sunny sunday morning visiting João Magalhães who opened for us the doors of his new studio and store. Picture this: A blast of colors, prints and oversized suits, and ruffles…Extravaganza from another era.

Back at Social Mitra, was the performance of one of our favorite newcomer Ivan Hunga Garcia with their ‘botanical clothing”, in which the mutability and regeneration of a new body of vegetation is reinforced.

To sum up this edition, we all sensed it was a very special one, in terms of creativity but also energy-wise. This 59th edition was written under the beautiful mixity of human beings in its largest spectrum. Yes, we can all stand in a peaceful and respectful atmosphere including making our planet a better place for everyone. All designers would agree the troubled time we are into at the moment influenced deeply their creativity to re-invent themselves. With a palette of cheerful and colorful tones, unexpected materials, and performances for the world to see, they showed us their belief in inclusive sustainable fashion, and that these are not just words. It is happening now at Modalisboa. Fashion needs to reinvent itself for good, It is more about authenticity and the simplicity of raw beauty than about abundance and richness. Fashion is ART, for real. I will not forget the Modalisboa team who was, as always, dedicated to make our experience the best possible. It was a high level inspiration that we won’t forget. Please bring us back Modalisboa!

[Images – courtesy of Modalisboa]

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UNITED BODIES 2021