highlights

There’s a light that never goes out

Lisbon Fashion Week celebrates its October edition under the motto Luz (Light) on a new venue, this time in the heart of one of Lisbon’s most beautiful parks thus shining again a light through fashion on iconic places and buildings in the Portuguese capital.

Twenty three fashion shows by both Portuguese designers and brands and a pop-up store offering national products mark the October edition of Moda Lisboa as the Lisbon Fashion Week is better known, the name of the association in charge of this event since 1991. Pavilion Carlos Lopes on Parque Eduardo VII is the new venue for the shows that start on Friday 6 with Patrick de Padua, a designer who focus on menswear with a twist for club nights and laidback days. The show goes on with Duarte, followed by Sangue Novo where new talents will show their designs, followed by Lidija Kolovrat who combines her fine art of print with garments with avant-garde attitude, the very same avant-garde penchant that is there in the jewels designed by Valentim Quaresma who follows next and who, after decades focusing mostly on metal has been betting recently on different materials. The first day ends with Ricardo Preto known for his  fine tailoring for men and women.

Saturday kicks off with Imauve + Carolina Machado followed by David Ferreira, the designer famed for his extravaganza on the catwalk and who caught the eye of Björk, the Icelandic gnome who wore one his dresses at a concert in London in 2016. Awaytomars show is scheduled for 4.30 P.M. where you will be given the opportunity to see the result of the joint work of this project that gathers creative minds from all over the world. Nuno Gama comes next, one of the most renowned menswear designers in the country and who cleverly combines his fine tailoring with national imagery for contemporary men. After this star of menswear comes Aleksandar Protic who sure knows how to design relaxed but elegant garments for women. Come October temperatures are usually still high for the beachwear of Brazilian brand Cia. Maritima. Ricardo Andrez comes next with his elegant and modern interpretations of menswear that have conquered the heats and mind in Spain where he was awarded both prizes and showed his collections before becoming a regular presence at Moda Lisboa. Christophe Sauvat comes after with his garments that attract a growing boho audience. Day two ends with Dino Alves, a designer famous for his regular work in the area of performing arts dressing a myriad of artists for number of shows, events and the lot.

Day three begins with Morecco followed by Nair Xavier x Diniz Cruz where we will be given the opportunity to see what has changed in Nair’s work considering her work with the brand Dielmar where she improved her tailoring skills. Around 4 P.M. shoes take centre stage with the show by shoe brand Eureka, a brand known for regularly inviting Portuguese designers to develop shoes for its stores and which offers great designs at affordable prices. Shows continue with Olga Noronha, followed by Nadir Tati and later with Luis Carvalho who focused on the 70/80’s new wave last season. The show by menswear store Mustra precedes the show by Filipe Faísca the designer who masters the fine art of making women look extremely sexy with his designs.

In-between shows Wonder Room gives you the opportunity to see and buy Portuguese design from men’s grooming by Antiga Barbearia de Bairro, shirts with a vintage touch by Daniela Ponto Final or groovy bags by Fluo just to name a few.

Carlos Tomé Sousa

Out and about in Lisbon

Iphone Pics 061 Lisbon is definitely the place to visit. The global village of the moment considering the number of foreigners from all walks of life flocking here.

The best way to arrive in Lisbon is by plane and we recommend the national airline, the best in the world, now partly owned by a Brazilian, but such is life in the capitalist world.. Taxi is the best option to arrive in the city centre and the cost of a ride in a Mercedes driven by a local is around 10 euros. Despite some bad publicity and the voices from the competition, most of the drivers are nice. Should you prefer the metro take the red line to Alameda and change to the green line. Once on the platform make sure you walk all the way to the front otherwise you will be forced to join the stampede of foreign tourists running along the platform to reach the wagons, a funny show, courtesy of the Metro administration. When in the city centre, drag your trolley uphill to your hotel or rented apartment. Make sure you arrive early in the morning or late at night and that the wheels in your trolley are loud enough. By waking up neighborhood you will have had your revenge for having to run like mad along the metro platform. Put on your sports shoes and walk out the door to the nearest café. Be a local and have an expresso, the best way to start the day. Three a day will keep you up and running and awake. Pastries are tempting and go well with it. Do not worry about the number of calories in each custard, you will lose them quickly going up and down the hills. I hope you have improved your French. You will need it to greet the French now living in the city centre. Be nice to your neighbor waving at you by the castle walls. He is here too with his family. And so is your boss, your schoolmates and your distant cousin. Grab a piece of paper and start counting the number of locals you have seen so far. Lisbon is a modern city and ladies with moustaches, men with army tattoos and children with rotten shoes are quite rare these days here, hence make sure you have your camera ready should by chance come across one. Restaurants and cafés serve lunch at affordable prices nearly everywhere. But you may wish to try also the new sensation in town – gourmet food courts. The Portuguese are very fond of shopping centres and spend a great deal of time in them. Probably with that in mind the city now offers a number of food courts in local markets and historic buildings operated mostly by kids from well-off families. Prices are higher in these places and the quality of the food is generally good, prepared by renowned chefs, a new phenomenon in the country – the country now has more chefs than tram drivers. Tram 28 is highly overrated. For your information I believe there are only half a dozen of them, hence put some sun block and get ready to wait for a while in the sun by the tram stop. If you are lucky enough to find a seat open the window and enjoy the breeze. Otherwise you will find yourself trapped and squeezed in a small tram whose final destination is a cemetery. No kidding. Once you get there visit The Cemetery of Pleasures, a curious name for the most beautiful graveyard in the city. Visit the residential neighborhoods and the local shops and restaurants where the attendants and waiters, contrary to Spain, will make the effort to speak you language. Book a table after 8. I know it is 7 P.M. and you are now thinking of dinner. But forget it. Take to a terrace and have a drink before that. Locals only go out for dinner at 9 and before that you will only find foreigners… and you neighbors. Fado is ok but it can be also a saddening bore. The melody is fine. As for the lyrics, thank God you don’t understand the words. If you do not wish to get depressed don’t have them translated. Buy shoes while you are here and the next time your boss tells you Italian shoes are better kick his royal ass with your fine leather shoes made in Portugal. Have a nice haircut. Hairdressers and barbers are now in full fashion in Lisbon. It’s a highly competitive sector and prices start at €4.5. Take to the beach. You probably didn’t realise but there are dozens of beaches around and it is fairly easy to reach them by bus, train or car. The water is not as warm as in the Mediterranean, but then again who wants to swim in a bowl of warm soup?! If you wish to stay know that there are lots of advantages for you: if you have half a million to spend we give you a golden visa and grant you the right to stay as long as you like.

Carlos Tomé Sousa

Soulwax’s sound and vision Bowie tribute

Soulwax, also known to the dance community as 2ManyDJs have released one of the best tributes to David Bowie so far. “Dave” is an incredible mix of sound and vision of the man’s songs, a great reminder and a fabulous introduction to Bowie’s songs for the generation of this new millennium.

Sound

David Bowie would have loved “Dave”, the tribute video and mix by Belgian band and DJs soulwax. In one hour the two DJs have managed to cleverly mix Bowie’s most iconic tracks from “Fame” to “All the Young dudes” taking us on a true journey through the sound of David Bowie. After doing a number of Bowie mashups in their gigs, they now released what is so far the best compilation mixing Bowie tracks making us take to the dancefloor. For those who know the man’s work this is a fabulous reminder of his body of work, a clever mix of songs featuring also some great remixes. “Let’s Dance” is one of the most striking examples: The remix adds some beats that remind of us of “I Feel Love” and by doing so they provided a true 21st Century Mix to that popular Bowie song. Transitions from track to track are once again a proof of these Belgian DJs’ talent. See the transition from “Fame” to “Starman” and then to “Always Crashing in the Same Car” or the transition from “Under Pressure” to the generation hymn “Heroes”. This mix, according to Soulwax, is “our homage to the man whose ability to change whilst remaining himself has been a massive influence on us. There are many legends in the music industry but for us, there is no greater than the mighty Dave. We’ve included all things Bowie, whether that is original songs, covers, backing vocals, production work or reworks we made, to attempt to give you the full scope of the man’s genius.”

dave - Soulwax Vision

Soulwax did not focus on the music alone. Considering David Bowie’s visual legacy they made a one hour film with model Hannelore Knuts in Thin White Luke-like attire who takes us through a one trip at the sound of Bowie’s songs. Directed by Wim Reygaert, the film leads the absolutely cool looking Hannelore through a hotel where she meets characters resembling to the likes of Iggy Pop, William S. Burroughs, Freddie Mercury or Tony Visconti. Clever tributes to the man should take into account both the sound and vision dimension of the man. That was particularly the case of LuxFrágil in Lisbon, a huge three-storey club where 2ManyDJs have played more than once, and that hosted a Bowie hommage party combining both elements: while a number of DJs played Bowie songs images compiled and mixed by José Pinheiro, one of Portugal’s best music video directors, were displayed to the delight of a crowd that cleverly dressed for the occasion. “Dave” is a true voyage through sound and vision, providing the right imagery to the man’s legacy, a document for you to retain and show your kids, friends and next of kin. A true tutorial to the work of David Bowie.

 Carlos Tomé Sousa

David Bowie – The Prettiest Star

bowie station to station

The world lost today the biggest artist of all times and everything you say will never be enough to describe the man we owe so much to.

Bowie has been in my life ever since I bought my first Bowie record at the age of 15 when I was living the town in Coimbra, Portugal – “The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”. I still remember the day, walking down that green avenue with tall trees. It was the late seventies, guitars still ruled the decade and his songs were just mind-blowing. I was fully into science fiction and the songs spoke of creatures that came from outer space.  This is was just the beginning of a close relationship with the music and the imagery of that fascinating character. I used to play zero gravity games in preparatory school and months after I got to know Ziggy I discovered one of his first records and a character who was floating in space in the most peculiar way. Two years later I became more interested in dance sounds and there he was, he had a record full of American soul and you just could not stop dancing to “Young Americans”. Bowie had also a close relationship with Berlin. My parents had moved recently to Germany and I was travelling often to that country. Planes were too expensive those days so I used to take the train and there I was listening to Bowie for two days. I used to get the train in Lisbon listening to “Hunky Dory”. Reading was an important element in these long journeys on the Sud-Express. I was into George Orwell and so was Bowie who had recorded “Diamond Dogs”, based on “1984”. In Paris, I used to take the train to Cologne, which reminded me of course of the track “Neuköln”.  Warsaw was the final destination of that train and I still retain the memory of listening to “Warzawa” crossing Belgium. I was 17 by then and “Heroes” was my hymn, “We can be heroes, just for one day”. Synthesizers and fashion were two of my major interests at the turn of the decade. While in Köln and Bonn “Low”, “Heroes” and “Lodger” were the perfect soundtracks for my long stays in Germany. Those were the days of punk, I was into it, and “Look back in anger” had the very same aggressive mood.

Bowie mime 2

At the beginning of the 80’s fashion took to the clubs. I was fully into the New Romantic movement when he released “Scary Monsters”. Ashes to Ashes featured Steve Strange on a video and it was just perfect, another great soundtrack for club nights when we used to, like Bowie himself, dress up, adopt a character, dress like a clown, or like a mad Indian in Adam and the Ants attire in my particular case. And I was fascinated with his mime, which he had learned with Lindsay Kemp. Hairdos were extremely important those days and his orange hair in Station to Station was just about the right colour. “How do I want be remembered. Well I hope people will say ‘what a great hairstyle he had’!” he joked. In 1982 I moved to Lisbon and before leaving Coimbra i dyed some strands of my hair blond. It was the closest I was to a Bowie hairstyle, my hair closer to the polite hair of Bryan Ferry whom I saw live that year. I arrived in Lisbon in October that year and the city was booming and Bowie was there in the clubs and that’s when I met two friends, Rui and Toni, who shared the same passion for Bowie and the same orange hair and hairdos. “Absolute Beginners” was the perfect song, it was the beginning of my life in this city. In these early years of the 80’s David Bowie reached worldwide audiences with “Let’s Dance”. It was an Ok song, but I preferred the previous Bowie whose lyrics I had learned by heart, the darker and more mysterious, by this man who was somehow into black magic, who composed dense soundscapes, who had produced “The Idiot” by Iggy Pop” and “Transformer” by Lou Reed.

bowie paris

Bowie’s records kept piling in my room and despite the fact that they did not have the same intensity as before I listened a lot to “Tonight”. I fell in love at the sound of “God Only Knows”, a Beach Boys classic he raised to perfection. For every important stage in my life there was a Bowie song to go with it. And I knew he would surprise us again and be back to his avant-garde spirit and so he did when he invited Louise Lecavalier from the avant-garde dance group La La La Human Steps. Some of his records at the end of the 80’s and 90’s did not please me that much. But by then my vault was full with Bowie sounds. I could always go back to “Time” and “Lady Grinning Soul”. I learned the opening sequence of Diamond Dogs, “Future Legend”, by heart and I was rock and rolling with him. And I had in the meantime found a number of pop stars who acted and sang a bit like Bowie, who had inherited his good taste and some of the mannerisms, people like Billy McKenzie from The Associates, Richard Butler from The Psychedelic Furs, Brett Anderson from Suede or Jarvis Cocker from Pulp In 1995, Bowie was back in force with “Outside”, produced again by another hero, Brian Eno, and I loved every little bit of it. “Strangers when we meet” was the perfect song from that record. In 2001, I had the pleasure of meeting him in New York and we did not feel like strangers. He was there, nice, smiling, we talked a bit and I was just fascinated. The man was not only a great artist but also a very nice person.

david-bowie heathen

In 2002 he released “Heathen” another great album and “Slip Away” a great song about friendship which on this dad day I dedicate to my friends and to Bowie. A ten-year hiatus followed and the man did not released any record. But I had crammed so many things by him and I had a lot to see and hear. I had movies like “The man who fell to earth”, “Just a Gigolo”, “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. I had “Baal”, a record of Brecht songs, I had his version of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” narrated by him”, I had bought “Black Book” a book with pictures of him. And I had retained his sense of style. In recent years, like Bowe, I travelled often to Berlin to visit close friends. Everywhere I would go I would find something related to Bowie. The Wall described in “Heroes”, the neighborhood of Neuköln where my friends had moved to, Schöneberg where he used to live. I went to some of the bars he had been drinking and spoke to people who remembered him. And then he released an album “The Nex Day” which was a true trip back to Berlin. The man was following me as much as I was following him. In 2014 I had the chance to see “Bowie is”, an exhibition on Bowie and like today I cried so much that my face was wet. I was in a large room surrounded by sounds and images of the man who, since I was 15, had been there all along. I know all his songs by heart, I saw him live and I have always been eager and curious to find new things like him. An important part of my life was in that exhibition room.

Bowie boy

I was awakened today with the sad news of his passing, two days after having released his new album where he says in the opening lines “Look at me I’m in heaven”. You are, in heaven in our minds and the world will thank you forever for being such a great man, for having moved so many people. We do not have five years left to cry you. We will cry your death for all eternity and we are extremely thankful for the body of work you have left us. I absolutely love you, David Bowie.

Carlos Tomé Sousa

LaLaLa Human Steps is no more

lock

It’s the end of one the most iconic contemporary dance companies in the world. The announcement was made today by its founder Edouard Lock.

Canada has just lost one of its most sound and prominent cultural products. Contemporary dance company LaLaLa Human Steps, formed in 1980 is no more, according to its founder Edouard Lock. “Its been an amazing journey full of outsized memories folded over decades”. But this adventure ends today he said as he announced his resignation as choreographer and artistic director of LaLaLa Human Steps.  “The last tour was a difficult one financially.  Though the debt was reduced substantially due to the generosity of many of our creditors, the cuts that followed and the decision not to guarantee more than the current year of subsidy has made it impossible to continue”, Edouard said. This decision and his resignation thus puts an end to 35 of remarkable choreographies and plays.

Formed in June 1980 LaLaLa Human Steps were of the most iconic dance companies in the world with their very particular styles and where acrobatics played a distinguishing role. Some may remember their famed plays, the fine synchronised movements in “Amelia” or the beautiful tale of love, sex and attraction in “Human Sex”, shows where the body was brought to new heights as if the body did have no limits, no frontiers. Choreographer Edouard Lock and dancer Louise Lecavalier were the main names behind LaLaLa Human Steps. David Bowie fans surely remember the great dancer’s performance with the man on “Look Back in Anger”. “One can redefine music through movement”, David Bowie said on this company. After having seen them performing “Human Sex” he would invite Edouard and Louise to create with him the choreography for one of his songs.

lalalahumansteps

With this unexpected announcement the world thus loses the possibility to see more of this remarkable dance company work. In his letter send today Lock thanks all the theatres in the world where they perform and writes these hearfelt words to his dances: To the dancers, what can I say. Their dancing covered them in a mystery that only beauty at its most fragile deserves. To these dance artists who traced such a unique path through the years and who reached both into the work and out toward the seats in equal measure I offer my heartfelt gratitude.” We too we would like to express our gratitude to the LaLaLa Human Steps.