highlights

The Nomad Brand DELPOZO

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Two years after the death of the iconic designer Jesus del Pozo, New York was the stage for the third presentation of the re-baptised DELPOZO brand, now a Spanish venture with major international aspirations.

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The Gypsy spirit seems to have taken hold of DELPOZO for its new collection shown today at the New York Fashion Week. Inspired in the painting “Gipsy woman with tambourine” by Corot, Josep Font created a simultaneously elegant and relaxed  collection rich in nature-inspired patterns and profuse flower prints, voluminous skirts with high waists.  This is the second Spring/Summer presentation under Font and after a first DELPOZO collection full of detail, embroidery and applications. Contrary to that first collection that seemed to show a too abrupt rupture with the original brand’s past, this collection does bring back some of the elegant austerity of the late Spanish designer, without failing to bring a fresh look and details. It is clearly a Josep Font collection, where we can clearly see his mark and legacy as an experienced haute couturier, but it is a more balanced work for the brand, thus appealing to old and new DELPOZO clients.

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The Gypsy spirit seems to be present also in the current brand’s strategy, considering the brands “nomadism”: After showing in Madrid, New York was the city chosen for the second time to present a collection and chances are that one of these days a new city will be announced as stage for the next presentation. DELPOZO has a clear international strategy and after having opened a first flagship store in Madrid some six months ago, Moscow, Dubai, Shangai and New York City are some of the cities where the brand wishes to establish a foothold. Nearly a week before the Mercedes-Benz Madrid Fashion Week, the Spanish capital will not have the possibility to see this collection live, something many Spaniards we spoke to consider unfair given the brand’s Spanish origins, the legacy of Jesus del Pozo and the fact that Jesus was for years the president of the Spanish Designers Association whose members regularly show their collections in Madrid.

Carlos Tomé Sousa

The Portuguese shoe armada

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A 120-company strong armada of Portuguese shoe makers will take once again to the world in the coming 20 days, participating in 8 international trade fairs showing the potential of the country’s high profile shoemaking.

You probably saw them in a shoe store near you but you never really inquired about its provenance. You grew accustomed to buying them for their quality and comfort and you probably thought these classy hand-stitched brogues or loafers were from Italy. That is not surprising, as this country has long established its reputation, leading many to think that crafted, refined and elegant is synonym to Italian, the number one shoe maker in the world. But that is not entirely so, particularly in the shoe sector as this position is increasingly being disputed by the two Iberian countries, particularly Portugal, a country with a well established reputation and where international shoe and designer brands have for long had their shoes made, from Timberland to Lacoste through to Kenzo and many others. For years manufacturers, particularly in this industry’s northern hotspots have been discretely crafting the shoes you seen in catwalks, fashion editorials, worn by actors and singers, stars and starlets, and the lot. But the country and its skilled artisans and shoemakers have never been that good at making their own marketing, over confident on the growing orders from international clients.

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But something is changing in this sector. In recent years shoemakers in Portugal woke up to the potential of developing and marketing their own brands, teaming up with some of most renowned fashion designers in the country and launching capsule collections, thus reaching out to new audiences. Nuno Gama, Miguel Flor and Ricardo Andrez for Eureka; Luis Buchinho and Alexandra Moura for Goldmud, Aleksandr Protic for Dkode and Dino Alves for Dysfunctional Shoes are just some examples of partnerships that have helped bring shoes closer to the fashion world and to the catwalks. Aside from these collaborations other manufacturers have woken up to the need to show their work outside the trade fair sector and particularly to new consumers, including Portuguese consumers, who often do not have access to a mainly export oriented production, with little shops in the country offering a comprehensive range of Portuguese shoes, something that is now changing.

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But, true to be said, the international markets are the major source of revenues for this industry employing 6 thousand people with exports generating € 500 million. In a country afflicted by harsh austerity measures dictated by the IMF-ECB-EC bail-out program this industry has been able to increase its production, witnessing a 4% increase in exports in the first semester, an accumulated 29% increase in the past 3 years. GDS in Düsseldorf, Micam in Milan Italy and Momad Metropolis in Madrid are the three trade fairs with biggest Portuguese participation. As for the first it is an important trade fair considering that Portugal has exported 6.2 million pairs of shoes to Germany in the first year-half, worth € 153 million. In the coming edition, GDS Düsseldorf will rely this time on the presence of 13 young shoe designers from Hugo Costa to Common Cut through to Officina Lisboa or Rutz. As for Micam, this trade fair relies on the second biggest presence with 81 Portuguese companies displaying their products in the most disputed trade fair for shoes that takes place twice a year in Milan. As for Momad Metropolis in Madrid, it is a possibility to bring Portuguese shoes closer to the neighboring Spanish market and to reach new markets, given this trade fair’s strategy to invite international delegations from the Far and Middle-East and from Eastern Europe. Northwest Shoe Travelers, SMOTA and Shoe Market of the Americas, both in the USA, Outdoor Trade Show in the UK, Anteprima Trend Selection in Italy, Rooms, in Tokyo, The Brandery in Barcelona and London Fashion Week are further events chosen by Portugal to showcase their shoe collections and production.

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The coming month of September will therefore be a busier month for this industry. And next time you are in one of the large trade halls or buying a pair of shoes around the corner from you, check where it was made. Chances are that the ones you liked the most for their quality and design are Portuguese, despite bearing often a foreign brand name.

Tomatina – the craziest street festival in the world

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Buñol, a small town in Spain, near Valencia, hosts every year on the last Wednesday of August one of the craziest street festivals in the world. On this very same day, thousands of people throw tomatoes at each other covering the city and everyone in tomato-red. All begins when lorries bring tons of ripe tomatoes which those on top of the trucks start throwing at the masses that flock the streets who in turn start throwing tomatoes at each other and at those on top of the huge lorries. The result is an afternoon of fun tomato-throwing ending with a well-deserved shower courtesy of the fire department who thus wash the city and the people.

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The story of Tomatina dates back to 1945 when some youngsters in town attended a parade of giant-heads and decided to join the parade, pushing inadvertently one of the persons holding the giant-head and making him fall. Infuriated he started a fight and amidst this big row some people grabbed tomatoes from a nearby vegetable stall throwing them at each other. The comnmotion was so big that the local forces were forced to intervene. The following year, and with that wild vegetable fight in mind people took to that very same place, throwing tomatoes at each other again.

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This crazy fight continued over the years and began attracting people until becoming of the most important festivities like the Pamplona festivities. Nowadays is an official festivity and attracts thousands from all over the world. By now, on the eve of the mad party, the inhabitants are preparing to cover some of the façades to protect from the hordes of tomato throwing warriors. But this is a party no one wants to miss and most balconies will be crowed with people willing to join and interact with the throwing party below, not bothering if their city is covered in red.

Alexandra Moura and a new natural world order

After the photos and the interview with Alexandra Moura backstage, we bring you the photos of her collection on the catwalk at the Lisbon Fashion Week

Alexandra Moura | Winter 2014 | ModaLisboa - Trust.

The show began with images from planet Earth in its most natural stage. Textures are an important element in her collections and by using them the designer wants to bring us back to the world prior to the existence of mankind. The introductory images displayed couldn’t have been a better introduction to the show taht would follow.

The square is the theme of this collection and geometry is there is there in straight lines which Alexandra is so fond of and which are common place in her collections. Alexandra proposes a new man, and for that we should return to a world where natural elements combine, bringing us to a new natural world order.

Alexandra Moura | Winter 2014 | ModaLisboa - Trust

Alexandra Moura | Winter 2014 | ModaLisboa - Trust

Alexandra Moura | Winter 2014 | ModaLisboa - Trust

Alexandra Moura | Winter 2014 | ModaLisboa - Trust

Alexandra Moura | Winter 2014 | ModaLisboa - Trust

Alexandra Moura | Winter 2014 | ModaLisboa - Trust

Photos: ModaLisboa | Photography: Rui Vasco

Lust for Life – A movie on Berlin, Bowie, Iggy and creativity

David Bowie and Iggy Pop take centre stage in a movie on 70’s Berlin to be released in 2016.

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The lives of David Bowie and Iggy Bowie in this city are at the center of a movie which will be there to portray creativity in the divided city of Berlin. The movie will be directed by Gabriel Range and the rebel rebel pair is to feature profusely in this biopic considering their role as some of the most iconic rock stars in the history of Berlin subculture.
David Bowie, who joined Iggy Pop in this city, and who produced some of the best records by this wild iguana, has to thank Berlin for having provided the inspiration for three of his best albums: Low, Heroes and Lodger. These three works of art are filled with references to the city both in the cold sound landscapes created in close collaboration with Brian Eno and in the title tracks that bring us to the Berlin imagery: “Art Decade”, “Neuköln, “Secret Life of Arabia”, “Warzawa”.

Berlin and the decadence of the city features also in Bowie’s movie career, e.g. in “Just a Gigolo” a relatively unknown movie set in Post World War I and featuring also the German icon Marlene Dietrich. The movie was actually the actress last appearance on screen.
Much can be said of Bowie, and Iggy’s, Berlin period in Schöneberg, the part of the city they used to live in. The capital of German is set to make a new comeback in the chameleon’s life and seems to have left a mark in his life, considering the somehow longing feeling expressed in “Where are we now” the single which marks the return of David Bowie after ten years.

Carlos Tomé Sousa