Portuguese Fashion Hub

With the launch of the Portuguese Fashion Hub at London Fashion Week, Plataforma de Moda showcased five established and emerging designers as part of Guimarães European Capital of Culture 2012. An initiative set up to mentor designers from northern Portugal who display new and innovative talent and expertise. The chosen five were granted the opportunity to meet and network with British Press and Buyers in Somerset House during the SS collection shows.

João Pedro Filipe, winner of Fashion Hub’s ‘Young Creative Fashion Entrepreneur’ award, showcased his ‘Mr. Prudêncio’s First Collection’, named in tribute to his grandfather who was a shoemaker. The commercial collection was designed with a particular customer of city cyclists in mind, and includes leather shoes and accessories for men.

Designer Rita Afonso showcased a womenswear collection. With SS13 based on a punk rural theme, she developed patterns based on her own drawings from past vacations.

Maria Azevedo also targets the female market, showcasing in London her ‘Tempus Fugit’ collection under the MIA Azevedo brand. “It is a collection of clothes for women whose design is based on the simplicity of shape and comfort allied to the quality of materials and finishes”, she explained, adding that her inspiration came from “several aspects, but primarily from the notion that time flies”, using overlaid and patterned materials, cut by laser and sewn by hand.

Designer Mariana Morgado’s collection was influenced by the suffragette movement towards the end of the 19th century, and her work is based on the facades and gates of local Northern Portuguese architecture.

The last chosen designer was Ricardo Andrez, who displayed a menswear collection entitled ‘Working for the Man’ where the concept can been seen as ‘anti-fashion’ and more of a uniform. He claims that personal style “has much more to with repetition than novelty, where everyone values equality through difference.”

With a strong press and buyer presence, this initiative was a roaring success. The resulting exposure brought the viewers exclusive insight into personal conversations with the designers and gave the latter the chance to discuss their work, inspiration and design process.

By Sara Darling