Friday, September 14, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

The next few days are, quite rightly, all about British design- that's what London Fashion Week is all about. But there was room for an international slant this morning as The Shop at Bluebird launched 'Brazil Rising', a pop up boutique showcasing some of the South American superpower's most popular designers. Brazil native Lucas Nascimento will be showing for the first time as a NEWGEN participant this season while Charlotte Dellal, whose Mother Andrea hails from Rio, runs her much loved Charlotte Olympia shoe label from London. Add to that the fact that we have just passed the Olympic baton to Rio and it seems an ideal time to check out what Brazilian girls love to wear.

It was Alice Ferraz,  a major player on the Brazillian fashion scene PR-ing over 70 brands, who decided she had to bring a taste of what everyone around her was wearing to London. She told me at this morning's launch that she "scoured all of London's shops on a trip about two years ago. I loved all the department stores but The Shop at Bluebird was really special space where anything we did wouldn't get lost". Ferraz approached Paul Baptiste, The Shop at Bluebird's Operations Manager, who loved the idea. And so, "Brazil Rising" was born. 
Brazilian fashion power player Alice Ferraz
This project is not about giving exposure to young, emerging designers but more to give London a taste of the best of Brazil's fashion offering as well as show off style done the Brazilian way which is why she has brought a gaggle of bloggers from her F*Hit network. They populated this morning's gathering, chatting away in Portugese and taking photos of one another in their head-to-toe designer looks. With the coconut drinks and fruit on sticks, you could have been mistaken for thinking this was a particularly bustling Brazilian store rather than the first morning of London Fashion Week.

 The labels Ferraz  has chosen, including beachwear designer Adriana Degreas and slinky, sequinned cocktail dress creator Barbara Bela, all have a very "Brazillian" look- think skimpy, colourful and very glamorous indeed. But there are definitely some great pieces which translate for the London girl. Patricia Viera's painted leather collection is spirited and unusual, like wearing a tattoo. Plus it comes in great shapes like these scuba shorts. I reckon the Rio girl would wear these with heels and a bikini, but they'd be just as great with hi-tops and and a tee mooching through a London park. I noticed Charlotte Dellal cooing over Viera's laser cut skirt too.
Shorts by Patricia Viera
Hand painted leather shirt by Patricia Viera
Ferraz really wanted to show off the skills of Brazil's artisans which are so embraced by the country's fashion folk. Enter silky, crocheted jumpers and dresses made using ancient techniques by Vanessa Montoro (retailing at around £1000) and couture lace creations by Martha Medeiros who eschews a factory set-up by employing 250 craftsmen from villages across the North East of Brazil. The environmentally conscious theme continues with Osklen, a brand which has set up Instituto E to research eco fabrics. They have created a new kind of leather from salmon skin which would otherwise have gone to waste- I might need more convincing on that one. What's clear is that Ferraz wants to use fashion to show that Brazil can combine the pressures of a rapidly expanding economy with an eye on responsible production.

I'm not sure everything at the pop-up will appeal but there are some great pieces in the mix. What's more, this is the first time that any of these labels have been available to buy in the UK. Time for a visit to The Shop at Bluebird?

Martha Medeiros lace creations. There's a great skirts for around £300
Osklen's collection, apparently inspired by the UN's Agenda 21

Leafy prints from Adriana Degreas

Crochet by Vanessa Montoro

Brilliant printed trousers by Andrea Marques
The Brazil Pop-up shop will run until 28th September at The Shop at Bluebird

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