Marques’Almeida A/W 2018

Marques’Almeida A/W 2018

Mood board: Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida have built their cult brand upon the fans – #MAgirls, as they call them. They interact with them on a daily basis through a vast social media network. It’s a whip-smart move that has earned the label a reputation for being inclusive, grounded and relevant (qualities that are no doubt in short supply elsewhere). This season, the #MAgirls are more prominently featured in the collection than ever before. Not only did a lucky few walk in the show following the designers’ open casting call, but several also featured in recorded video interviews, which were projected onto the walls of the set. ‘It’s ok to be who you are and be unapologetic about it,’ said one girl. ‘You have to be content with your body, it doesn’t matter what society tells you,’ affirmed another. Empowering statements such as these also appeared on supersized sweaters throughout the show, designed in collaboration with the Scotland-born London-based designer Louise Gray, alongside a eclectic melange of motocross trousers, tie dye-denim separates, billowing prairie dresses and fraying brocade tops.

Scene setting: Marques and Almeida took us deep underground this season, housing their A/W 2018 show inside a lofty, dimly lit vault within the famed Leake Street tunnels (referred to by graffiti buffs as ‘the Banksy tunnels’). Exposed brickwork and stripped concrete walls galvanised the raw, urban vibe that underpins the brand’s aesthetic, while the aforementioned videos played out on loop, supplementing a soundtrack by strong female artists such as Sza and PJ Harvey.

Best in show: The slouched leather motocross trousers were the hot ticket this season. Worn with an acid orange teddy coat, a gigantic silk blouse or navel-baring top, they somehow struck the precisely the right balance between luxury and lo-fi cool.

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